For the past few weeks, like on earth has basically been at a standstill. Nothing is as it once was before the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Country after country has been hit with the virus, which has led to businesses shutting down and people staying home in the hopes of avoiding catching the deadly disease. For gaming operators, casinos in the US have been shut down for little over a month and are showing no signs of opening back up. For the Hard Rock International brand, Chairman Jim Allen feels it will be about a year before things will be back to normal in the US.
Long Recovery Process
Speaking to CNBC this week, Allen said that he does not see Hard Rock back with robust business operations in the US for at least a year. The brand has shut down restaurants, hotels and casinos in the states. The company is planning on the process taking a year to complete.
Hard Rock has properties across the United States as well as the world, even in China. They have had visibility since the coronavirus arc, as it originated in China in the Wuhan area. The curve of infections in China began to flatten last month and some businesses, reopened, even a Hard Rock location.
In the US, Hard Rock has several venues, from a restaurant in the busy Times Square as well as gaming venues in Atlantic City. Millions in sales from diners and gamers are currently being lost as the Hard Rock properties are non-operational. They rely on tourism dollars heavily and without people visiting, they are not earning any money.
The company is also very busy with casinos in Florida, perhaps their most profitable business ventures in the US. People can easily get in a car and head to one of the Florida casinos for gaming. For Allen, he believes that even if states like Florida get back to business, seeing sustained business activity will not happen quickly.
Will Consumers Get Back Out?
Another question to keep in mind for companies like the Hard Rock is if consumers will get out and about once the restriction to stay at home is lifted. The virus is still at play and will be for some time. If consumers are unwilling to get back to normal right away, it would cause a delay in businesses seeing steady traffic flow.
Consumers may stick to their routine as it stands now, just carrying out food and avoiding crowded places. Casinos would be considered a crowded space, unless operators decide to reopen with restrictions, like a lower capacity.
We can only wait and see what will happen next. If what Allen says comes to fruition, we may see gaming businesses struggle for some time before getting back to regular business operations. As certain states start to open back up, we will see how long it takes for gaming venues in those areas to get back to business.