MGM Resorts Announces New Plan to Reopen Services Including Rapid COVID-19 Testing Lab

MGM Resorts International has created a plan that it hopes will see conventions as well as additional entertainment return to Las Vegas and properties across the United States as large gatherings are allowed. Titled Convene with Confidence, the health and safety plan of the casino operator is a full plan on how to begin hosting exhibitions and meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan includes cleaning and social distancing as well as safeguards for attendees as they move forward to take part in conventions and exhibitions in Las Vegas. The operator will set up a COVID-19 testing lab to help detect the virus, avoid transmission and spreading.

Confident in Testing

A big reason that many feel visitors are not coming to Las Vegas right now is due to fear of contracting the virus. A recent survey showed that travelers are not as concerned about properties maintaining cleanliness and sanitization as they are about contracting the virus from other people. To try and combat this thought process, MGM has partnered with Impact Health to offer rapid molecular testing for COVID-19 on-site. The casino will be able to test individuals and provide a result in 20 minutes.

As the largest employer in Nevada, MGM will be working with CLEAR to provide its Health Pass product, a tech option that will help with monitoring individuals and their health. The product requires attendees of conferences to answer questionnaires that cover real-time health needs on their smartphone devices. There are CLEAR kiosks located on-site that provide temperature screenings.

Critical to Operations

For casino operators to be successful, they must bring in all types of travelers, including convention goers. From consumer conventions to business groups, such meetings bring in tens of thousands of people each year. Without these events taking place, the city loses out on revenues in varying sectors.

Hotels, casinos, restaurants, bars, etc. all are short of business when conventions are nonexistent. Just this week, Governor Steve Sisolak decided to allow indoor gatherings to increase in size, especially in larger buildings.

For MGM, the company owns 11 properties with convention space. This means each venue is missing out on several events, which means lower hotel guest numbers, fewer casino visitors, etc. Without the convention numbers, the city begins to lose a large portion of its tourism revenues.

The company is hopeful that business from conventions will pick back up soon, in a safe manner. MGM president of commercial and growth Atif Rafiq said that the company is being patient and realistic about the industry.

They understand that business will not be back to normal volume any time soon for convention or meeting spaces. However, MGM is ‘eager to get going’. The convention industry has been dormant for months as organizers were forced to cancel or postpone events due to the spread of COVID-19.

While events will be starting back up, it will still be quite some time before conferences take place in the higher numbers that Las Vegas is used to on a regular basis.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.