2020 has been a rough year for the gambling and hospitality industries. The past few months have seemed only to provide brief moments of respite amid stark economic uncertainty.
In the latest episode of this trend, Las Vegas’ The Mirage Hotel and Casino has just announced it will, in the coming days, roll out a new program that will see the entire property – situated right on the Vegas Strip – closed during the middle of the week.
The Detailed Announcement
Communicating this development via a website post on Monday, December 21, the casino’s management said that it would only be accepting weekend reservations when this new decision takes effect. In explaining further, the world-famous hospitality chain announced that all of the lodgings and attractions (such as the resort’s sports bar, dolphin habitat, and restaurants) would be closed from Monday to Wednesday every week. The property will spring back to life every week, from noon on Thursdays until noon on Mondays. Even the famous volcano located out front on the property will not operate during the closed hours.
Surprisingly, the same portion of the resort’s website that stipulates the new hours for other parts of the property doesn’t say anything about whether the in-house casino will follow suit. Therefore, we can only guess whether or not the gambling floor will also be closed in the middle of every week.
Notably, this new development is slated to take effect from January 4, 2021 – or roughly two weeks after the announcement.
The Reason Behind The Closures
In clarifying the factors that necessitated this crucial business decision, The Mirage’s management cited things like low weekday business levels and strict government restrictions on the number of individuals in group gatherings. As most of us know, both of these unfortunate outcomes are because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In highlighting that the new status quo is expected to be temporary, the resort’s management stated that the schedule is expected to return to normal sometime in February next year.
A City-Wide Trend
From the surface, it might look like a novel solution. However, many other famous hospitality businesses like Mandalay Bay and Park MGM have gone a similar route.
Mandalay Bay, for its part, enforced property-wide midweek closures since November. Park MGM also announced last month that it would only be accepting room guests on the weekends. Other hotels and resorts on the Vegas strip have slowly joined this weekend-only bandwagon, including the famous Planet Hollywood situated on the resort corridor’s east side. Encore at Wynn Las Vegas has stated clearly that its hotel and casino will remain closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until further notice.
Some other establishments have taken even more drastic measures. The Venetian Resort and Palazzo, for instance, have since closed their respective hotel rooms every day of the week until further notice. Similarly, these resorts have cited low demand as the chief reason behind this move.
The Sharp Decline in Air Travel
Las Vegas’s tourism, hospitality, and gambling industries are fuelled by air travel. Therefore, the recent downturn in flights has severely choked these industries. Fewer people are visiting the city than ever before, and these three sectors are bearing the burden of this downturn.
Occupancy rates at Vegas hotels have slid to just 38.5%, the lowest point in more than a decade. Hopefully, with the virus under control in the coming months, things can return to normal.