Las Vegas Is Going Dark: All of Nevada’s Hotel-Casinos & Nonessential Businesses Are Closed Until Further Notice

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In an unprecedented step of emergency measures Nevada’s Governor has announced that effective March 17th all nonessential businesses in Nevada are to be closed, resulting in Las Vegas’ first ever shut down.

This includes Hotel-Casinos that will be closed for a minimum of 30 days, as well as their buffets and restaurants until further notice.

Las Vegas since it’s inception has pretty much maintained a 24/7-365 operation with some disturbances such as union strikes and even winter storms along the way but a complete shutdown is unprecedented and shows how hard the times are.

Fox 5 Las Vegas reported that all major casinos are in the process of winding down operations and clearing their fresh food supplies by donating to local food banks.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all nonessential businesses in Nevada to close. Casinos and gaming operations are included in the order, to be closed by midnight Tuesday.

This includes every casino and gaming operation in the state of Nevada.

While MGM Resorts and other Las Vegas properties announced they would temporarily suspend operations amid the coronavirus pandemic, others said Monday they would remain open.

MGM Resorts announced March 15 its Las Vegas properties would temporarily close to help halt the spread of COVID-19. Operations would be suspended Tuesday, March 17 until further notice. This includes Bellagio, CityCenter, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, New York-New York, Park MGM and T-Mobile Arena.

The iconic Fountains of Bellagio will also temporarily pause while the Bellagio is closed due to coronavirus.

The world famous show, which typically runs daily in the afternoons and evenings, will be temporarily suspended, a spokesman for MGM Resorts confirmed Tuesday.

When asked about the properties’ food supplies, MGM said they were coordinating with local food banks to quickly donate all food to the community.

It seems the state government assumed operators of local hotels and casinos would be reasonable but instead very few casinos announced closures.

It didn’t tae the governor too long to announce a complete shutdown and according to the LA Times he wasn’t too happy with the responses he had or is expecting.

… Gambling ventures will be shuttered for 30 days, said Sisolak, who also ordered that other nonessential businesses, including bars and restaurants, will be forced to close as of noon Wednesday. Businesses such as hospitals, gas stations and grocery stores will remain open. Restaurants and bars that serve food will have to close or transition to delivery and takeout only.

“Today additional steps must be taken to slow the spread of the virus in our state,” the governor said.

Showing flashes of anger at times, Sisolak spoke of the need to protect medical professionals and first responders to the coronavirus pandemic. “You’re being told not to go out,” he said, and then repeated: “You’re being told not to go out. You owe it to them to listen to that directive.

“I don’t know if I can make this any clearer, the people that are looking for a loophole here,” he said before repeating that every casino and gambling machine in the state must be turned off by midnight. …

Both MGM & Caesars Entertainment the two largest operators in Las Vegas just sent out an email to their customers.

MGM Hotels & Resorts FAQ can be found here.

The Email from CEO Jim Murren says:

… We have made the safety of our employees and our guests our top priority by voluntarily closing our properties in Las Vegas on March 17. As concerns continued to mount in regional locations, we announced the closure of all our properties nationwide. We are mindful that even while we are prioritizing safety, these actions put the economic well-being of people and communities at risk. To alleviate impact, we are taking actions like extending health benefits for those who are on our health plans and impacted by layoffs or furloughs, through June 30. …

Our company has been tested before, and our spirit – while dampened during these difficult days– is strong. Although the experiences of our past have been radically different from those of today, one consistent lesson threads through them all: we must care for and have faith in one another. If we do, we will emerge stronger together. …

Indeed Jim Murren was already CEO when Las Vegas went though it’s previous dark days in the global financial crisis of 2008/2009. It was the period when MGM was heavily invested in City Center and almost went under but management and majority owners of MGM wrestled the company back to life.

Instead of the very personal message from MGM, their competitor Caesars sent out a bare bones and sterile message to customers:

Dear Caesars Rewards Member,

For the well-being of our valued guests and team members, all Caesars Entertainment properties in the state of Nevada will be closing temporarily.

Earlier today, the Governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak ordered all Nevada casinos to suspend gambling and hotel operations through April 16th, 2020, as a precautionary measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:

  • Las Vegas: Harrah’s Las Vegas, Rio, Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Flamingo, Linq, Paris, Cromwell, and Planet Hollywood
  • Lake Tahoe: Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harveys Lake Tahoe
  • Laughlin: Harrah’s Laughlin
  • Reno: Harrah’s Reno

All hotel reservations from Wednesday, March 18 – Thursday, April 16, 2020 will be cancelled. Any prepayments will be refunded within the next few days. Please visit us online at: caesars.com/updates for more information.

Caesars Entertainment will monitor the evolving situation and work with our local officials on a confirmed reopening date.

Thank you for your continued loyalty and we look forward to serving you in the near future. Our team wishes you stay safe and well during this time.

Something has always rubbed me the wrong way with CET, I just don’t get warm with their hotels and customer service approach. That being said they also didn’t announce any voluntary closures that I’m aware of until the government mandated it. Only MGM and Wynn did so.

Conclusion

Based on the governors announcement essential businesses such as hospitals, gas stations and grocery stores will remain open. Restaurants and bars that serve food will have to close or transition to delivery and takeout only.

I really like Las Vegas and the hospitality given by the people living and working in the city. While this situation will have a severe impact on many if not most parts of the economy the hospitality industries are always hit the hardest both because the first thing that people cut are pleasure and business trips and the income in the industry isn’t that high that most will have a fortune stacked away from previous years of employment. Let’s support Las Vegas as soon as it comes back to life!

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