Added in Gaming Business on April 24, 2020 by Jim Murphy

Yesterday we reported on the Treasure Island Las Vegas announcing a May 15 planned re-opening date. Their website gave this announcement highlighted in yellow no less:

By order of Nevada Governor’s office, Treasure Island – TI is currently closed, and will reopen on May 15, 2020 (subject to change).

Treasure Island is owned by Phil Ruffin who also purchased Circus Circus last year. Not surprisingly, Circus Circus has an identical announcement on their website.

It turns out the story really isn’t as controversial as many in the media are making it out to be. A number of other Las Vegas properties are also accepting May reservations including MGM Resorts (May 1), Caesars Entertainment (May 15), Boyd Gaming (May 15), Stations Casinos (May 15). Caesars spokesman Rich Broome spelled out the logic behind getting ahead of the game by opening up reservations:

“When we are allowed to reopen, we want to have reservations on the book. We will reopen when allowed to do so by Governor Sisolak. We will continue to adjust our reservations accordingly.”

Boyd company spokesman David Strow offered a more succinct take saying that the May 15 re-opening date is “tentative and subject to change, depending on what future guidance we receive from the state.”

Las Vegas Sands’ Strip properties–The Venetian and Palazzo–are currently not accepting reservations.

In advance of re-opening, all of the major Strip gaming companies are making a big deal about announcing their revised cleaning measures. MGM Resorts’ Acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle appeared in a video released Tuesday saying that the company’s properties would be ‘operating differently’ upon re-opening. Later in the week, the MGM PR department gave some more information on the plan suggesting that it may include “restrictions on the number of seats per table game, slot machine spacing, temperature checks, mask protection as well as other measures at our restaurants and entertainment venues to enforce social distancing measures.”

Las Vegas Sands talked about their health and cleaning guidelines in their quarterly earnings call on Wednesday. Sands President and COO Robert Goldstein suggested that his company would emulate many of the procedures on display in Hong Kong as their businesses begin to reopen:

“(In their restaurants), you sit a certain 5-10 feet apart, you get temp check coming in, you wear gloves, you wear masks. I envision a similar environment here in Las Vegas.”

“Although it’s going to take some time and some comfort to get acclimated. I think it’s going to happen. The rooms will be clean beyond clean, (with) the wiping down of surfaces, social distancing.”

We talked about Wynn Resorts’ extensive plans for cleaning and social distancing in a previous post.

This is all just good business according to Jonathan Day, an associate professor of hospitality and tourism management at Purdue University:

“As travel starts to return, many travelers will be anxious and uncertain about leaving home. Hoteliers need to show people that they are safe and being cared for by their hosts. … When people feel safe, they’ll start traveling again.”

About the Author

Jim Murphy

For more than 25 years, Jim Murphy has written extensively on gambling theory and practice. Jim Murphy has been quoted in media from the Wall Street Journal to REASON Magazine. Murphy worked as a radio and podcasting host broadcasting to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice.

April 23, 2020

Treasure Island Las Vegas Plans To Re-Open May 15

April 25, 2020

MGM Resorts Las Vegas Cancels All Reservations Through June 1