- Wynn Resorts will resume full week 24/7 operations at Encore on April 8.
- Encore has been operating on a ‘weekends only’ schedule since mid-October.
- There is hope that the Las Vegas tourist economy is beginning to rebound.
Another bit of good economic news out of the Las Vegas gaming industry today as Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN) will reopen the hotel and casino at Encore on a full time basis beginning April 8. The property had been operating on a ‘weekend only’ schedule since mid-October due to the tough market conditions in the Nevada tourism and gaming economy.
This is a welcome change from Wynn Resorts–until now, most of their positive news during the past six months had to do with their sports betting platform (WynnBET). In early November, Wynn CEO Matt Maddox correctly predicted that holiday season demand in Las Vegas and Macau would decline from the slight uptick experienced in September. At that point, Wynn’s properties were operating at 30% of normal volume which is bad though not as bad as late Summer when they were languishing between 8% and 10% of pre-COVID business. In September, Wynn Las Vegas unceremoniously closed their ‘re-imagined’ buffet based on a combination of ‘guest feedback’ and lagging demand.
One major problem in the Las Vegas market has been the complete absence of convention business. Weekend hotel occupancy and casino play has been relatively strong since reopening but that hasn’t been enough to compensate for the hit to midweek visitation caused by the closure of the convention trade. Local officials are now guardedly optimistic that conventions will be able to resume later this year.
The company hasn’t said too much about their plans at Encore other than the return to full time status of the hotel and casino. They did say that most of the dining at the Encore will operate on a ‘limited schedule’ as will the spa at the property. The nightclubs/dayclubs at all Nevada casinos will remain closed until at least May 1 per the state’s COVID-19 restriction guidance.
Casinos have a tricky balancing act as the economy slowly rebounds. They need to have amenities available for customers but at the same time they can’t let capacity get too far ahead of demand. They can’t make money if the property–or components therein–are closed but if they open too much too soon they can burn through a lot of cash reserves very quickly.
The Wynn Las Vegas along with the Encore tower 4,748 rooms, 194,000 square feet of casino space, 20 restaurants, two spas, 560,000 square feet of convention space, 160,000 square feet of retail, two showrooms, two nightclubs, a beach club and a 129-acre 18-hole golf course. They’ll require a significant rebound in tourism and gaming before they’re in a position to reopen everything at both properties.
At the time of publication, Ross Everett has a long position in WYNN.