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12 major Las Vegas hotel-casinos remain dark indefinitely

Updated August 17, 2020 - 8:21 pm

Las Vegas is known for being a city that never sleeps, but several of its properties have had their lights turned off for nearly five months.

A total of 12 properties owned by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Inc., Red Rock Resorts Inc. and Boyd Gaming Corp. have yet to reopen in Las Vegas, as occupancy rates hover as low as 30 percent on weekdays.

In second-quarter earnings calls, the executives of the companies revealed that the future of the properties remains uncertain.

Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Palms

Red Rock — parent company to Station Casinos — has yet to reopen four Southern Nevada properties: Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho and the Strip-adjacent Palms.

In an Aug. 4 call with investors, Chief Financial Officer Stephen Cootey said the reopenings hinge on the performance of Red Rock’s open properties and the overall health of the economy.

Chairman and CEO Frank Fertitta III said the company doesn’t know “if or when” it will reopen any of its closed properties, as Red Rock has been able to move revenue from the closed properties to its reopened casinos.

“We think it’s too early to make that decision at this time,” he said on the call. “So far, we are very pleased with the results that we have had.”

Fertitta said that Red Rock is sticking to its locals-focused properties, the bread and butter of the company.

“If you take the six properties that we have opened today, five of those are all in the suburbs with growing population off of major interstates,” Fertitta said. “They were (purposefully) built, you know, for the local business.”

A Red Rock spokesman declined to provide more comment.

According to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, average occupancy rates for Red Rock Resort Inc. between April and June were 54 percent, compared with 90 percent the same period last year.

Eastside Cannery, Main Street Station, Eldorado Casino

Boyd Gaming has reopened all but three of its 29 properties: the Eastside Cannery, Main Street Station and Eldorado Casino. All three are in Southern Nevada.

During a second-quarter earnings call on July 28, CEO Keith Smith said the company has no plans to reopen the casinos, citing the challenging operational environment in Las Vegas.

“Once the demand starts to pick up, both downtown as well as around the two smaller properties, that’s when you’d see us reopen those. We don’t have any dates right now,” Smith said on the call.

Smith didn’t reveal occupancy rates during an earnings call late last month, but he said the company is operating at about 50 percent capacity.

“That’s generally all we need weekdays,” Smith said. “It’s weekends where we feel the pinch a little bit where we can use more capacity and pick up more demand. But as we have focused on a higher-worth customer right now, the capacity that we have is suiting; it’s just fine.”

A Boyd spokesperson declined to provide additional comment.

The Cromwell, Planet Hollywood Resort, Rio, The Linq

The Cromwell, Planet Hollywood Resort and the Rio remain closed. The Linq Hotel, another Caesars Entertainment property, doesn’t yet allow room reservations.

CEO Tom Reeg told investors Aug. 6 that Las Vegas occupancy rates were hovering around 50 percent midweek and in the high 70s on weekends.

He said every open property has more money coming in than going out, and the company wants to keep it that way.

Reeg said Caesars still plans to sell at least one Strip asset in the next 12 to 18 months. It’s unclear if it will be one of the three that has yet to reopen.

Representatives for the company did not respond to a request for comment.

Park MGM

MGM Resorts has yet to reopen Park MGM, which includes the NoMad hotel. Its sister property, the Mirage, is set to reopen Aug. 27.

In a July 30 earnings call, CEO Bill Hornbuckle said all of the company’s reopened properties are cash flow positive, with the exception of Mandalay Bay. He added that occupancy rates tend to hover in the 30s midweek and in the 50s on weekends.

“We thought it was important to keep the brands alive (by reopening properties) and keep people motivated and excited to come to Las Vegas,” Hornbuckle said during the call.

Hornbuckle did not say why Park MGM is among the last to reopen, and representatives for the company declined to provide further comment.

This story has been updated to reflect the Aug. 14 announcement of the Mirage reopening.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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