Caesars sees drop in Asian guests after Las Vegas shooting

Caesars Entertainment’s top executive said his company is seeing a slight downturn in casino play from Asian guests as a result of the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting.

Caesars President and CEO Mark Frissora told a group of investors in New York on Tuesday that it could be three or four months before some players return and that business levels are slowly returning with each passing week after the Oct. 1 shooting.

“It’s fair to say we are cautiously optimistic about the rebound,” Frissora said in response to a question about how he perceives Strip traffic after the shootings. “We think that occupancy rates across the Strip took a little bit of a hit the first day, the first week into the second week, but then every week it seems to change and improve.”

Frissora said the important meetings and conventions business seems to have been unaffected.

“The meeting business itself is solid,” he said. “There hasn’t been any cancellation of meetings that we’ve seen really for the rest of the year.”

He added that casino play by Asian customers has been off, but wasn’t specific about by how much.

“The biggest, I think, from an impact standpoint, that we’ve seen is Asian play has actually been less because people in Asia are very respectful of the deaths that occurred and they believe there should be a period of mourning and they wait for that period of mourning before they’ll return,” Frissora said. “I don’t want to say that I know exactly what Asians think is a period of mourning that’s appropriate, but I’ve heard that it’s sometimes a period of three months, four months, in that range.”

Caesars chief financial officer Eric Hession added that the incident isn’t changing any of the company’s planned initiatives outlined in Tuesday’s 90-minute presentation.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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