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Main Street Station finally has reopening date

Updated August 9, 2021 - 6:29 pm

Main Street Station will welcome back guests for the first time since March 2020, thanks to growing demand downtown, Boyd Gaming Corp. announced Monday.

The Victorian-themed hotel-casino will open for business at 6 a.m. Sept. 8, nearly 18 months after it closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled to announce the reopening of Main Street Station, and to welcome back our team members and guests who have been eagerly awaiting our return,” said Steve Thompson, Boyd Gaming executive vice president of operations. “We are counting the days until Sept. 8, when Boyd Gaming’s complete trifecta of Downtown Las Vegas properties — California (Hotel), Fremont and Main Street Station — will once again be fully open and ready to welcome our guests.”

Main Street will reopen as a 24/7 property, though its two restaurants will open with limited hours. Triple 7 Restaurant and Microbrewery will be open 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Monday, and Garden Court buffet will open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily for brunch and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday for dinner.

Boyd executives have said demand would dictate the timeline for both of its yet-to-reopen properties, Main Street and Eastside Cannery. The time has arrived for Main Street, as Boyd has been “running very busy” at the neighboring California and Fremont hotels, spokesman David Strow said Monday.

Boyd’s reported downtown revenue totals bear that out: roughly doubling from $21.4 million over the first three months of the year to $38.8 million over the next three months. Though second-quarter revenues were down 40 percent from the same time in 2019, the latter stretch was with all three properties up and running.

Strow said the company has “seen good business trends” at its other Boulder Highway property, Sam’s Town, “but we’re not yet at a point where we need to open up a second property on the Boulder Strip.”

The decision to reopen Main Street was made based on demand in general, rather than a specific customer base, Strow said. Still, company executives have blamed the pandemic’s detrimental impacts on Hawaiian travel, historically a key customer base for its downtown properties.

Boyd will resume its Hawaiian charter flights program with three flights a week beginning Sept. 3, Strow said.

“Main Street’s future is all about downtown business and the Hawaiian business returning, and Eastside will just depend on volumes,” Boyd President and CEO Keith Smith said on a July 27 earnings call.

Hawaiian travel restrictions eased last month to allow any fully vaccinated U.S. domestic traveler to skip pre-travel COVID-19 testing or quarantine requirements.

A mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling into, out of or within Hawaii that began last spring was reduced to 10 days in December. Hawaii began allowing mainland travelers to bypass quarantine restrictions in October if able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Hawaiian Airlines resumed nonstop flights to McCarran International Airport late last year and its thrice-a-week flights from Maui to Las Vegas in the spring, according to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Nearly 44 percent fewer Hawaiian Airlines passengers flew in or out of McCarran during the first six months of this year (142,044) than during the same stretch two years ago (254,627), according to airport statistics. Still, passenger counts in June slightly surpassed June 2019, 45,684 and 44,044, respectively. And June’s count was about 15,000 higher than May’s count.

The company has catered toward Hawaiian visitors for decades, particularly at the Cal and Main Street, through promotions, food, entertainment and “just recognizing them and saying ‘Hello’ to them and calling them out and making them feel special,” said Josh Swissman, founding partner at The Strategy Organization consulting firm.

“Boyd has done that better than anybody else has in the Vegas marketplace, and they continue to be rewarded for that,” Swissman said last week.

UNLV hospitality professor Amanda Belarmino said it was great to see casinos continue to reopen.

“Main Street Station is a landmark of Downtown Las Vegas, and its re-opening is great for both visitors and locals,” she said. “The date for reopening is well suited to take advantage of fall travel and conventions. Hopefully, as vaccination rates continue to increase, travel will be able to continue to rebound.”

The property has nearly 27,000 square feet of casino floor space and more than 2,500 square feet of meeting and event space.

Main Street is hiring and taking reservations, Boyd said in the announcement.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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