December 21, 2020 - 11:50 am
Updated December 21, 2020 - 4:10 pm
The Mirage will open the new year by shutting down totally from Mondays through Thursdays, MGM Resorts International announced Monday.
The 31-year-old property is closing all of its amenities, restaurants and attractions from noon Mondays through noon Thursdays. The hotel will remain fully open through the weekends.
The changes will remain in effect through February as the company monitors it’s COVID-damaged business. The famous Strip-side volcano will also be inactive on those closed days.
“With weekday business levels remaining low due to COVID-19 and the restrictions on group gatherings, we have made the decision to temporarily close The Mirage. This closure will include the casino, hotel and restaurants, in addition to all other amenities,” the company said in a statement. “While we do not currently expect the mid-week closure to remain in effect past February, we will continue evaluating how long The Mirage’s midweek hotel closure will remain in effect.”
Other properties have also cited low demand in adjusting their hours or operations since reopening from March’s sweeping shutdown.
Encore implemented its own weekends-only operations beginning in October. Planet Hollywood Resort reopened Oct. 8 in a limited capacity, with casino floors open seven days a week but reservations limited from Thursdays to Sundays.
Mirage is simply following their lead, according to UNLV hospitality professor Amanda Belarmino. Business and convention travel is nonexistent — which fuels midweek bookings in normal times, and leisure travel demand is limited.
“Remaining open on weekends allows the property to offer some employment to its employees and mitigate some of the losses from this year,” she said. “Hopefully, this will be for a limited time while the vaccines continue to be administered.”
Business travel during the week is particularly important for “big-box 3,000-room hotels” like Mirage, adds Nehme Abouzeid, president of LaunchVegas LLC consulting group.
“We’re usually kicking off the year in January with a booming CES show and glowing worldwide media coverage. Instead, we’re shuttering hotels so we don’t hemorrhage more money,” Abouzeid said.
He said the midweek closure was a “sad but understandable” inevitability; It’s expensive to run a hotel, and Las Vegas has many of the world’s largest. Public companies can’t lose money and run without end, he said.
“Not only do we have low demand, but we have public health rules prohibiting large groups from even meeting. What do you expect corporations to do?” Abouzeid said.
Along with Mandalay Bay, Mirage originally closed its hotel towers from Mondays through Thursdays beginning Nov. 30 through the end of December. Affected are such popular attractions as Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden, Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak and The Still brewpub.
The Mirage reopened Aug. 27, after the statewide pandemic-enforced shutdown of hotel-casinos.