- MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts said they were planning to deploy rapid COVID-19 testing as a step toward returning conventions and meetings safely.
- The two companies made the announcements on the same day Gov. Steve Sisolak allowed the reintroduction of small-scale conventions.
- The potential success of the MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts plans will go a long way in helping Las Vegas’ hotel and convention industry recover.
- Las Vegas Sands declared that it is ready to start conventions again.
Two or more Las Vegas casino operators are turning to rapid COVID-19 testing as a step toward bringing back conventions and meetings.
On Tuesday, MGM Resorts International unveiled its fresh Convene with Confidence plan that aims to safely reintroduce events to the US properties belonging to the company. MGM Resorts intends to use rapid, on-site COVID-19 testing and other tools to achieve this.
Wynn Resorts Ltd. Followed suit the same day, saying it would start using rapid COVID-19 tests later in the year.
The company announcements came on the day Gov. Steve Sisolak allowed the state’s venues to reintroduce small-scale conventions. Event organizers can apply to host up to 1,000 attendees, but the people must be separated into groups of no more than 250 at a time in banquet halls and other similar areas.
If the two companies’ plans succeed, they will play a major role in the recovery of Las Vegas’ hotel and convention industry.
Founding partner of The Strategy Organization Josh Swissman said group business means everything for every operator on the Strip. He added that the operators have put a lot of time and energy into “growing their convention and group business” over the past decade. All that “literally went down to zero,” said Swissman.
MGM’s plan will provide virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. The option to employ rapid testing and touchless kiosks to screen guests before they enter a venue will be applicable for in-person meetings.
MGM president of commercial and growth Atif Rafiq said the company and others were trying to analyze each resort experience and service they provide to find a way forward.
Similar technology was employed during the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs in Toronto and Edmonton, which ended Monday with no reported COVID-19 cases.
Swissman believes this validates the system, which means it can work for MGM Resorts.
In a statement, Wynn Resorts said Tuesday that it plans to open a lab inside the Wynn Convention Center expansion later in the year. The lab would handle thousands of rapid coronavirus tests daily at a cheap rate.
The company disclosed that it has been collaborating with the University Medical Center, Georgetown University, and prominent labs in New York and California to study rapid testing technology that can run thousands of COVID-19 tests in a few hours with more than 99% accuracy.
The company said the rapid testing technology would allow it to reintroduce “entertainment, experiences, nightlife, and conventions” that it is popular for.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. said it is ready to bring back conventions.
Las Vegas has experienced a construction boom in recent years aimed at expanding convention opportunities.