- Wynn Resorts announced Tuesday it is cutting back operating hours at Encore to four days a week.
- The resort will now be open from Thursdays and close on Mondays at noon due to low demand.
- Experts say Encore’s decision to scale down operations is an indicator that Las Vegas resorts are grappling without the good business they usually enjoy.
- Apart from Encore, the Palazzo and Planet Hollywood have also reduced operating hours after the pandemic shutdown.
Citing dampened demand, Wynn Resorts announced Tuesday it is reducing the operating schedule at Encore to four days a week.
Instead of continuing to operate on an around-the-clock basis, the resort will run Thursdays through Mondays. It will close at noon on Mondays. This trend will continue “indefinitely until consumer demand for Las Vegas increases,” the company said.
The hotel, casino restaurants, and amenities at Encore will open each Thursday at 2 pm. Hotel guests at the resort will check out by noon on Mondays.
The cut in operating hours also comes with a shift of its poker room to Wynn Las Vegas starting Monday. It will be open seven days a week on the casino floor near Wynn’s self-parking garage. The company also announced that every other business at Encore will run Thursdays through Sundays.
Encore’s decision to scale back operating hours is a signal that Las Vegas resorts are grappling without the business travel they typically get during the workweek, and it might indicate things to come for other hotel-casinos in the city, hospitality industry experts say.
In February, Las Vegas received 3.3 million tourists, including 760,300 conventioners, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority revealed. However, the city only saw 1.5 million and zero conventiongoers in August.
Also, about 83% of the city’s hotel rooms got filled midweek during February, compared to just 34% in August.
Gaming win was down 39.19% on the Strip during August compared with the same time in 2019, according to Gaming Control Board data.
Experience Strategy Associates hospitality consulting group CEO Greg Chase said properties are probably crossing a certain threshold at which the revenue they are generating from weekend travel can’t sustain normal operations.
Encore isn’t the only Strip resort to reopen since the pandemic closure and then scale down its operations. The hotel tower at Palazzo stopped taking weekday reservations on July 21, though its casino floor, shops, and restaurants remain unaffected.
On October 8, Planet Hollywood reopened in a limited capacity, with casino floors open seven days a week but limited reservations Thursdays through Sundays.
Chase said that hotel-casinos are “adapting their business to what” they can get, and cutting back operating hours is the first step in offsetting the high costs of running the properties “with the lower revenue they are generating.”
Resorts are now forced to depend on a weekend vacation customer base that is traveling less because of COVID-19 restrictions and staying fewer days when they do travel, LaunchVegas LLC consulting group president and former executive with Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp. Nehme Abouzeid said.
He added that gaming properties will do everything possible to ensure they remain in business during the pandemic, including reducing hours.