Casino

The Mirage to Cease Mid-Week Casino, Other Operations from Jan. 4


The Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas will cease all mid-week operations beginning early next month, a spokesperson for property operator MGM Resorts International announced on Monday.

The Mirage will be closed Monday through Wednesday starting January 4 due to decreased visitation amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The property previously closed its hotel mid-week but extended the closure to its casino floor, restaurants and other facilities. Property officials do not expect the reduced operations to be extended beyond February, it also became known.

However, MGM said in a statement Monday that it will continue to evaluate “how long the Mirage’s mid-week closure will remain in effect.”

The Mirage is not the only Las Vegas Strip property with limited operations due to the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on the gaming and hospitality industries. Planet Hollywood, Park MGM, and Encore are a handful of the other Strip resorts to have implemented mid-week closures. However, these impact only their hotel operations.

Business on the Strip has been modest since mid-2020 when casinos were allowed to reopen after a three-month state-mandated closure, and has slowed significantly in the past weeks as international tourism is very much non-existent this holiday season.

Experts say other resorts could follow the Mirage’s suit if visit numbers do not improve soon.

Gov. Sisolak Extends Restrictions

Late last month, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak introduced further restrictions to the ones that casinos and other non-essential businesses were already forced to comply with as the state has been grappling with a new surge of Covid-19 cases.

The new measures were expected to remain in place for at least three weeks, but as these three weeks passed, Gov. Sisolak announced last week that they would be extended through at least mid-January.

The state’s hotel-casino resorts must operate at 25% capacity, down from the 50% occupancy limitations that were implemented in June when the properties began resuming operations.

In addition, Gov. Sisolak limited the size of event gatherings, including at resort showrooms and churches, to 50 attendees, down from a maximum of 250 attendees. This put further strain on Nevada’s convention industry, which had just begun showing some signs of recovery with the previous 250-person cap.

Under current restrictions, restaurants and bars must also operate at 25% capacity and are not allowed to offer tables for more than four people. Walk-in dining is also banned.

Gov. Sisolak warned Nevada’s casino operators that the full force of state gambling regulators would be behind the enforcement of the new anti-virus measures and that state casinos would “suffer the consequences” if they fail to follow the requirements.

The new restrictions resulted in one highly-anticipated casino opening to be pushed back indefinitely. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, formerly Hard Rock Las Vegas, was set to open doors on January 15, but property officials confirmed earlier this month that they were forced to revise launch plans. They are now reportedly targeting March 1 opening date, but it is to be seen how the Covid-19 situation will unfold and when exactly Virgin Hotels will welcome its first guests.

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