Las Vegas has re-opened and Mims offers advice for the east coast casinos based on what he has seen
I took time this weekend to follow up on the casino openings in Las Vegas. I was somewhat surprised at what I discovered. Let me share my findings.
There was a tremendous demand for gaming out west. Some of the downtown casinos had crowds that resembled the weekend on Thursday night! The downtown crowds are primarily the locals that live in Vegas. Marketing teams should be looking to bring patrons back to property based on proximity.
Hotel occupancy is down because there are no business travelers or conventions right now. This business will not return until the last quarter of 2020. The largest trade and convention show in Las Vegas is CES. CES has already announced that they will meet in January 2021, with modifications around space and social distancing.
The CDC numbers indicate that, in Nevada, the number of reported cases of coronavirus is increasing. Right now, all the guidelines set, such as guests wearing masks, are optional. So, while the employees are wearing masks, the players aren’t because it’s not mandated. If Nevada continues to trend up with positive testing, the guest should not have the option of wearing the mask – it should be required. My mask protects you and your mask protects me – please wear a mask!
Since capacity is capped at 50%, the casino must have a club mentality. If the capacity of a building or room is 2,000 people, a headcount should be done to make sure that number is not exceeded. As people leave others may enter.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board placed limits on restaurant and elevator occupants. This appeared to be enforced and is a great idea.
The offerings on the casino floor should match popularity with business logistics – this isn’t always the case but is important.
Las Vegas locals returning with such vigor is a good sign for casinos in Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, and New Jersey. I think that regional business will have levels that resemble 50% of a year ago.