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New Layoffs, Empty Rooms & Billion Dollar Losses: Las Vegas Is In Huge Trouble!

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Vegas Is In Huge Trouble
The view from my room at Paris Las Vegas a few days ago.

Vegas Is In Huge Trouble

When Las Vegas reopened at the beginning of June many people had high hopes. The virus numbers had never grown to a high level here and the hope was that pent-up demand would be enough to keep the casinos afloat. Fast forward a couple of months later and the picture isn’t quite as positive. Las Vegas is in huge trouble.

To start, Nevada is in the middle of an outbreak of COVID-19. This post isn’t about the virus so I won’t spend too much time talking about this, however the 7 day moving averages for new cases and deaths are spiking. We also have had our two largest death days this week. It seems COVID-19 is finally here and that’s just the start of the bad news.

Wynn Las Vegas Furloughs & Limited Operations

Due to the overall slow recovery a number of businesses are making huge adjustments (layoffs/furloughs). Wynn Resorts just announced furloughs of employees who had already returned back to work plus the shutdown of some midweek operations. “Although we retained all of our people while we were closed, we now know how challenged business volumes in Las Vegas are and are staffing to the significantly reduced demand,” spokesman Michael Weaver said.

As part of the announcement they will close one of their spas midweek along with many restaurants. This comes after Venetian/Palazzo announced that the Palazzo tower would be closed midweek. It’s clear these higher end casinos simply aren’t drawing in people midweek where the conferences used to fill up the rooms and the restaurants.

Circus Circus Hurting Too

But the problems aren’t just the on the high end. Circus Circus (which was recently sold to Phil Ruffin), has announced the permanent firing of 252 employees as of September 1. Of the layoffs announced most of them are dealers and guest room attendants. With less hotel rooms to clean and less people on the floor that makes sense, but it’s a sad reality.

Las Vegas Sands Loses A Billion Dollars

And even sadder is what Las Vegas Sands announced this week. As mentioned before they are closing their Palazzo Tower midweek, but we have learned they are losing SO MUCH MONEY! And the main reason for that is the lack of conventions. Along with the many tourists who are staying home, just about 100% of the conventions that keep Vegas afloat have been cancelled.

Because of that Las Vegas Sands lost a staggering $985 million in the second quarter with revenues down a whopping 97.1% from last year. The good news is that the company seems to be in good enough financial standing to survive this. “We remain optimistic about an eventual recovery of travel and tourism spending across our markets, as well as our future growth prospects. We are fortunate that our financial strength will enable us to continue to execute our previously announced capital expenditure programs in both Macao and Singapore, while continuing to pursue growth opportunities in new markets.”

Allegiant Stadium Brings Hope

While the news is certainly bad for Las Vegas and the many people who rely on tourism for their livelihoods, there are some projects that are about to be finished. Resorts World & Circa Resort Downtown continue their construction and Allegiant Stadium is just days away from being finished! Hopefully these new projects along with real pent-up demand will get people to come back in 2021 and beyond.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Las Vegas is in a lot of trouble and the casino executives know it. I’ve walked the Strip quite a few times filming various tours for our YouTube channel and can say it feels very different. People ask what Vegas is like right now and it ranges from feeling normal one second to feeling like a completely different place the next. People are apprehensive, but those who have come did so to have fun and it shows.

Vegas Is In Huge Trouble
Circa Resort is opening partially in October. It’s nice to see some new properties coming despite the recent troubles.

Right now there is uncertainty when it comes to various still closed properties and those who have returned to work now have to fear they will be furloughed or laid off. Las Vegas has carved out an image for itself that I think/hope will stand the test of time. My hope is the love of Vegas will draw people back when it’s safe. In the mean time we need to survive and hope these companies that own the massive casinos can stay afloat.

Vegas Is In Huge Trouble – Bottom Line

I’ll continue to head out to document what Vegas is like right now on our YouTube channel and invite you to subscribe to come along for the journey. In the mean time things will continue to go badly for awhile until we get the virus under control here and until tourists and conventions alike return. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

What do you think? Will Vegas be able to easily recover in 2021 and beyond or will this recovery take much longer?

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

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  1. Think of what it would be like if you were the preacher at a funeral trying to convince the members to support the town’s prostitutes well just for their children and the local economy…….it’s areal hard sell…….

  2. So, with bookings and revenues down so drastically, the big corporate casino-resort operators are doing all they can to make staying in Las Vegas more attractive, right? Starting with eliminating those outrageously deceptive and scammy “resort fees”, right?

    Nope. Those ridiculous “resort fees” are still being charged, as aggressively as ever.

    Corporate greed is continuing to kill Las Vegas as a tourist destination.

  3. most people I know including myself don’t want to experience the misery of flying while having to wear a face mask while ticketing, going through security, waiting to board, then wearing it on the airplane ,then wearing it in the cab, then wearing it in the casino… and on and on and on, so the powers that be have succeeded in destroying the economy and spreading unwarranted fear amongst the populations , truly we are witnessing the world literally losing their ability to reason,all over a virus, many citizens lives and livelihoods are being destroyed, all on the recommendation of a select few puppetmasters

  4. I think as long as masks are required to travel, enter hotels, etc. that the majority of people will see travel to places like Las Vegas as either a threat to their life that isn’t worth it or hassle to wear a mask in order to travel. It is simply not the same experience and isn’t fun anymore. Most people fall into one of 3 groups. “activist” they are pro-mask shaming others like “put on your mask so we don’t all die”. “the violated” who feel that wearing a mask is a waste of time, have medical issues wearing masks or feel their freedom has been impacted so they are anti-mask. And “victims”, they hate the mask but wear them as required but try to avoid situations where they have to wear a mask. I’ll bet that a big majority of folks that fall into the “the violated” group are older retired adults with plenty of gambling money so that could have a big impact on Las Vegas and more so at local casinos all over the country. The “activist” mask folks will have to overcome their fear of death to go to Las Vegas so that could be an issue and doesn’t sound like it’s worth the stress to them. The “victims” might go but only if they can drive and stay away from places the really enforce the rules. I’m afraid that Las Vegas will not even begin to recover until mid 2021 and just guessing that 2022 won’t be 100%. This winter will be a disaster once a new flu season kicks in to add to Covid19 concerns. I hope I’m wrong.

  5. Hey Carl P. take it easy on the gambling. People will do what makes them happy, just because You hate gambling doesn’t mean everybody has to. Gambling has been around since before the death of Christ in fact the Romans shot dice to see who was going to get his cape. I’m as you can tell am a gambler I can honestly say I very much enjoy it, sometimes i win sometimes I lose I accept that. That doesn’t mean I hate the casino owners or executives it’s My choice to gamble their just offering a place to legally do it, and by the way if You hate gambling that much then why are you reading this post. Go find something else to read.

  6. This isn’t the 60s where the gamblers kept Vegas Alive. The younger crowd spends millions at pool parties and as long as they continue to close Vegas will drown with empty rooms and limited revenue.

  7. I’ve visited Las Vegas annually for the past 15+ years (twice per year every coupe of years). I’m not a BIG gambler (maybe $50/day?), but spend a fair amount of time and $$$ in the restaurants, attractions, and local area. I usually rent a car and stay on an average of 10 days or so. In short, I’m not a VIP, nor do I have status, but I’ve been fairly loyal to the location.

    I’ve been invited to a group get-together in September and have been researching accommodations & such on & off for the past two weeks. I have found that airline flights are incredibly affordable and rental car pricing is reduced a bit from the past couple of years. An added bonus, of course, is the reinstatement of complimentary self-parking. Both are appreciated.

    When it comes to the hotels, however, things seem to be at least as expensive as they were in high season last year, if not higher! Weekday room rates at the mid-priced hotels (Bally’s, Harrah’s, etc)are $59.00 or so, but the resort fees & taxes increase the total charge per night to well over $100.00. Weekend rates are at least double, if not triple that amount. They’er hidden until the last minute, of course, but anyone who has been to Vegas in the last 7 years knows they’re just waiting to become added to the advertised rate.

    Then, there are the other hidden taxes and fees that have been added in the past couple of years… the “service” fee, beverage “tax”, FLV “tax” (neither of which is an actual government tax, of course). Who knows how much these added charges will be… they’re not published anywhere until you get the bill/check at the end of your meal or purchase.

    If the resort owners really wanted to attract greater numbers and invigorate their bottom line, I would recommend that they look at all of the petty “nickle & dime” charges and “resort fees”, and possibly waive or eliminate them until a certain point (such as December 31, 2021 if not later).

    On another topic: Thank you for all you do to keep us informed. Your efforts are appreciated!

    • Thanks for the kind words! I think the casinos in Vegas are heavily targeting members with waived resort fees and/or comp room offers, but you’re right the public rates aren’t often that great. I am seeing cheaper than normal prices at the high-end casinos, but low-end places tend not to be a great value once the resort fee is factored in.

  8. Heading there this weekend for a vacation, hoping to find some fun things open to replace the shows that are closed. Any suggestions?

    • Pools are great and the new Bellagio Conservatory display is worth checking out too. Definitely take in the Strip at night too since it feels a bit different without the crowds. Oh and have fun!

  9. With cases rising definitely not going in October. 2nd one cancelled for this year. Will just see what next year brings…

  10. I wonder if Sheldon regrets what he did to online gambling as that would be making some money during times like this when people want to stay at home and not go to the casinos.

  11. @Carl – it isn’t just the greed of the casino owners – as you know LV is so dependent on gaming and tourism that if the casinos didn’t open the unemployment rate would be double what it is now. BTW, the casino companies are all losing money and you could make an argument keeping the casinos closed and laying off more staff would have actually SAVED them money.

    Also, don’t carry your personal bias against gaming (which many, myself included, do responsibly) as the reason for hating on casinos (which is obvious in your post). The trick, like with anything, is not to be addicted and manage it. People get addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, spending, etc so not only gaming. Can’t blame gaming for people’s addiction – sorry just can’t.

    Now back to the original comments in the blog – I agree LV is in for a long, slow rebound. They will come back but likely not until 2022. As for me, I’m long time Diamond Plus w Caesars and Gold w MLife. I have a trip scheduled to LV in late September but am almost certain to cancel it. Room was comped so no cost to cancel and used airline miles I can get redeposited. I’m already north of requalifying for Diamond Plus in 2021 (status was extended I know but this let’s me get $100 dinner comp and other benefits of actually re-earning the status) and Mlife extended my status through 2021 so no reason to go this fall. I’ll save my money and make 3-4 trips to LV in 2021 (instead of typically 2-3) which will allow the virus to be hopefully better under control and that will also let me count all my points toward 2022 status. I will take short trips (live in NC) to AC, Baltimore and Harrahs Cherokee to keep my gambling desire met but LV will be waiting until 2021 for me.

  12. It is very sad that the greed of the casino owners pushed to have openings WAY too soon and that people have died as a result. It is also sad about regular people losing their jobs and I hope they will find new employment somewhere that is not dependent on Gambling. It is a shame for all the regular folks.

    That said, I hope every casino owner and executive loses their shirt and they all go broke and shut all the casinos. Gambling sucks. It destroys lives and relationships. It destroyed my last marriage due to my spouse being an inveterate secret gambler. Millions of people’s lives have been ruined by gambling. The house always wins and the whole thing is awful.


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