Bruno Mars Pledges $1 Million to MGM Employee Fund

  • Money to go to MGM Employee Emergency Grant Fund and Children's Medical Support Fund
  • Mars has been in residency at MGM Park Theater since last year
  • MGM contributed $1 million to MGM Resorts Foundation and donated food to food banks
  • Acting CEO has donated $100,000 and estate of MGM Grand founder has pledged $2 million
Bruno Mars in concert
Pop star Bruno Mars has pledged $1 million to aid out-of-work MGM employees during the coronavirus pandemic. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Artist in residence at MGM Park Theater

Pop star Bruno Mars announced on Thursday that he is donating $1 million to the MGM Resorts Foundation. The money will go toward the MGM Employee Emergency Grant Fund and the Children’s Medical Support Fund.

Mars is in the midst of a multi-year residency at the MGM Park Theater in Las Vegas. It began in March 2019 with around a dozen concerts. In November, he unveiled another slate of concerts in March and April. All performances through at least May 10 have been postponed.

One of Mars’ representatives thanked the employees of MGM in a statement, saying that they have given him the opportunity to continue to perform live while working on his next album.

Bruno wanted to show his appreciation to the amazing employees who help make these shows possible”

“With the closures across Las Vegas, Bruno wanted to show his appreciation to the amazing employees who help make these shows possible in hopes that we’ll all be out of this situation and having fun together again very soon,” the rep added.

Fund helps employees in need during pandemic

Mars’s pledge matches the $1 million that MGM Resorts International contributed to the fund a few days ago. Specifically, that money will go to the same Employee Emergency Grant Fund as the pop star’s contribution.

The fund provides MGM employees and their families short-term assistance during, among other things, disasters such as the current coronavirus pandemic that result in layoffs and/or furloughs.

MGM also donated 480,000 pounds of food to local food banks that it is unable to use at its properties while they are closed. This is the equivalent of about 400,000 meals.

“We consider Bruno Mars as part of the MGM family and appreciate what he is doing to help our employees and their families during these uncertain times,” said MGM’s acting CEO and president Bill Hornbuckle.

Hornbuckle and his wife Wendy have pledged $100,000 to the foundation. He also announced on Thursday that the estate of the late MGM Grand’s founder, Kirk Kerkorian, is donating $2 million.

All MGM U.S. properties have gone dark

MGM began closing some of its casinos to try to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus two weeks ago. Last Tuesday, March 17, it shuttered all of its Las Vegas casinos. The next day, all Nevada casinos were required to shut down for 30 days by Governor Steve Sisolak.

At this point, all commercial casinos in the United States are closed for the foreseeable future.

estimates that 60-70% of its operating expenses are variable and is trying to minimize them

As expected, the company said it has “incurred substantial operating losses in March” and expects losses to continue until the pandemic eases. It estimates that 60-70% of its operating expenses are variable and is trying to minimize them as much as possible. Unfortunately, that means hiring freezes, furloughs, and layoffs.

MGM is also deferring at least one-third of this year’s planned capital expenditures.

Almost all companies have seen their stock prices take a beating this month, but travel-related companies like MGM have been hit particularly hard. At the beginning of March, the company’s stock price was at about $20 per share. As of this writing, it is at $12.53. That is still a solid bump from its low, when it closed at $7.14 on March 18.