Uncertain Future for 12 Shuttered Las Vegas Casinos

  • Properties are owned by Boyd Gaming, Caesars, MGM Resorts, and Red Rock Resorts
  • Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith cited challenging operational situation in Vegas
  • Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said company would sell one of their Sin City casino resorts
  • MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle said Vegas operations subject to “a lot of protocols”
  • Red Rock CEO Frank Fertitta III not sure “if, or when” his closed Vegas casinos will open
dramatic sunset sky over Las Vegas Strip buildings
The future of 12 shuttered Las Vegas casinos remains uncertain after four major casino brands published their Q2 reports. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Company execs reveal Q2 results

12 major Las Vegas casinos belonging to Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Red Rock Resorts have yet to reopen, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report.

Boyd Gaming’s shuttered properties are Eastside Cannery, Main Street Station, and Eldorado Casino. On Caesars’ resort lockdown list is The Cromwell, Planet Hollywood Resort, Rio, and The Linq, although the latter’s casino is currently operative. MGM has The Mirage and Park MGM under lock and key, with Station Casinos’ parent company Red Rock completing the list with Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, and Palms.

challenging operational situation in Vegas

In Q2 earnings calls, company executives of the four casino and entertainment brands were unsure about the future of their shuttered Las Vegas properties. Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith cited the challenging operational situation in Vegas, with his company currently staffed at approximately 50% capacity.

“Once the demand starts to pick up […] that’s when you’d see us reopen those. We don’t have any dates right now,” said Smith.

Similar staying-closed arguments

According to the Review-Journal, Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg echoed Boyd’s story, revealing midweek occupancy rates in Vegas were around 50%.

Reeg also said his company would sell one of its Sin City properties, giving a timeline of 12 to 18 months for the sale. It was unclear if the facility being considered could potentially be one of the three shuttered premises. “Everything’s for sale every day,” the Public Gaming Research Institute quoted Reeg as saying.

Everything’s for sale every day”

In his first earnings call as CEO of MGM Resorts, Bill Hornbuckle highlighted “a lot of protocols” put on MGM’s businesses regionally, “most notably Las Vegas”. He pointed out that occupancy rates for the company’s Vegas facilities hover around the 30% mark midweek and range in the 50s on weekends. Hornbuckle added that all the reopened casino resorts were cash flow positive, aside from Mandalay Bay, which MGM agreed to sell in January.

According to reports, Hornbuckle did not address why his two Vegas properties were among the last to reopen, with company representatives declining to comment. “We thought it was important to keep the brands alive (by reopening properties) and keep people motivated and excited to come to Las Vegas,” the CEO said.

Strong in the suburbs

Red Rock CEO and chairman Frank Fertitta III said he did not know “if, or when” its four Vegas-based Station Casino properties are set to resume business activity. Recently, Red Rock opened the doors of Boulder Station, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Red Rock, Santa Fe, Sunset Station, and Wildfire.

Fertitta stated that most of the properties Red Rock had reopened were “all in the suburbs with growing population off of major interstates. They were (purposefully) built […] for the local business.”

The Review-Journal reported that a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed Red Rock Resort Inc.’s average occupancy rates for April and June to be 54%.