Experts point to low demand as Las Vegas Strip properties continue to reduce hours

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Despite the good news of the COVID-19 vaccine and a stimulus package, the Las Vegas hospitality industry is still struggling.

MGM Resorts International announced Monday that The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip will close all operations from Mondays to Wednesdays next year. That means the casino, restaurants and all other amenities will only be open from noon on Thursdays to noon on Mondays, starting January 4th. 

The Mirage is the latest Strip property to reduce its hours. Experts say it is because of low demand during the pandemic. 

The big question now? How long these economic effects will continue.

“I think it’s unfortunate. Certainly, we don’t want to see it happen,” said Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst at Applied Analysis. “The pandemic has had an economic toll.”

Aguero says many people still do not feel comfortable flying and cannot afford traveling during the pandemic. 

There are already mid-week hotel closures at The Mirage, Mandalay Bay and Park MGM. Those were announced in November. Planet Hollywood and the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas have made similar moves. 

Aguero says a January closure is due to no conventions, like CES, taking place — and a rise in COVID cases.

“The combination of those things is going to mean that demand is going to be very low and supply is going to need to adjust. It’s exactly what we’re seeing,” Aguero said.

But some tourists think all the properties on the Strip should stay open.

“People want to be here now more than ever because this is one of the only places you can enjoy now,” said visitor Luke Niekamp. 

Las Vegas tourist Valeria Jimenez added, “It may be wrong that we came, but we’re actually taking precautions; we’re taking care of ourselves.”

Aguero says the current vaccine rollout will inspire more confidence in travel, but a rebound will take a while.

“We’re really hopeful by the time we get to the fall, that we’ll start seeing additional significant convention activity back in Las Vegas, and maybe even some special events,” Aguero said. “We still need consumers to go back and act like consumers again, and that’s going to take a little bit of time.”

Aguero adds that even if things return to normal by the end of 2021, a full economic recovery for Las Vegas is still likely a one and a half to two years away.

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