A sharp decline in tourism has forced the Encore hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip to cut back on the days it will be open.
The Encore hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip only will be open from Thursdays until Mondays. This is in response to a slowdown in consumer demand. (Image: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Starting Oct. 19, the Encore will be in operation on a five-day, four-night schedule. It will open from Thursdays at 2 pm until Mondays at noon.
Encore’s owner, Wynn Resorts, said in a release the new operating hours are in place “to match the consistent, lower consumer demand we are experiencing.”
This is occurring as air travel to Las Vegas has plummeted since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring. Also, recent violence on the Las Vegas Strip, including at the Encore, has sparked public concern. In response, the combined city-county Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has stepped-up its presence on the Strip and other tourist areas.
In addition to the Encore, Wynn Resorts owns the Wynn Las Vegas hotel-casino. These properties are located side-by-side where the now-demolished Desert Inn once stood. Wynn Las Vegas has not changed its operating hours.
When consumer demand increases, the Encore will fully reopen, according to the statement. No timetable was given for when that might occur.
Casino historian David G. Schwartz of UNLV told Casino.org a falloff in conventions has cut into the midweek casino business. He said visitor volume should pick up once people feel safe regarding the current pandemic.
People are going to want to travel to Las Vegas,” he told Casino.org.
Passenger arrival and departure figures at McCarran International Airport reflect the slump in tourism. Airline passenger totals have fallen by 56 percent from August 2019 to August 2020, according to the latest information.
Wynn Resorts recently beefed up its own security after a fight at the Encore in early September caused an estimated $15,000 damage to the property. The additional security includes a K-9 team and an added number of officers. On weekends, guards will scan guests for metal objects and check handheld bags.
After the fight, an Encore spokesperson said the property would raise room rates and step up its security measures. The company also filed a lawsuit against 20 unnamed men and women involved in the melee.
The Cosmopolitan hotel-casino on the Strip has implemented similar in-house security measures.
A police captain recently told county officials “a good portion” of the increase in local violence can be attributed to out-of-town gangs and visitors.
During the past few weeks, officers responded to shootings that left victims wounded at or near the Aria, Flamingo and Paris hotel-casinos on the Strip. A shooting during a drug transaction on Sunday near the Miracle Mile Shops left one man hospitalized with a leg wound, police said. The shops are connected to the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino on the Strip.
When coronavirus rates began to spike in March, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) ordered most businesses, including casinos, to close. He allowed casinos to reopen June 4. Some opened right away, but others began operating again over time.
Most casinos in Southern Nevada have reopened, including some with limited schedules similar to the Encore’s new operating hours.
The LINQ and Planet Hollywood hotel-casinos also are accepting room reservations only from Thursdays through Sundays.
The Cromwell is the only major property on the Las Vegas Strip that still has not reopened, according to the American Gaming Association website.
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