MGM Resorts International Acting CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle hinted at the company’s reopening strategy amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during Thursday’s first-quarter earnings call, telling investors that MGM is “poised to regain momentum as soon as the danger to public health lifts.”
As anticipated following the closure of all U.S. MGM properties in mid-March, it was a rough opening quarter for the hospitality and entertainment giant, which saw year-over-year revenue decline 29 percent to $2.3 billion.
“Ultimately, the precise reopening dates depend on decisions by elected officials in consulting with public health authorities,” added Hornbuckle. “In MGM’s case, that means the Governors of Nevada, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Ohio and New York. Due to various public health conditions in these states, we’re preparing to open properties in phases.”
As for Las Vegas, the New York-New York Hotel & Casino and the Bellagio Resort & Casino are likely to be among the first properties to reopen when it’s safe to do so.
“We’re probably looking at two or three offerings initially, obviously something of a value set. We tend to lean into New York-New York because it’s one of our simpler places to run. It’s 2,000 rooms. We’re probably looking at Bellagio at the other end,” said Hornbuckle.
From there, he said the company will “go slow.”
“We’ll be responsive and responsible. We’ll look to the economics of some of it. Most of these properties need to be between 30 percent and 50 percent to generate any kind of cash that is meaningful, i.e., meaning not going backward from being closed,” added Hornbuckle.
MGM Resorts said it continues to work with public health officials and experts to ensure it implements effective safety measures such as strict physical distancing, stringent sanitation and cleanliness protocols, the provisions of personal protective equipment (PPE) and crowd management, among other policies.
“We’re also developing digital innovations for touchless interactions across the guest experience to improve protection and create greater overall confidence in the hospitality environment and their overall experience,” said Hornbuckle, who confirmed MGM properties would “operate differently” upon reopening in a video recorded last month.
MGM continues to work through its safety plan, which it plans to make public in the coming weeks.
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