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Internal Letter Details Station Casinos’ Reopening Plan, Layoffs in Las Vegas

As Nevada prepares to lift shutdown orders, Station Casinos will hold off reopening several properties until it’s clear what impact COVID-19 has had on the behavior of tourists.

“When we are permitted to reopen, we don’t know what business will look like, other than knowing that business levels will be lower as a result of this unprecedented crisis,” said CEO Frank Fertitta III in a letter to employees.

Station Casinos, the operator of 20 hotel-casino properties in Southern Nevada, expects to open these properties first:

    • Red Rock
    • Green Valley Ranch
    • Santa Fe
    • Boulder Station
    • Palace Station
    • Sunset Station
    • Wildfire

Station Casinos will hold off opening Palms, Fiesta Henderson and Texas Station until data reveals how business is doing in the wake of COVID-19.

“This has been the most challenging and painful situation in our company’s history,” Fertitta wrote. “We are hopeful though that Las Vegas will rebound swiftly and allow us to rehire many of our values team members when we emerge on the other side of this crisis.”

Financial fallout will soon lead to staff reductions that “will impact a portion of our workforce,” Fertitta said.

Full-time employees who were laid off will be paid through May 16, but the company has extended medial, dental and vision benefits through Sept. 30.

Employees unaffected during the pandemic will receive full pay and benefits through at least May 31, the company said.

Nevada prepares to reopen

Many Nevada retail stores, small businesses and other “low-density open spaces” could reopen in mid-May or sooner, according to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s plan to fix the state’s COVID-crushed economy.

Sisolak unveiled the plan, dubbed “Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery,” at a much-anticipated Thursday press conference in Carson City, where he said the state is making rapid progress toward meeting a number of COVID-containment criteria that will allow officials to more aggressively lift a lengthy lockdown on nonessential businesses.

Nevada remains in “phase zero” of that effort, Sisolak said, but is expected to move into a new phase around the same time his latest stay-at-home order expires on May 15. 

MGM announces which properties will open first

On the company’s quarterly earnings conference call Thursday, executives provided the first glimpse of what visitors can expect from the chain when Las Vegas reopens.

MGM won’t open all its hotels at once, but rather start with two or three targeted at different traveler budgets, acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle said.

On the list right now: New York-New York Hotel & Casino, a midprice hotel on the south end of the Strip with a roller coaster, arcade and Irish pub, and Bellagio, a swank mid-Strip resort that is home to the famous fountain show, high-end shops and restaurants, a conservatory and a museum.

“Then from there, we’re talking about what other properties should open, if any, at that point in time,” he said. “We’ll go slow. We’ll be responsive and responsible.”

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