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Coronavirus: Wynn CEO pleads for the reopening of Las Vegas Strip by late May

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Matt Maddox, chief executive of Wynn Resorts Ltd, on Sunday called for the Las Vegas Strip to reopen in mid- to late May, as long as a number of health precautions are taken.

“Begin with reduced occupancy, physical distancing measures in place, temperature checks and no large gatherings,” Maddox wrote. “We all need to wear a mask.”

Matt Maddox, chief executive of Wynn Resorts Ltd

He also laid out Wynn´s health and safety guidelines for reopening, which include allowing a maximum of four people to ride in an elevator at one time; and requiring guests to enter the resort through doors that are either propped open, are automated or manually operated by an employee.

Casinos and other nonessential businesses in Nevada have been closed since March 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Maddox noted Wynn was the first casino operator to close its doors, and is paying employees through May 15. However, “It is costing us approximately $3 million per day or $180 million for two months,” he wrote. “Our economy is in a freefall. Nevada will likely be one of the hardest hit states in the nation and suffer very high unemployment. It is imperative to flatten this curve so we can re-emerge in a safe, sustainable way.

Steve Sisolak, the Governor of Nevada, ordered all casinos and other nonessential businesses in the state to close for 30 days beginning March 18. He extended that order until April 30, and last week said he has no specific date for when nonessential businesses might be allowed to reopen.

Steve Sisolak, the Governor of Nevada

Wynn Resorts – which owns and operates the Wynn Las Vegas, the Encore Boston Harbor, the Wynn Macau and the Wynn Palace, Cotai – closed its U.S. properties on March 15 and 17.

Wynn´s Macau casinos reopened on Feb. 20 after a mandatory, industry-wide two-week closure. It and other casinos resumed operations with government-mandated restrictions that include temperature checks, fewer open tables on the casino floor, and rules against guests standing or congregating.

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