At least five casinos in Southern Nevada remain shut down following mass layoffs and discontinuance of operations back in 2020. This means that we are unlikely to see them return before the year’s end, and the North Las Vegas City Council has already given permission to Station Casinos’ property, Texas Station and Fiesta Rancho, to remain shuttered until June 2023 in what is the latest round of such administrative extensions.
New Extensions and Patchy Reopening Schedule
This follows up on previous permission to keep the Fiesta Henderson closed until the end of this year. That is a lot of time for a casino to be closed down. After the three-or-so months of complete shutdowns during 2020, most casinos have tried to return, however, limited in capacity. The trio joins both Eastside Cannery on Boulder Highway run by Boyd Gaming and Colorado Belle in Laughlin run by Golden Entertainment which are biding their time before they flip the switches back on.
But while some properties remain shut, Nevada has been on a steady road to recovery. Clark County casinos saw 2021 bring in as much as $11.4 billion in revenue, a record by all measures, and partially attributed to pent-up demand. But the first months of 2022 are just as promising with the one-billion threshold broken every month since the beginning of the year.
Part of these closures is understandable, as the companies have relocated business and staff elsewhere to keep the show going. Many employees were lost during the pandemic, with some leaving voluntarily out of fear because of the COVID-19 disease whereas others were laid off.
Local Demand Remains Unsatisfied
But as a business is rapidly returning to land-based casinos, it’s still strange that these five properties have remained shuttered. Workforce and operational costs are a continuing source of new challenges for all businesses, the casinos are located in areas that enable them to service local clientele who may not be keen on making the trek to Las Vegas every time they want to gamble or use any of the other amenities at the resorts.
Some of the companies have been offering insight into why they preferred to keep these properties closed though. For example, Boyd submitted a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and explained that the company had assessed the level of demand in the market and decided not to restart the business, as it was trying to contain costs. Similar statements have been put forward by the other owners and operators.