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Wynn Resorts CEO Calls for Reopening Vegas Strip By Mid-May

By Rich Duprey – Apr 20, 2020 at 12:46PM

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Matt Maddox says it's needed to help Nevada's economy, which is in "free fall."

Wynn Resorts (WYNN -3.61%) CEO Matt Maddox says the Las Vegas Strip could reopen as soon as mid-May and as late as the end of May, so long as "extensive safety measures" are taken.

The casino operator was the first resort in Nevada to close ahead of the order by the state to shut down, and it has agreed to pay all of its employees' wages, including the estimated tips they would have received, through May 15.

Maddox says it costs Wynn $3 million a day to do so, amounting to $180 million for the two months the resort has been closed, but it's time to move to reopen the state's flailing economy.

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Safety first

Maddox offered a 23-page plan that provides a detailed accounting of how Wynn Resorts would protect the health of employees and patrons of its casinos. 

He notes the economy is in "free fall" and Nevada will be one of the states that is hit hardest because of high unemployment rates. Since the country has moved beyond "peak" hospitalizations at this point, he says, "it is imperative to flatten this curve so we can reemerge in a safe, sustainable way."

His plan, the Wynn Las Vegas Health & Sanitation Program, argues the state can begin the return to normalcy by mid- to late-May with "reduced occupancy, physical distancing measures in place, temperature checks and no large gatherings." It continues: "We all need to wear a mask. Wearing a mask is uncomfortable; however, it will allow our economy to reopen faster."

Wynn Resorts generates most of its revenue from Macao, China, and though resorts there have reopened, tourist and travel restrictions have caused visits to the city to virtually cease. Gambling revenue in Macao has declined 80% or more for the past two months.

Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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