It’s been a little over a month since the celebrated Las Vegas Strip went dark. The move, like much of the business practices surrounding Covid-19, was unprecedented.
But now, in what appears to be another unprecedented move, the CEO of Wynn Resorts – not the Nevada government – is calling for parts of Nevada to reopen in May.
In an opinion piece published Sunday night in The Nevada Independent, Wynn CEO Matt Maddox says that Nevada Gov. Stephen Sisolak should reopen the state’s struggling economy, which he says is “likely be one of the hardest-hit states in the nation.”
Maddox goes on to outline a comprehensive plan for what he calls an incremental reopening, which includes wearing masks, increasing testing and monitoring data. Social distancing behaviors would be enforced.
“If we incrementally reopen, we might have to pull back if a spike in cases occurs that jeopardizes our healthcare system capacity,” Maddox writes. “However, the only way to cross this river is one stone at a time, and we need to put our feet in the water before it is too late,” suggesting he is keen on taking a chance and then recalibrating as necessary.
Wynn Resorts was among the very first of the Las Vegas resorts to close. At the time of the closure, 15,000 Wynn Resort employees were asked to stay home and be paid for 60 days of work.
In his plea to the Nevada governor, Maddox notes the cost of the closure and the company’s decision to pay both full and part-time employees, including money for estimated tips: $3 million per day or $180 million for two months.
The decision to shut down the casino came two weeks before Gov. Sisolak issued a stay-at-home order for the state. This directive came several weeks after dozens of other states ordered residents to stay home and all but essential businesses to close.
Maddox’s statement also follows protests around the country pushing for the reopening of the economy.
Wynn Resorts could not immediately be reached for comment.