The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is joining rival Strip operators in temporarily closing some restaurants in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As of Monday, the Red Plate, Wicked Spoon buffet, Rose. Rabbit. Lie., Overlook Grill and Va Bene dining venues will be temporarily. That decision comes after the Cosmopolitan, which is owned by private equity firm Blackstone, move to temporarily shutter the Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub, a move announced on Friday.
As the situation with COVID-19 rapidly evolves, we are continuing to actively monitor and follow the guidance of public health officials,” said Cosmopolitan in a statement republished by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Our commitment to health and safety remains our utmost priority, and we believe these temporary operational changes are essential to maintaining a secure environment for guests and employees.”
Las Vegas, the gambling mecca of the US, is enduring severe punishment at the hands of the coronavirus due to travel bans and mounting cancellations and postponements of conventions, meeting and sporting events.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there 1,629 cases of the respiratory illness in the US, 138 of which were travel-related. There are 11 confirmed instances of the coronavirus in Nevada, according to the CDC.
Awash in Temporary Closures
Cosmopolitan is far from alone in announcing temporary closures of non-gaming amenities. In Las Vegas, that ball got rolling earlier this week when MGM Resorts said buffet service ARIA, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor, and Excalibur will be halted staring Sunday, March 15 due to the coronavirus.
That operator said it plans to evaluate the buffet situation on a weekly basis going forward. Wynn Resorts also revealed its own batch of temporary closures.
“Consequently, Wynn Resorts, beginning throughout this weekend, will temporarily cancel all large entertainment gatherings,” said the company in a statement. “This includes our buffets, nightclubs and theaters in Las Vegas and Boston. We are going to continue to pay our full-time employees that work in these spaces. We will monitor the situation to determine any additional action that may be required.”
The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t just pinching tourists and operators’ bottom lines. Service industry staffers are being furloughed and layoffs on the Strip and elsewhere in the US are expected to be announced by some operators in the coming days.
Not Just Vegas
Across the US, gaming properties are being shuttered on a temporary basis with operators consistently citing the coronavirus. For example, all casinos and race tracks in Illinois and Ohio were ordered closed on Friday, following Pennsylvania in doing so.
In Massachusetts, home to Wynn’s Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield, gaming venues will be closed for at least two weeks with neighboring Rhode Island mandating a one-week closure of its two casinos.
The grip of the coronavirus extends well beyond the US and is slamming travel and leisure outlets in other countries, too. For example, French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier today the country’s cafes and restaurants – important elements of local culture – are ordered closed along with cinemas and other non-essential businesses until COVID-19 is contained.