More Furloughs Coming As Encore Boston Harbor Closes Hotel
After being forced to close during the nighttime hours due to new COVID-19 restrictions, the Encore Boston Harbor has now shut down its hotel with furloughs to come.
In Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker decided to create new COVID-19 restrictions for the state due to an influx in cases. States in this region of the US are seeing an uptick in positive cases which has many officials worried about larger outbreaks. Baker has now made several changes, including a stay at home order during the nighttime hours. This new order has forced businesses like casinos to shut down at 9:30 and thus creating more furloughs for the industry.
Encore Boston Harbor
The Encore Boston Harbor along with the MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park must close from 9:30 pm until 5:30 am. Only people who are considered essential workers will be allowed to be out during the nighttime hours.
The change was part of restrictions put in place by Baker due to an almost 300% surge in new cases. Hospitalizations have jumped a whopping 145%. Officials of the Encore Boston Harbor have decided to close its large hotel due to the overnight restrictions.
The hotel has 671 guest rooms and officials expect that there will be low demand now that the casino will be shut down overnight. Most guests would stay at the casino in order to be able to wager into the wee hours of the morning.
Wynn Resorts made the tough decision to shut down the hotel, considering the overall well-being of the state. The Encore casino is actually closing down at 9pm which is 30 minutes before the state order requires. On the weekends, the casino will reopen at 9am and then through the week, will reopen at noon.
Furloughs are Inevitable
Earlier in the year, the three casinos had to close down in mid-March due to the onset of COVID-19. The venues did not reopen until July. In August, the Encore Boston Harbor laid off almost 400 people and now Wynn Resorts is reporting that more furloughs will take place.
Matt Maddox is the CEO of the company who spoke during a third quarter earnings call last week, stating that closing at nine will have a major impact on the casino. The company is going to do as much as they can to lower the expenses associated with operating.
According to Maddox, the number of full time employees could go down to 1,000 or as low as 670. When the casino reopened back in July, the employed 2,700 individuals. With the numbers dropping to 1,000 or below, it would mean over 25% of the workforce might be furloughed, or more.
The CEO reported further that the shutdown comes at a time when the property would be seeing its busiest phase. During the nighttime hours is when the casino sees the most visitors and it will unfortunately be closed.
While the closure will be hard on the casino, Maddox sees the decision as one that is good from a health perspective. The CEO pointed out that the government of Massachusetts has done a ‘terrific job’ during the pandemic. For the casino, they see it as a temporary setback and not a permanent issue.
For the other casinos in the state, decisions have been made based on the new restrictions. For MGM Springfield, its smaller hotel never reopened since closing in March. The casino is currently operating from 10 am until 9:30 pm each day.
For Plainridge Park, the casino offers only slots and have restricted its hours to 7am until 9:30 pm each day. They are the only casino in the state to be opening in the early morning hours. While the casino sis open until the cut off time, no new players will be admitted entry into the facility after 8:30 pm.