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Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox Outlines Plan To Open Las Vegas Strip In May

Plan Is Centered Around An Incremental Reopening Of Las Vegas Economy And Constant Scrutiny Of Available Data

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Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox believes that the Nevada economy should begin to reopen in gradual steps that would have the Las Vegas Strip fully operational by late May.

Maddox outlined a plan to reopen the economy in an opinion piece published Sunday in the Nevada Independent. His plan was centered around massive increases in testing capabilities and the constant monitoring of data.

Wynn Resorts’ two Las Vegas properties closed a couple of days before Gov. Steve Sisolak’s March 18 order to close the state’s entire casino industry. Despite mass layoffs in the meantime, Wynn Resorts decided to keep its employees on staff and pay them through May 15. Maddox said that decision alone is costing the company $3 million per day.

In his piece, Maddox cited a Stanford study that claimed there could be as many as 50 times as many cases of COVID-19 in the country because of how common asymptomatic individuals are. He also noted that Nevada’s hospitals are not overrun with patients and according to most models, we are past the peak hospitalization point of the current wave of the pandemic.

In his mind, the worst is over its time to look at returning to some semblance of normalcy before irreparable harm is done to the local economy.

“Nevada will likely be one of the hardest hit states in the nation and suffer very high unemployment,” wrote Maddox. “It is imperative to flatten this curve so we can re-emerge in a safe, sustainable way.”

In his plan, Maddox wants Sisolak’s coronavirus task force to focus on testing capabilities and how to safely reopen the economy.

Once that is achieved, Maddox believes that parts of the local economy should open in early May as a test run before a mass-scale reopening occurs. During the initial reopening newly reopened businesses should operate at a reduced occupancy, implement distancing measures, have constant temperature checks, force everyone to wear a mask, and not have large gatherings.

During this trial phase, officials should be working with a team of experts to study data and make sure everything is falling in line with expected results. The experts should monitor the testing velocity, the hospitalization and death rate and the availability of hospital critical care beds. If any of that data is unsatisfactory, then Maddox thinks the economy should be closed again.

“I understand that if we incrementally reopen, we might have to pull back if a spike in cases occurs that jeopardizes our health care system capacity,” said Maddox. “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.”

If all goes to plan, Maddox believes that the Las Vegas Strip would be reopened, with safety measures in place, by mid-to-late-May.

Last week, rival casino executives had already begun discussing what measures should be implemented when casinos reopen.

Maddox’s plan for reopening both the Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas involves thermal cameras at the entrance, which would flag guests that have a temperature of 100 degrees or more, as well as distancing measures and mandating that visitors wear masks while on property.