Posted on: December 2, 2020, 09:18h.
Last updated on: December 2, 2020, 09:52h.
Wynn Resorts operates in one of COVID-19’s hardest-hit industries. But the company’s CEO is optimistic that Las Vegas will come roaring back once a coronavirus vaccine is widely available.
The pandemic has caused gaming win on the Strip to drop 44 percent, and hotel occupancy rates have plummeted 47 percent. In Macau, where Wynn Resorts is heavily invested, gross gaming revenue is down 80.5 percent. Wynn’s Encore Boston Harbor integrated resort in Massachusetts has also struggled amid state-ordered operating restrictions.
But despite the 2020 difficulties, Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox is optimistic about 2021 and the future ahead.
“People are going to want to get out and have a good time,” the CEO opined. His comments were made during a virtual meeting with the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce this week.
“I think the future of Las Vegas is bright. I think Las Vegas can establish itself as the place to go to let loose,” Maddox added. “It’s what we’ve always been. But I think it’s something we can really lean into to get us going again.”
Roaring Las Vegas
COVID-19 has resulted in tens of thousands of workers employed in the US gaming industry losing their jobs, being furloughed, and/or seeing their hours reduced. But Maddox believes, unlike a traditional recession or economic retraction, once a vaccine is available, it will be a quick recovery.
“Once people get out again and get a taste of what it’s like to be around other people, it’s electric,” Maddox said. “People are going to want to dress up and go out and be around people once it’s safe.
I think it will be similar to the Roaring ’20s after the pandemic of 1918 and 1919. It was like, ‘Oh my God, we survived this. Let’s go have fun,’” Maddox prognosticated.
Wynn certainly isn’t roaring at the moment. In the third quarter, the company lost $7.10 a share on revenue of $370.45 million. Analysts were forecasting a $4.39 per share loss.
Maddox Talks New Company
Long considered Steve Wynn’s protégé and right-hand man, Maddox replaced the disgraced billionaire in February of 2018 after he resigned from his namesake company amid numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.
Maddox spoke this week about how Wynn Resorts has changed since Steve Wynn departed the casino firm.
“Our board was pretty much all older, wealthy white men. We’ve transitioned to now our board of directors is 50 percent female, and we’ve just added a really strong superstar African American (Darnell Strom). Our conversations in the board room are so much richer now,” Maddox explained.
Maddox says since he’s taken the helm of Wynn Resorts nearly three years ago, the primary focus is no longer only the shareholders.
“It used to be just about the shareholders. At Wynn, everything we do, we’re going to invest in our company, which is our shareholders, but also in our families and in our communities,” the CEO declared. “Employees want to know that they’re employer really cares.”