Encore prepares for new challenges


Right now, there is not much talk in the State House political pipeline or at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission when, and if, Encore Boston Harbor will be reopening any time soon.

With the coronavirus peak- ing this week and next, reopen- ing the Everett casino and hotel appears to be out of the question for April or May, but June might present a different situation for the company.

In Las Vegas, where Wynn Resorts holds a major position in the social and economic life of the famous Strip, company president Matt Maddox released yesterday a road map for a strict health and sanitation plan to make their facilities safe for tourists and gamblers alike when the reopening comes in the post epidemic period.

It is believed that a health and sanitation plan will be suggested for Encore in Everett.

Maddox has said he is hop- ing Wynn Resorts facilities in Las Vegas can re-open at least partially by mid-May or the end of May.

The companies guide to a safe reopening is believed to be the same guide that will be implemented in Everett at Encore Boston Harbor when the facility is allowed to reopen.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker have both been insisting that they will be relying on medical professionals to determine when the facilities will re- open.

The big question? How will the Strip look when it reopens? How will Encore Everett look?

“Safety is first. It is our number one priority,” Maddox told WKLAS Television in Las Vegas Monday.

Wynn Resorts health and sanitation plan for Las Vegas involves thermal cameras for temperature checks and points of entry; strict physical distancing throughout the casino floor, check- in and pool areas; and more signage reminding people how to properly wear and dispose of masks and gloves.

All employees are being told to wash their hands every 60 minutes, and there are also new cleaning procedures for housekeeping and dining staff.

For guests, only four people will be allowed in an elevator at a time, and staff will clean the button panels at least once per hour. When guests first arrive, they will be asked to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask, which will be provided to them by the resort. Valet services will be suspended until further notice.

David Schwartz, a University of Las Vegas gaming historian and hospitality expert said, “Instead of luxury be- ing the priority, health is a priority now.”

However, the bigger question, what experts don’t know, is how comfortable people are going to be traveling again.

“Will visitors even show up?” Schwartz wonders.

Maddox is looking for an incremental opening.

He is likely to be looking for the same here.

Encore has been paying all of its employees since it closed down on March 17.

It will continue paying them through May 15, according to a company spokesperson.

If and when the Everett facility reopens, the expectation is that visitation will be light at first and gain in time.

Wynn Resorts say they will continue to update their health and sanitation plan, according to advice from experts.

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