Encore staggers under COVID-19 restrictions

Paul Gaurino hands out a turkey at Everett Grace Food pantry as Covid-19 im- pacts employment and the economy. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)


Mask mandates, curfews, no large gatherings, and dozens of Coronavirus restraints on doing business are having a negative effect on Encore’s conduct of its business in Everett.

Hours of operation have been curtailed here dramatically, with hours slashed. Further restrictions from the state of Massachusetts Department of Public Health are certain to follow with the dramatic rise in case numbers now taking place.

In Las Vegas, Wynn Resorts is being hampered by new restrictions imposed on out of state travel in California because of the raging virus. Company officials announced they would be cutting mid-week hours of operations because of a lack of visitors to their facilities.

Those cuts included closing down casinos midweek.

All other major players in the Las Vegas gaming marketplace are doing the same.

With air travel at a stand-still coming into Las Vegas, car travel from California was accounting for almost 25% of the Wynn Resorts take in Las Vegas recently.

That car traffic is now drying up.

In Macau, where Wynn earns much of its income and profits, business is slow to dead at their locations in that facility only 35 miles from Hong Kong.

Everett’s Encore is also problematic, for now. Everett has become one of the most dangerous places in Massachusetts for contracting the virus.

This has a dramatic impact on everyone operating a business in the city. Already lost are more than 4,000 jobs, tens of millions of dollars in gaming income, and taxes paid. Also lost is the belief that when the casino and hotel opened, Everett’s financial difficulties would be solved forever.

That was before the virus broke out, went wild, and shut down the state in late March.

The enacting of severe restrictions by the state shut down the casino and hotel in late March.

For a while, Massachusetts was able to bring down the infection rate. However, over time, the effort has failed.

Infection rates are now higher and rising higher than they were when the state shut down.

With the recent announcement that vaccines have been developed that are safe and effective, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The vaccines won’t be available until mid-December or later. In the meantime, the virus rages.

The casino is dead in the water, which at this time of year, is especially dangerous because this is traditionally the slowest time of the year for the casino. With the hotel closed, with the city government here not releasing what the casino has paid and what it is owed, the city faces a difficult time with the Encore in the short term. The short term is a disaster.

The longerterm holds hope.

Casino analysts believe it could be May of 2021 before things begin to get back to normal, although at this moment in time it is anyone’s guess when the economy will recover when the vaccine will be distributed, and when all the deaths and hospitalizations from the virus will recede.

Wynn Resorts has a cash supply on hand to weather the storm.

The problem is not knowing how long this storm is going to last.

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