A big step in return to the new normal
By JOSH RESNEK
Income numbers generated by the casino at Encore are expected to rise now that the state has al- lowed casinos and restaurants and a few other indoor commercial operations to extend their hours over the 9:30 p.m. closing. Encore officials announced that the casino will be open 24/7 beginning Wednesday.
The hotel will reopen, housing guests Thursday thru Sunday, according to company officials.
COVID-19 health and safety measures will continue to be in place, including operating under a 25 percent capacity model, temperature scans at all entrances, mandatory face coverings for all employees and guests, and frequent cleaning and dis- infecting of all guest areas.
The 25 percent capacity restriction is a killer, according to industry analysts.
However, without robust numbers of vacationers returning to the Boston tourism scene anytime soon, Encore faces much leaner times than when it first opened in June 2019.
Visitors coming to Boston via air travel remain woefully down.
Logan Airport visitations and departures are at all-time low poverty levels for the airlines and for everyone involved.
Every nightlife, restaurant, and entertainment venue is in a virtual stasis, with virus infections still rising and deaths, too, across the nation.
The vaccine will hopefully change all of this, but the vaccine rollout, as all of us are learning, will take months and months.
During this time, the virus will continue spreading.
Encore’s short existence has proven that tourist travel into Boston is not a key to the success of the casino and ho- tel, once touted as a five-star location.
Its early financial performance with lower numbers and trends reveals that Encore has not yet found its place in Greater Boston.
In other words, the facility does not know who it is or what will make it the success that was hoped for when it was conceived and built.
With extended hours of operations, numbers should rise dramatically in the next 30 days.
Our estimates are that gamblers will toss about $40 million into the Encore casino treasury.
Last month, that number was $29 million.
The all-time monthly high was $54 million.
When it opened, the expectation was for about $65 million a month.
Also, it is believed Encore will need to hire back several hundred employees that were laid off in order to reopen the hotel and to accommodate those who will be gambling at all hours of the day and night.
Ending restrictions on hours of operation is a great start to the New Year for Encore.
Casino analysts across the board are not looking at the shortterm.
They are, en masse, staring into the gaming world as they believe it will exist in 2005.
Four years from now nearly everything about our society will have returned to a new normal by then, gaming figures should be through the roof, hotel occupancy should have improved dramatically.
The Encore dream of a five-star gaming palace in Everett attracting high- end gamblers from around the world is unlikely to be achieved any time soon.
The Encore needs to finds its place and to remake itself. This is easier said than done.