If you follow the stock market, and if you pay attention to your retirement accounts or 401k’s – if you have them – then you know how badly everything has fared since the shutdown of the American economy.
In a world where cash is king and being broke is about as bad as a situation can be nowhere is this more evident than with the financial situation over at Encore Boston Harbor.
Mind you, Encore/Wynn Resorts is not going out of business even though they are presently out of business in Macau, Las Vegas and in Everett.
All the doors are locked. All the employees are being paid.
On Saturday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted unanimously to temporarily suspend operation at the state’s three casino properties, including Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino. In a statement from the MGC that stated, “In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the decision was made in collaboration and cooperation with our licensees to safeguard the health and well-being of casino guests, employees, and regulators.” Doors closed at 6:00pm on Tuesday, March 15.
The closing of the doors to the Everett casino and hotel is a seismic event.
The city takes in about $30 million a year in lieu of taxes from Encore. If Encore isn’t open, Encore can’t pay. If Encore goes broke, the city goes down with it.
Wynn Resorts, who owns Encore, has suffered almost catastrophic stock losses during the past 25 days.
The price for Wynn Resorts has plunged from about $130 before the epidemic began to about $54 this week. With the stock price plunge comes the company’s market share plunge – that is – what the company’s stock is worth as a measure of what he company is worth.
The market share value of Wynn Resorts was about $14 billion last month. As the week began, its market share value is closer to $5 billion, a staggering $9 billion loss.
Encore shutting its doors here has temporarily furloughed 5,000 employees who it has pledged to pay.
Right now, with no end in sight for the coronavirus, the likelihood of a two week closing followed by another two week closing is odious, and company officials are fearful of this – as we all should be.
Knowing what is real and what is not about the crisis stretches the imagination.
The $100 per person and $900 per table Friendly Sons of St. Patrick affair scheduled for next week at the Encore Hotel and Casino has been cancelled.
The tendency right now is for large affairs of that kind to be put off or cancelled entirely because of the rising fear of the possible spread of the coronavirus.
In Boston, that city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been called off, as well as many of the typical St. Paddy’s Days celebrations.
Also called off are large gatherings of all kinds from medical symposiums to some high school sporting events.
Friendly Sons event organizers had appeared to be stumbling along, somewhat paralyzed by the poor prospects for a big turnout or of a turnout of any kind worth noting because of the potential coronavirus implications.
In an effort to find the mix that works just right to pack the casi- no, Encore is making bold and pragmatic business decisions to lure more visitors to the sprawling casino and hotel.
With betting down about $6 million over last month, for a total of $48 million, these changes are arriving not a moment too soon to Encore.
Although the casino was built to replicate in every way the Wynn Resorts extravagant hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, and to at- tract high rollers from Boston and all over the region, the nation and beyond, that early bid and belief has proven insufficient to meet the demands of this region.
Encore executives are finding the Boston marketplace is an unto itself space, with habits of potential visitors to the casino and hotel far different than they first expected.
To this end, Encore executives have decided to experiment, to go off-road, so to speak, to find what combination of enticements will lure the greatest number of people to Encore.