Where do we go from here. Prayer yes. We are truly in an unprecedented time, with unprecedented circumstances, dealing with an invisible enemy with unprecedented protocols. This brings me back to the point I made earlier that Nevada is one of the States that is in the “red zone.” According to 8 News Now, Nevada has had the highest reported cases today since the beginning of the pandemic. This report posted by 8 News Now from the White House states that there were 173 cases per 100,000 in Nevada compared to the 119 per 100,000 national average. This statistic threatens to force Nevada back to phase 1. Governor Steve Sisolak has already ordered all non-food serving bars to close. To answer the question posed by the title of this post, we are still very much going “uphill.” Can this lock-down end? Will this lock-down end? If so, by what statistic and/or whose judgement of that statistic?
There is a virus yes. There are also decisions to be made.
As the world struggles with the recent events that all are surely aware of, there are events here that have rocked the very foundation of our country, and times are still very hard for many. The Coronavirus has not slowed surpassing three million confirmed cases, there are still thousands that have not received a dime from unemployment, civil unrest has risen in many cities, China has implemented a security law tearing down the pro-democracy movement and was most certainly a fatal blow to the “one country, two systems” framework.
Closer to home here in Las Vegas, Governor Steve Sisolak issed a mandatory face mask order in which everyone must wear a mask in public. This has comforted some to a degree, has enraged others which feel that the mandate is unconstitutional, and has made others worried of the implications of wearing a mask. In any case, private property is just that, private property. Businesses have the right to require masks mandate or not.
There is a very recent video on YouTube of patrons at Wynn Casino that had been asked to wear their masks and refused. They were asked to leave by security if they were to refuse to wear a mask. Instead of complying with wearing a mask, they taunted security throughout the self-recorded video. The single fact that the patrons ignored is that it is in fact private property.
In business news around Las Vegas, there is fear amongst businesses as Governor Sisolak spoke of “action’ for non-compliance of the mask mandate. A second shut-down of businesses would make recovery nearly impossible.
The next marketing strategies for the hospitality industry will all include touting their cleanliness strategies. However, for the loyal guest and the hardcore gambler, it’s a matter of when the doors open and not how great the reopening plans are.
Casinos across the country opened their doors and thousands of eager guests rushed to the slots and table games. The employees waiting on those guests were just as eager to see them there.
Guests Are Ready! Game ON!
Mississippi and Louisiana casinos opened this week giving the hospitality world of days to come. As I’ve stated in previous posts, there is a great divide in those what wish to go back to work, and those that fear getting sick. The latter also want’s to go back to work, but also wishes to stay healthy.
Where does that leave an individual that has chronic illnesses that is very susceptible to getting the flu and or COVID19? When the state tells them that it “might” be safe to go back to work, those that are in danger of getting COVID19 may not have a choice but to stay home. Then again, the state also tells them that if they don’t return to work when called, they will lose their unemployment benefits. The individual must decide between losing their unemployment benefits which pays for their food and water, but staying safe, or working to pay for food and water but risking their health. These are real dilemmas facing our hospitality workforce.
Many states have began to reopen their non-essential businesses and there are numerous reports that are giving information concerning the number of cases rising and/or falling per state. This information is convoluted to say the least and one cannot determine the veracity and/or accuracy of reports.
Casinos in the entertainment capital of the world are taking steps to help ensure that they can better protect guests in many ways. Pictured below is a new sanitation station just outside of the gaming floor of one of the casinos on the strip.
Training, Knowledge, and compliance. These words ring true in solving any problem and reopening the entertainment capital of the world is no different. Having properly trained staff was well as proper guidelines will be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
As we move toward more definite dates for states to open, more specifically Nevada, there is still much debate on how soon is too soon. A great divide still exists between those who wish to work and those who feel that more time is needed.
Nevadans are much more at ease now that the unemployment issues are being resolved as staff at the Department of Training and Rehabilitation has been increased. The phone system was not designed to handle the amount of claimants that occurred after the March 16th non-essential worker lay-offs.
How will the entertainment capital of the world look tomorrow and beyond?
As we move further into the summer of 2020, we have and are still enduring a global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the lives of those on our planet.
It has destroyed lives, ended lives, and has created struggles that no one that we know of today could have foreseen. Speculation as to who, when, where, and how this virus was let loose on the planet still moves through the minds of many.
What’s important for us right now is to stay safe, stay healthy, and stay motivated. The numbers of infected and deaths from COVID19 in Las Vegas as far as we know have dropped and continue to decline. But what exactly does mean for Las Vegas and the world? One must remember that the Coronavirus is still a threat as it is believed to be mutating, affecting children with illnesses outside of the symptoms that we’ve seen, and at the very least is still very contagious.
Having said that, consider that those that would normally frequent entertainment venues that have underlying illnesses, are retirement age, and/or those that simply fear getting ill from the virus are removed from the statistics. The challenge is to fill the seats but at the same time having to monitor that activity for enforcement of social distancing. Handling that as a hospitality entity will most certainly be challenging.
Social distancing, resolving disputes, and superior guest service with a mask on will be the first and foremost hurdle to overcome. We now have reopening guidelines from both the Nevada Gaming Control Board as well as the corporate guidelines outlined by various companies.