More hotels begin accepting reservations as they plan reopening their casinos and restarting gaming in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Hotels Renew Reservations in Atlantic City, Expect Customers in June
While some have not stopped taking reservations, including a buoyant Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, some operators in Atlantic City, New Jersey, decided to suspend reservations when the shelter-at-place orders were issued in mid-February through March.
However, a few months after these initial orders, many hotels and casinos have begun to accept reservations again, hoping to scavenge the season and see tourists trickle in for the remainder of the year, and especially summer.
Most of Atlantic City’s establishments are now accepting reservations for as early as next week, starting on May 25. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is prepared to welcome visitors as early as May 28.
The hospitality group, however, keeps a close eye on whether reservations are feasible on weekly basis, evaluating the situation as it evolves. Hard Rock also noted that it’s determined to comply with NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s recommendations on whether the sector can return to conducting business. The hotel won’t reopen, however, before the casino is able to reopen fully.
Tropicana, Caesars and Resorts Casino Hotel pushing a slightly more conservative schedule and ready to welcome guests on June 7 onwards. According to The Ocean’s website, all reservations through June 14 have been cancelled, but guests are welcome to begin arriving as early as June 15.
Based on one source, Caesars spokesperson Richard Broome said his company will reopen business as soon as Gov. Murphy allows. Even though hotels weren’t originally affected by the original shelter-at-home orders, but many casinos chose to shut down and save costs, as casinos had to discontinue business.
Can Casinos and Hotels Reopen and Keep Customers Safe?
While Gov. Murphy has offered no exact timeline of reopening, many casinos have decided to go ahead and draft plans for the restart of the industry. Recently, MGM Resorts introduced a phased state-by-state health and safety plan to help the company operate in the conditions of a global pandemic.
April wasn’t easy for New Jersey casinos. Business lost some 69% of its revenue year-over-year, marking the lowest on record. While revenue and finances are definitely a challenge, most operators have sufficient war chest to ride out the storm.
Some, such as Borgata, have even suggested a delayed timeline for their reopening plans. Borgata won’t return earlier than July 1, marking the company’s determination to tread cautiously and not jump the gun.
Meanwhile, there have been some reasons to be optimistic, including a recent statement by James Plousis, chairman at the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, who said that casinos will be prepared to welcome both employees and customers once the industry can reliably go back to normal.
Thousands of employees have been furloughed during these past few weeks. Some have lost their job entirely while others, such as Las Vegas Sands, have stood by their employees in those difficult times. Yet, there are no guarantees that the second wave of COVID-19 wouldn’t hit after reopening of businesses.