Wynn CEO and long-time casino insider Matt Maddox has issued a statement of encouragement about Las Vegas’s chances of recovery. Mr. Maddox believes that it is up to community leaders to chart the road to recovery.
Matt Maddox Positive in Face of Las Vegas Shutdown and Prospects of Recovery
Wynn CEO Matt Maddox has commented on how a likely recovery for the Las Vegas casino industry would unfold. As a long-time industry insider, Mr. Maddox is in a unique position to imagine the city’s recovery.
In a recent commentary, Mr. Maddox has outlined how that would happen with some specificity. First, he pointed out that Las Vegas is a complex destination. Travelers do not come to Las Vegas to just gamble or attend events, enjoy the cuisine or what Mr. Maddox describes as a confluence of musicians, artists, acrobats, nightclubs, pool parties, and so on.
Rather, it’s a mix of everything. Las Vegas is home to important sports franchises, such as the Golden Knights, NASCAR race weekends, and the Raiders, along with a variety of festivals. He described a trip to Las Vegas as a “fun escape.” Yet, he is not ruling out the business side of things.
Mr. Maddox expects business travel and conventions to slowly start ramping up over the next months leading into 2021 and beyond. He agreed with the state’s official position on imposing bans on mass gatherings and keeping a number of restrictions.
Mr. Maddox expressed hopes that while those measures were necessary and adequate, elected officials would also seek a way to restore the city’s business. Yet, hope is not strategy, he noted, and he urged community leaders to step forward and present an action plan.
Already, Wynn Resorts, which is touted as one of the best employers in the United States, has been consulting independent health experts who agree that Wynn is one of the safest places in Las Vegas.
What Is Mr. Wynn’s Plan for a Las Vegas Recovery?
Mr. Maddox’s opinion is not based on wishful thinking. The executive has worked closely with the University Medical Center (IMC), Georgetown University, and several leading labs in New York and California to study possible technological solutions to the current pandemic.
Specifically, Wynn and Mr. Maddox have shown interest in how to expedite testing. With the help of the company’s scientific partners, Wynn would be able to deploy thousands of tests that provide anyone at the Las Vegas casino with accurate rapid tests.
The technology allows to both test thousands of people while reducing the cost for the company to just a fraction of what most regular tests cost. That way, Wynn has more scalability and can afford to carry out more testing than most competitors.
The UMC/Wynn lab the property is deploying uses FDA-approved PCR technology. In other words, the authenticity of test results is easily verifiable. According to Mr. Maddox, it’s not so much the physical environment that keeps people away, but rather a fear of contracting the disease.
Or, as Mr. Maddox puts it in his commentary, people have “a fear of other people.” Wynn doesn’t plan to be testing everyone around the clock, but rather create guidelines that minimize or even neutralize the risk of infection. Wynn has already been successful at keeping its employees safe, with only 548 cases among employees as of mid-September.
Testing the Right People at the Right Time
According to studies, Mr. Maddox argues, a person needs around 48 hours to become communicable after they have been infected. Tests will be necessary for guests to attend an event that falls under the “mass gathering standard,” as well as from employees.
Wynn will naturally need the state’s approval to execute any plan at the present moment, but the UNC/Wynn lab seems like an actionable solution. Mr. Maddox has acknowledged that nothing is one-hundred percent safe, but having these test zones where thousands of people can get a rapid PCR test is a good start.
He, as well as other executives, hope that a vaccine will be available and adopted soon, allowing Las Vegas to continue recovering from what is one of the biggest challenges in its history.