The Palazzo at the Venetian Resort is reopening its suites. This comes after a three-month hotel shutdown because of low consumer demand during the coronavirus pandemic. The reopening began Thursday.
As consumer demand dropped, the Palazzo in July stopped accepting room reservations during the slow midweek days. The gaming floor remained open.
In early December, the Palazzo shut down its guest rooms all seven days of the week. The Palazzo is part of a Las Vegas Sands Corp. complex that includes the Venetian Resort. The Venetian continued to accept room reservations.
Sands CEO Robert Goldstein said during a January earnings call that the company’s demand for convention business from 2022 through 2027 is “unbelievable,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the city’s tourism numbers have been low. This is especially the case without conventions in town filling up hotel rooms in the middle of the week. In December, the weekend occupancy rate in Las Vegas was 45.4 percent, but only 25 percent during the midweek days.
A boost in convention business gives casino executives hope in a robust turnaround.
“Our customers want to come, and we remain very bullish on the return of Las Vegas,” Goldstein said.
Signs of Recovery
That optimism also is fueled by a sense that continued vaccinations across the country will ease customer concerns about air travel. Because of Las Vegas’ remote desert location, air travel has always been vital in bringing large numbers of visitors to Southern Nevada.
During the pandemic, passenger arrivals and departures at McCarran International have been down by more than 30 million people. The airport is at the southeastern end of the Strip near the Tropicana, MGM Grand, and other major hotel-casinos.
The Palazzo is not the only resort on the Strip reopening in March.
Beginning March 3, the hotel towers at the Mirage, Mandalay Bay, and Park MGM reopened on a seven-day-a-week schedule. These three MGM Resorts properties are on the west side of the Strip. In November, the hotel rooms at these resorts were shut down during the midweek days.
Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts CEO and president, said the company sees positive signs in the “public’s sentiment about traveling, coupled with important progress on the vaccination front and decreasing COVID-19 case numbers.”
“We remain optimistic about Las Vegas’ recovery,” he said.
Rat Pack Era
Earlier this month, Las Vegas Sands Corp. announced it is selling the Palazzo and its other Las Vegas properties for $6.25 billion to Apollo Global Management Inc. and Vici Properties Inc.
Alex van Hoek of Apollo said the investment demonstrates the company’s faith in a “strong recovery” for Las Vegas. He called the Venetian “America’s premier integrated resort.”
The Venetian is known for its gondola rides through Venice-like canals. That resort and the Palazzo were built on the east side of the Strip at the site of the now-demolished Sands hotel-casino. The Sands was made famous in the late 1950s and early ’60s by Rat Pack performances in its marquee Copa Room. The Sands was demolished in 1996.
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