After Nevada had extended its closure of casinos and other nonessential businesses until April 30, many business owners hoped that the coronavirus pandemic would subside enough for business to resume in May. While health experts don’t believe this will be the case, the CEO of Wynn Resorts is tired of waiting.
On Sunday, Wynn CEO Matt Maddox published an opinion piece to The Nevada Independent, urging governor Stephen Sisolak to reopen the state in May in order to boost its struggling economy. According to Maddox, Nevada will “likely be one of the hardest-hit states in the nation.”
As CNN notes, Wynn Resorts was one of the first resorts to close in Las Vegas, sending over 15,000 employees home with pay for 60 days of work. Maddox notes that the cost of the closure and the company’s decision to pay both full and part-time employees, including money for estimated tips, is $3 million per day or $180 million for two months.
While Maddox commends Sisolak for “making the difficult decision and taking early action in the fight against COVID-19,” he claims that Nevada’s economy “is in a freefall” and proposes a plan to gradually reopen the state.
Maddox’s plan, which he calls an incremental reopening, includes enforced social distancing, wearing masks, increasing testing and monitoring data.
“If we incrementally reopen, we might have to pull back if a spike in cases occurs that jeopardizes our healthcare system capacity,” Maddox states. “However, the only way to cross this river is one stone at a time, and we need to put our feet in the water before it is too late.”
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