Virgin Las Vegas facing delays for grand opening
By Bob Garcia
The casino is facing possible delays that might make it miss its proposed January launch
The new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas that was expected to open before the end of this year has already been forced to delay its grand opening once because of COVID-19-induced setbacks. The property, which was the former Hard Rock Las Vegas before being purchased by Richard Branson’s Virgin brand, has been undergoing extensive renovations and the global pandemic has made it difficult to adhere to any schedule. It now looks, according to the Vital Vegas blog, that another delay might be imminent.
After facing obstacles due to COVID-19, Virgin planned on opening the property sometime next January. However, new delays are being suggested, with JC Hospitality, the company behind the project with Virgin, telling its employees that it is considering pushing back the opening further as the casino industry in Vegas continues to be severely handicapped by the pandemic. Gambling venues were forced to reduce their maximum capacities to just 25% of their normal levels last weekend, and this is expected to impact any pre-launch activities planned by Virgin and JC Hospitality.
Adding to the difficulties is a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and John Hopkins University that predicts another wave of COVID-19 outbreaks coming in January. Should that occur, trying to launch a casino at the same time as the new spike would be a financial death sentence. Richard Bosworth, JC Hospitality’s president and CEO, asserted that the company is closely monitoring the situation and that “with unprecedented low occupancy projections for Las Vegas, it is unclear that if we did open as scheduled, there would be enough business to support scheduling even 50% of our staff.” The new launch could possibly happen at the end of January or by the middle of February based on the new information.