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Low demand forces Encore at Wynn Las Vegas to reduce operating hours, experts predict more resorts to follow |

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Low demand forces Encore at Wynn Las Vegas to reduce operating hours, experts predict more resorts to follow

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- It is another sign the pandemic is not over -- a Las Vegas Strip property is shutting its doors for several days a week.

The Encore at Wynn Las Vegas has announced that starting next week, it will only be open from Thursdays at 2 p.m. to Sundays, with final check out for guests at noon on Mondays.

The resort said in a press release, "the five-day, four-night schedule will continue indefinitely until consumer demand for Las Vegas increases."

"We've never been in this situation before," said hospitality expert and UNLV gaming historian David Schwartz.

Schwartz says as Las Vegas continues to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic, more properties could be headed in this direction. He adds that fewer visitors mean operating costs are likely higher than revenue streams at many Vegas resorts.

"With most conventions being on hiatus, we don't have a lot of mid-week occupancy, so it makes sense to close hotels, or even the entire resort during the week," Schwartz said.

"If the current conditions continue, we could see more properties do this," added Schwartz.

In a statement to 8 News Now, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said: "There are plenty of hotel rooms available both weekdays and weekends in Las Vegas. Our resort partners look forward to welcoming larger trade shows and conventions back to the destination when it's safe and feasible to do so and they will adjust their weekday room inventory based on visitor demand."

8 News Now walked through the Encore Tuesday evening to get a first-hand look at the situation. There were only a handful of people on the casino floor. The Wynn was busier -- and Schwartz says that is why companies with more than one property might reduce hours.

But: "Closing a standalone resort during the week would probably be a little bit more challenging," Schwartz said.

Marketing expert, and former marketing director for Stations Casinos Shaundell Newsome, says closing a major hotel property during the week could be an image problem for other cities, but not here in Las Vegas.

"This is the place where people use as their playground, as their escape, so I think it doesn't impact Las Vegas as much," Newsome said.

But it is still unclear when we will see a light at the end of the tunnel.

"I think Las Vegas is going to come back, I don't think it's going to be overnight," Schwartz said.

The Poker Room at Encore will temporarily move to Wynn Las Vegas beginning on Monday, October 19, and will operate 7 days a week.

8 News Now reached out to other resorts to see if they plan to reduce their hours. We heard back from Stations Casinos and MGM Resorts, who both said they had no comment.

ALTERED HOURS: Low demand amid #COVID19 forces Encore at Wynn Las Vegas to reduce operating hours; experts predict more #LasVegas resorts could be heading in that direction. @8NewsNow #8NN#DETAILS: https://t.co/KTzOcnRLaZ pic.twitter.com/pOe5WQtzSt

— Orko Manna (@orko_manna) October 14, 2020