Ever since the October 1st mass shooting at Mandalay Bay, things just haven’t been quite the same for the Las Vegas hotel and casino.
On the evening of October 1st, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of country music fans attending the Route 91 music festival from his Mandalay Bay hotel room. The gunman, Stephen Paddock, took the lives of 58 people and injured over 500 before he took his own life.
Mandalay Bay is now the capital of the deadliest mass shooting (by a single individual) in United States history.
Although two months have passed, Mandalay Bay struggles to resuscitate their luxurious reputation.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, no one really wants to stay there anymore. Even conference attendees would choose another venue:
Around dusk on a late November weekday, hundreds of people walked through Mandalay Bay, past empty restaurants just off the casino floor and toward the huge convention center.
Employees of CarMax, the nation’s largest used-car dealer, had gathered here from around the U.S. to attend the company’s annual President’s Club gala, an award ceremony to recognize top talent.
Roughly 4,500 people filled the convention center to eat, dance and hobnob with CarMax senior management. Many employees stayed at the hotel.
“It’s a business trip. We didn’t choose the Mandalay Bay. It was already chosen for us since last year,” said CarMax employee Felicia Green.
Visiting from Fayetteville, North Carolina, Green said she wouldn’t have stayed at the Mandalay Bay if she’d had a choice. The Oct. 1 mass shooting that occurred at the hotel was still too fresh in her mind.
It’s just too soon.
MGM Resorts International Chief Executive Officer Jim Murren said Nov. 8 that bookings were returning to normal and forecast the casino operator’s Strip-wide revenue would be down only in the low to mid-single digits during the fourth quarter compared with that of the year-earlier period.
That would suggest as much as a $65 million drop in Strip revenue. His forecast did not address direct financial impact on Mandalay Bay.
But the number of cancellations doubled immediately. Restaurateurs felt short-term pain, gamblers on the casino floor thinned out and hotel employees’ hours were eventually cut.
A repeat visitor commenting on TripAdvisor, a popular travel website, observed in early November that the hotel was “painfully slow.”
Thankfully, a lot of Mandalay Bay’s business is hosting conventions and because they are booked so far in advance–sometimes years–they have not received major group cancellations since the shooting.
Mandalay Bay food establishments and retail stores near the convention area say they have weathered the post-shooting visitor slump better than other businesses because they are less dependent on leisure tourists.
“We haven’t seen too much of a decrease. Companies are still booking those conventions. The other restaurants, they are feeling the hit,” said one manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity because employees were told not to speak to the press about the shooting and business.
But those who manage stores and smaller restaurants in Mandalay Bay have noticed a significant decrease in business–reminding all that the legacy of this mass shooting is not only loss of human life, the most important, but, potentially businesses and the financial stability of others as well.
Would you stay at Mandalay Bay?