The head of Australia’s largest casino group says CBDs are facing a crisis, as he called for workers to return to the office.
Ahead of an Economic Outlook forum to be hosted by Sky News and the The Australian at Sydney’s Crown on Friday, Crown Resorts chief executive Ciarán Carruthers said he wants workers out of their homes to boost consumer and business confidence and revitalise CBDs.
His plea came as new ABS figures this week reveal Australia’s economy slowed to just 0.2 per cent in the March quarter, coinciding with the RBA’s decision to hike rates to its highest figure in decades.
Crown is one of the country’s biggest employers, and the biggest single site employer in Victoria. With its $2.2 billion VIP casino and resort in freshly developed Barangaroo in Sydney, and its operations in Perth, the company employs more than 23,000 staff.
“We are still behind where we were pre-pandemic and part of that is the CBD hasn’t returned to full vibrancy as yet. Work from home has certainly given us a challenge,” Mr Carruthers told The Australian.
“From Thursday afternoon through to Tuesday the city’s significantly quieter and I think that’s also having an impact on both domestic and international tourism.
“The city is just not as vibrant as many of our tourists have…