Vegas Casinos Set To Reopen
Big news, Vegas Casinos set to reopen. On Tuesday night, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak released Phase 2 of the state’s Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan. The second phase of reopening Nevada begins on May 29. However, casinos won’t reopen right away.
Las Vegas casinos will be able to reopen on June 4. Not all casinos will reopen at the same time. Casino operators with multiple properties will ease into operations by opening in phases. Each property will reopen in phases as well. The road to recovery will be a long one for Las Vegas casinos.
Reopening Las Vegas casinos will happen slowly. It will take some time before the casino experience resembles what it used to be. This is important to remember when making plans to visit Las Vegas again.
The casino floors and restaurants will be limited to 50% capacity. The atmosphere in many casinos could resemble 2 pm instead of 8 pm.
Not every Vegas casino will reopen all of its bars, restaurants, and shows at first. While pools may be open, dayclubs (and nightclubs) will remain closed when casinos reopen. Every casino operator will be different with some focusing on streamlining operations by opening only the most profitable amenities first.
On the flip side, last night Wynn Las Vegas sent out a letter saying it will open both hotel towers along with “16 restaurants, 6 bars and lounges, 3 shopping esplanades, 5 pools, 2 salons, the golf course, and both Wynn and Encore casinos.”
The reopening of casinos will be different by location as well. Locals casinos could see larger crowds than those on the Vegas Strip at first. There’s a simple reason for this that has been touted by regional casino operators.
During its earnings call last week Station Casinos mentioned that many of its guests live within three miles of a property. We’ve seen pent up demand for regional casinos opening around the country. The Las Vegas locals casinos could see something similar. Many Las Vegas residents just want to go out and do something different.
The Casino Experience
Visiting a locals casino is like going to the mall for a few hours for someone that lives in Las Vegas. That’s a bit different than casinos on the Vegas Strip that depend on tourists driving or flying into Las Vegas and staying overnight in the hotels.
The casino experience on the Vegas Strip could be very different. MGM Resorts is only expecting 25% room occupancy on average when it reopens New York-New York and Bellagio.
The Las Vegas casino experience will not be the same as it was when casinos started closing more than two months ago. Visiting Las Vegas when casinos reopen might be great for someone who doesn’t love a busy casino. However, that experience isn’t for everyone.
Phased Casino Openings
Not all casinos will reopen on June 4 when they’re allowed to. Large casino operators will open properties in phases. Here are the planned opening phases we know right now:
- Opening immediately: Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s (June 5), parts of The Linq promenade and High Roller
- Closed: Planet Hollywood, Paris Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas, The Cromwell, The Linq, Harrah’s, RIO All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
- Opening next: The Linq
- Opening immediately: Bellagio, MGM Grand, New York-New York
- Closed: Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, Park MGM, Aria, The Mirage
- Opening immediately: Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Santa Fe Station, Boulder Station, Sunset Station
- Closed: Palms Casino Resort, Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho
- Opening immediately: The Orleans, Gold Coast, Aliante, Sam’s Town, Suncoast, Cannery, Fremont, The California
- Closed: Eastside Cannery, Main Street Station
Individually operated casinos will be able to resume operations on June 4. Treasure Island, Golden Nugget, El Cortez, The D, and Golden Gate casinos will all be ready to open as soon as they’re allowed.
New Casino Health & Safety Plans
Before being allowed to reopen, casino operators must submit a health and safety plan that covers both employees and guests. The plans are all similar since they must comply with the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s health and safety policies.
There are a lot of moving parts in the policies. By now you’ve heard most of the social distancing policies on the casino floor. Most machine games (slots, video poker, ETG’s like bubble craps) will either have every other seat removed or the machine will be turned off. Table games will also have limited seating when casinos reopen. Some properties will use plastic dividers as well.
All casino employees will wear face masks. Guests are encouraged to wear them too. Some properties will hand out face coverings to guests that don’t have. Every surface will be cleaned more than ever. There will be sanitizer stations throughout casinos.
Casino operators don’t have to reveal their plans but most already have.
- Boyd Clean
- Caesars Entertainment
- Golden Entertainment (The Strat)
- MGM Resorts
- Sahara Cares
- Station Casinos
- Treasure Island
- Venetian Clean
- Wynn Health & Disinfection Plan
The bad news is that the casino experience will probably be different the next time you visit a Las Vegas casino. The good news is that the casinos should be cleaner than ever.