The Vegas News for me this week started mostly with the Global Gaming Expo (G2E). As expected it was smaller than usual with fewer small and international gaming operators. There was also a lack of food and beverage providers, entertainers and other random non-gaming companies showing off their goods and services for casinos to buy.
Once again, we’ll start with a quick COVID-19 update since it isn’t going anywhere quickly. Plus it has been a busy July in Las Vegas. Businesses are choosing to give priority to those who are vaccinated against the virus. Last week we told you that the Las Vegas Raiders requiring proof of vaccination for entry to watch games at Allegiant Stadium without a mask. This is a team policy as Allegiant Stadium will allow all guests – vaccinated or not – for other events like the Guns N Roses concert on Friday.
Vegas News is going to be a bit different this week. I spent most of the past five days on the Vegas Strip. My stay was for fun and work so I visited multiple casinos. When visiting Caesars properties I saw a lot of transformation (“New Caesars”) we’ve been discussing over the past year or so. When going through my weekly news blurbs it looks like I’m not the only one to see what’s happening.
The Great Vegas Comeback (™) continued this weekend with action up and down the Vegas Strip. COVID Isn’t Over — COVID-19 rates, hospitalizations, etc. have spiked to the same level as February. I spent a couple of days at the Cosmopolitan this week and it was crazy busy. Even though the casino was busier it seemed like there was a similar proportion of guests wearing masks as the last time I stayed there in May. Once again, masked and unmasked all seemed comfortable and respectful with each other.
The big news in Las Vegas this week was the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas. This wasn’t a “grand opening” despite the ribbon-cutting, fireworks, celebrity appearances, and so on. This was a big deal since it’s the first casino built from scratch to open on the Vegas Strip in a decade. Having said that, consider this a “soft opening.”
Boy, the Covid-related news escalated quickly. Last week, a few Las Vegas casinos were approved to increase capacity to 100% and remove plexiglass. Early this week Caesars, MGM Resorts, and more joined the “100% Club”. That was just the beginning. On Thursday, the CDC updated its mask guidelines. Nevada followed suit allowing businesses to change their policy. Next, Nevada Gaming Control announced that it’s allowing casinos to update their policy.
The Great Vegas Reopening (TM) is in full swing. Capacity limits and plexiglass are gone at Wynn and Cosmopolitan. Most are quite relieved and happy with the news that plexiglass in Vegas comes down! There should be more casinos to follow. I’m hoping the worst of the coronavirus is behind us. That would mean life for everyone is getting back to normal.
Let’s start the weekly Vegas News roundup with a short story about a big deal. This week Las Vegas Sands (LVS) sold all of its properties (aka “Venetian Sold”) in Sin City. The company is now just “Sands” since it has no more businesses in Las Vegas. The deal happened early in the week so I’m not going to get too deep.