Vegas News July 12, 2020
Vegas News – COVID-19 UPDATE
It looks like we’ll be starting the Vegas news with a weekly COVID-19 update for a while now. As usual, I recommend checking the Nevada Independent for updates if you’d like to see the data on how the virus is impacting the Silver State.
The big news about COVID-19 in Nevada is that Governor Steve Sisolak rolled back how open bars can be. Bars and taverns are back to Phase One status until at least July 24 to help slow the spread of COVID-19 again. You can see the details here. Clark County, where the Vegas Strip is located released a statement about mask compliance here.
You can see the list of businesses not complying here. Shout out to Aria, Mandalay Bay, Silverton for being the only casinos caught not complying. I’m sure there are other casinos that could have been caught not complying but this is what we know officially. On a related note, now we know why the Silverton closed the aquarium.
It was brought to my attention that there’s confusion about how casino bars are impacted. These bars may be open in that you can get a drink if they also serve food. Some casino bars are closed simply because not all grab and go bars will generate revenue.
You cannot sit at a bar and play video poker. If you’d like a cocktail while gambling, you can wait for a waitress on the casino floor or buy a drink and sit at a table or machine.
Bars not in casinos once again can stay open if they serve food. The bar area will be closed but the restaurant parts can remain open. PT’s Pubs, for example, is closing some video poker bar/restaurants. However, they’re leaving 21 bar/restaurants open to serve food. This is the same as Phase One of reopening. You can read the actual documentation about Nevada bars here.
Vegas News – COVID Quick Hits
Here are a few COVID-19 articles if you’d like to catch up on this topic.
- Evidently OJ Simpson was back at Jing in Downtown Summerlin being OJ. Read more here.
- The Palazzo hotel tower will close on July 21. The casino, restaurants, etc. will remain open. Read more here.
- G2E is officially canceled for 2020. Read more here.
- Ballys Las Vegas is reopening on July 23. Read more here.
- Evidently Night Swim at Encore Beach Club has returned. Read more here.
- The NHL isn’t using Las Vegas as a hub city because of the spike in COVID cases. Read more here.
New Caesars Receives Approval in Nevada (and Indiana)
Earlier this week, Eldorado Resorts presented its case for the merger with Caesars to the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission. Both approved the merger for the state of Nevada. They also approved William Hill to operate the sportsbooks at Caesars Nevada properties.
Synergies – Eldorado Resorts
I wrote a brief overview here but have some additional notes that I found interesting. Eldorado Resorts has been focused on creating $500 million from synergies between the two companies. They expect to exceed that number.
During their last earnings calls both Caesars and Eldorado commented that they lose money on buffets. During the meeting, Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg says the companies lose $3 million on buffets annually.
The casino business isn’t interested in loss leaders like the used to be. Reeg said that the combined company could save $120 million by closing 40 buffets. It sounds like premium buffets like Bacchanal at Caesars Palace could remain but the cheaper versions could close.
It will take about a year to combine the loyalty clubs from the two companies. In the meantime, Eldorado customers will be a part of what the company calls “Caesars Rewards light.”
Darryl from Seven Stars Insider shared an example of how this could work during our monthly TravelZork live chat this week. It seems as though Caesars Rewards Loyalty Program “light” will work similarly to how M Life Rewards works with Borgata in Atlantic City.
Lastly, William Hill will operate Caesars Las Vegas sportsbooks. This is a big deal for sports bettors looking for different odds options. Bettors will essentially lose one more place to wager.
It sounds like complimentary drinks will remain for placing wagers as the companies have worked out a deal. The company will also create a new app called “Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.” The app will be different from the William Hill app as it will integrate Caesars Rewards points. Horse racing fans will be stoked to know they plan on offering parimutuel betting at all Caesars properties except The Cromwell.
Indiana gave its approval for the deal on Friday. Once New Jersey approves the merger the two companies can finalize the deal.
ICYMI – TravelZork
Exploring The Re-Imagined Wynn Las Vegas Buffet
Vegas is open again, but is it worth the visit?
Atlantic City July 2020
Strike up the banned: Indoor dining, drinking and smoking
Stadium Swim At Circa
Circa Resort revealed more information and renderings for the sweet pool deck being built outside of the fifth floor of the property. The pool has its own name – Stadium Swim. The pool will feature “state-of-the-art Ultraviolet Light (UVL) sanitation and water-recirculation patterns, providing guests with the cleanest and healthiest public pool experience in Las Vegas.”
You can reserve chairs, daybeds, and cabanas at Stadium Swim here. By now you probably know that the multi-level amphitheater-pool deck has a massive 135 x 41-foot video screen. This will also serve as a place to watch sports. General admission for games is $10 per person. That’s also the price to visit the pool during weekdays if you’re not a hotel guest. Guests at The D and Golden Gate can also use the Stadium Swim pool for free.
There will be two swim-up bars when Stadium Swim opens. As previously mentioned, the pool deck will be open 365 days a year. You’ll also be able to order food to enjoy outside any day. Much like everything else at Circa, Stadium Swim sounds rad. You can read the press release here.
Check out the interview with Derek Steven on the Vital Vegas podcast. Stevens offers a few nuggets that you won’t read or hear elsewhere. Two of the things that stood out to me were:
- The air conditioning flow
- There will be a crane operating inside of a restaurant when the casino opens on October 28.
I recommend slowing the podcast speed down to 1.5 or 1.75 during the interview. You can keep it at your usual expedited speed for the rest of the podcast.
Vegas News – COVID Rollback
We have just a few more nuggets of Vegas news (“COVID Rollback Edition”) for your eyes in this week’s Quick Hits.
- Bugsy And Meyer’s Steakhouse at Flamingo Las Vegas is open. Read more here.
- Resorts World will have a loyalty club that rewards all spending, not just gambling. Evidently this is still a big deal in 2020. Maybe this article is from 2012. Who knows? Read more here.
- Remember those IGT bartop machines we told you about last year? Well, they’re finally hitting casinos. The Golden Nugget is the first place you’ll find them in Las Vegas. Read more here.
- Wynn Las Vegas has been named the best hotel in Las Vegas by a paper magazine. Read more here.
- The Lake of Dreams show at Wynn is closed for an update. Read more here.
- You can buy Las Vegas Raiders masks at the Miracle Mile Shops. Sephora and the Nestle Tollhouse shop are also selling masks. I haven’t confirmed if they’re scented. Who’s buying one if they’re not?! Read more here.
- Last week Steve Wynn put his house on the market. This week ex-CEO of MGM Resorts, Jim Murren, put his house up for sale. Read more here.
- Hockey is back! Read when you’ll be able to gamble on the games here.
- Dick’s Last Resort is going downtown, baby! It will appropriately slide in near the Heart Attack Grill. Read more here.
- There’s a new kosher restaurant in Vegas. Like, real kosher, not “Jewish-style food.” Read more here.
- Chickies and Pete’s is on schedule to open this fall at the Sahara. Read more here.
Also, be sure to join the ZorkCast Group on FaceBook. This is the Facebook group to continue the conversation from the ZorkCast podcast and TravelZork website. Feel free to start a conversation related to anything TravelZork or ZorkCast.
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