Vegas Continues To Reopen
Vegas News June 21, 2020
I thought about writing an intro this week but this trip report is a good enough reminder about what Las Vegas casinos are like right now. Las Vegas continues to reopen and will be for a while. Also, be sure to check out Vegas is open again but is it worth the visit?
More casinos should be opening soon but the experiences will still be different. Restaurant and entertainment options will be limited. Buffets are starting to reopen. They will be All You Can Eat restaurants with servers bringing as much food as you want. This is similar to the amazing brunch at Border Grill at Mandalay Bay. Wynn was the first (I hope to get there this week) to open and Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan will open this week.
Pool parties (Dayclubs) and nightclubs are reopening. Like buffets, they’re a bit different. There’s a more casual vibe. The Las Vegas experience still isn’t the same as it used to be. Bellagio, Caesars Palace Las Vegas, and SAHARA Las Vegas poker rooms opened this week. Even Topgolf is open again. Last but not least, the esports arena at Luxor opens this week.
The return of Las Vegas will happen but it will take some time. This is still a great place to visit if you don’t mind a more mellow Las Vegas experience. Having said that, you might want to stay away if you’re not ready to be around strangers.
Health Issues From Reopening
Vegas Continues To Reopen
Unfortunately, reopening comes with some issues. This is not a post-Covid world. The disease is still being spread around the country. Las Vegas is no different and cases are rising. This doesn’t count any cases for people living outside of Nevada. Social distancing and masks help but they aren’t as effective as avoiding people entirely.
Mayfair Supper Club at Bellagio closed when an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The Northside Cafe at SAHARA Las Vegas has closed for a similar reason. A couple of employees at the Flamingo have also tested positive for COVID-19. The casino remains open.
The vast majority of guests at casinos aren’t wearing face coverings. This week Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak bumped up the requirements for wearing a face mask in a casino. As of the writing of this article (Saturday morning), gamblers must wear a face covering at the tables unless there are plexiglass dividers.
Plexiglass and Vegas Table Games
You can see which casinos use plexiglass dividers at the table games here. This morning I saw that Cosmopolitan has added plexiglass dividers. You may remember this video where almost everyone at the Cosmopolitan was maskless on the reopening weekend. This change isn’t a big surprise.
Guests inside the casino who aren’t gambling and aren’t watching someone gamble at the tables don’t have to wear a face covering – yet. The Governor is already considering a change to the new policy. I wouldn’t be surprised if casinos require all guests to wear a mask by the beginning of the week.
Again, the road to recovery is going to be a long one. Be patient and safe. Las Vegas will still be around. It might make sense to skip the summer and wait until October or December to visit…
Circa Opening In October…And December
Circa Resort and Casino was topped off yesterday. The big Circa news came earlier in the week when Derek Stevens announced that the first five floors at Circa will open on October 28. This includes the casino, restaurants, bars, pool, and sportsbook. The hotel at Circa will open sometime before December 28. You’ll be able to reserve rooms on June 24.
I recommend making a reservation if you’re considering a visit for March Madness 2021. The sports book looks great but that pool deck might be an even better option to watch the games.
Reservations will be available on the spanking new circalasvegas.com. The website looks great and has lots of information on the property. Five bars will open in October but only four of the five restaurants will open. The offshoot from Le Thai, 8 East, will open in December. You can see short videos from the restauranteurs here.
Both levels of the casino and the multi-level sportsbook will also open in October. Here are some specs on the gaming:
- 1,350 slot machines
- 55 table games
- 138 bartop gaming machines
- 18 electronic table games
The sportsbook will have more than 70 of those bartop gaming machines split among two different bars. The sportsbook will have 350 seats and private boxes to reserve. The total capacity for the sportsbook is 1,000.
You can read more about the Circa casino here.
The parking garage will also open in October. This has been so hyped that I’m actually curios to check it out. Circa will join The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate as part of the Club One players club. There’s a lot to look forward to when Circa opens.
In ordinary times I’d would break down the minutia of the Caesars deal with Eldorado and the rumor about an MGM merger. I didn’t even have time to do a deep dive on one of my favorite Las Vegas research documents this week.
There’s so much Vegas continues to reopen news that the things I find interesting are just leftover notes for quick hits this week. Anyway, I recommend taking some extra time with Quick Hits this week.
- Rumor of the week: Blackstone may merge with MGM Resorts. Read about it here.
- The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority released its 2019 Visitors Profile. While not entirely accurate this information paints a good picture of people visiting Las Vegas. I’ll be sharing some specific nuggets during the week. Read it here.
- Eldorado Resorts did a thing with money. You can read about that here. The merger with Caesars Palace Las Vegas appears as though it will close in July. Read some excellent analysis here.
- SAHARA Las Vegas table game reservations are live. Check it out here.
- Plaza is shooting off fireworks on July fourth. Read more here.
- Evidently Las Vegas will be busy on July 4 weekend. Read more here.
- Sin City Brewing is closing. Read more here.
- The Boring update this week goes to the airport and downtown Las Vegas. Read more here.
- It looks like G2E will return to Las Vegas later this year. Read more here.
- The new steakhouse at Flamingo will open in July. Read more here.
- LAS may become LAS with a new name. Read more here.
- Elio at Encore is open. Read more here.