Vegas News May 24, 2020
Vegas Casino Opening Announcement
So, seriously, Las Vegas casinos are really close to opening and an “official” Vegas casino opening announcement. Friday evening, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced he will hold a press conference for Tuesday, May 26 with details about Phase 2 of reopening Nevada. It appears as though June 4 will be the earliest that Las Vegas casinos will be able to open. This is a little later than expected but as we discussed during the most recent TravelZork chat with Anthony Curtis (AC).
The Nevada Gaming Control will also hold a Covid-19 update and workshop for casinos on Tuesday. They’ll go over just about everything a casino operator will need to know before opening. This should give casinos some time to adjust their opening plans if it’s necessary before actually opening the doors for customers. You can watch it here.
Casino Health & Safety and Opening Plans
During the chat, AC also brought up how casinos are beginning to apply pressure to the government and the gaming control board. Bringing employees in, showing national media the safety precautions, and rolling out plans shows governmental officials that they are ready to get back in action.
This week Caesars Entertainment announced its opening plan. Flamingo and venues at The Linq will open along with Caesars Palace. The Linq and Harrah’s Las Vegas will be the next to open as demand warrants.
CEO Tony Rodio has been making TV appearances all week from Caesars Palace Las Vegas. While we’re talking about Caesars, it looks like poker will return to Flamingo Las Vegas and Caesars Palace Las Vegas when they open.
MGM Resorts already released its opening plan. The company is now showing off opening plans from Bellagio. You can see some pictures of the property here. The plexiglass craps installation and 6:5 blackjack table at Bellagio are pretty awful looking. On a related note, it looks like MGM Resorts will open MGM Grand after Bellagio and New York-New York.
Sahara is coming out swinging with its new health and safety plan called Sahara Cares for when the casino opens. While the SAHARA Las Vegas isn’t banning smoking at the property, they won’t allow it at the tables. Guests must “step away from the game if they want to smoke.” The casino will also have a virtual queue for table game players to reserve a spot.
NO Resort Fee Promotion – SAHARA
A separate email from SAHARA Las Vegas says the company won’t charge resort fees if anyone makes a reservation by Monday. This isn’t a new tactic. They’ve done promotions waiving resort fees before. You’ll have to pay the fees again after the long weekend. I expect we’ll see more promotions like this from other casino operators.
Golden Entertainment owns PT’s Pubs, The Strat, and more. The company released its health and safety plan this week. This plan is pretty basic but you might enjoy the web 2.0 layout.
Boyd Clean was released earlier this week. The big news was that “Smoking is not permitted at table games.” That language was removed a few hours after this was posted. The national casino operator may end up having different rules for various markets they have properties. The Boyd Las Vegas casinos are pretty smokey so this is something to keep an eye on.
New Circa Resort Renderings
CIRCA SPORTS BOOK
Enough about reopenings. Let’s look into the future. This week Circa shared some new renderings including the casino floor and carpet on Instagram and Twitter. They also teased that there could be an opening date announcement coming soon.
The rendering above is a new image of the multi-level sports book at Circa. I can’t wait to see this in person! The image below appears to be the 2nd-floor casino that looks out to the sports book.
So many people love different casino carpet designs. Here’s a closeup of the main casino floor carpet. You’ll notice the sportsbook has a different design.
Red Rock Resorts/Station Casinos Earnings And Restaurant Opening
Wow, it feels like Red Rock Resorts (Station Casinos) reported earnings weeks ago. It turns out they reported earnings on Tuesday. Time sure flies when casinos are closed! Anyway, we have some interesting info from the call.
Much like Caesars Entertainment, after removing Palms, Station Casinos was on its way to its best first quarter since 2008 until casinos were ordered to close. The reopening plan shared earlier this month remains intact and Palms will not open during the first phase of Station Casinos properties opening. The company said that reopening more properties will be based on if they think the property will be able to make a profit.
A rep for Station Casinos shut down rumors that Palms is on the market saying “we can dispel rumors that Palms is for sale.” The company later said that the land they were trying to sell has been taken off the market until the economy improves.
Putting the two things together, I wouldn’t be surprised if Palms goes on the market when the company makes the land available for sale again. There’s no reason to sell at the bottom of the market if possible.
Here are a few more notes of interest from the earnings call:
- Buffets won’t reopen during the first opening phase. They don’t make money and are loss leaders. Station Casinos will only open most popular restaurants at each property first. The company later announced a slew of restaurants at its properties will be opening before the casinos can operate.
- Poker rooms won’t open in Phase 1.
- Most guests at Station Casinos properties live within 3 miles from the properties. This is true for me and Red Rock.
- Slots are the primary profit generator for Station Casinos
- Similar to Boyd gaming a large chunk of its players club are boomers and retirees. They didn’t give specifics.
- Movie theaters will lag but should be part of Phase 1 at some point.
- Red Rock Casino room remodel is complete.
I’m not sure if it’s the case but it feels like there are a couple more Quick Hits each week. This is a sign that there’s some smaller, yet useful, Vegas news to share. Let’s get to it!
- Paid parking will be taking a break when the Las Vegas Strip casinos reopen. Caesars Entertainment and the Cosmopolitan are following MGM Resorts by offering free parking when they reopen. There won’t be any valet so you’ll have to park by yourself.
- The buffet at Treasure Island is closing. The sportsbook will move into the space. Read more here.
- The American Gaming Association is recommending the threshold for W2G’s is increased from $1,200. Read more here.
- The South Point is hosting a PBR (bull riding) event without fans. Read more here.
- The next UFC card will take place in Las Vegas without fans. Read more here.
- Near Vegas: The Colorado Belle in Laughlin isn’t reopening. Read more here.
- The Mob Museum is open. Read more here.
- The Neon Museum is also open. Read more here.
- Wynn is opening some of its restaurants before the casino opens. Read more here.
- Downtown Las Vegas has closed some streets to make pop up dining areas so people can dine al fresco. Coincidentally, temperatures will hit the mid-hundreds this week. 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.
Want direct access to casino news, casino reviews, narratives, loyalty programs, and video poker? Visit our casino/Vegas section directly at CasinoZork. Join the thousands of people who read TravelZork every month! Sign up here for one email per week updates. (Email is sent weekly on Monday and now includes EXCLUSIVE tips and commentary!)