Vegas News November 29, 2020
The big news stories in Las Vegas happened early and late in the week. We’ll start with a quick update from early in the week and move to the news that happened about 14 hours before I sat down to put this together. Plus, do not forget about Vegas Black Friday deals and offers!
New COVID-19 Restrictions In Las Vegas
A week ago, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak held a press conference about COVID-19 a couple of days ahead of schedule. He announced a few new restrictions that will last at least three weeks from last Tuesday.
Sisolak will assess Nevada’s virus case numbers and reevaluate if there will be a new for more, less, or the same restrictions moving forward. Michael put together a simple list of the current restrictions. Besides fewer shows, not much will change in casinos or at taverns/bars with video poker.
Some Caesars shows will continue and some will stop. MGM Resorts has put its shows on a three-week hiatus. The reduced capacity from 50% to 25% shouldn’t have much impact on your casino experience. It might be a coincidence that the hotels at The Mirage and Mandalay Bay are now closed midweek.
The weekend crowd in Las Vegas might see some kind of change. I’d chalk up slow traffic on the weekend to being between two major holidays than any restrictions. Two weeks until the Governor speaks on the subject. Talk soon.
My main takeaway is that you should use opentable to make restaurant reservations unless you grab a quick bite at a food court or quick-serve restaurant.
Zappos Founder Tony Hsieh Dead
Tony Hsieh is dead at 46 years old. Hsieh became “Vegas famous” for moving Zappos to downtown Las Vegas and embarking on an effort to revitalize the area for better and worse. His non-gaming companies and culture helped turn “Old Vegas” into “Downtown Vegas.”
This part of Las Vegas is now more than just home to a bunch of old casinos. Between Downtown Container Park, real estate developments, Life Is Beautiful and other Downtown Project businesses the entire downtown Las Vegas area is different than when I moved here.
It’s A Better Place
Many will say it’s a better place. Some will always prefer the old run down vibe. His part of the community was much greater and will have an impact for years to come.
I first learned about Hsieh when I was living on the east coast and he was “just” the owner of Zappos. His approach to business was really life-changing (read this thread). I followed his way of thinking well past my years of being a partner in a marketing firm.
His book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, helped shape the way I looked at the way companies operate. Here are a few blurbs from the book if you haven’t read it.
I loved “Old Vegas” and its charm. I love the newer “Downtown Vegas” in a different way. Things change and he helped downtown Vegas grow east and south all the way out to the Arts District where you’ll still find new restaurants and breweries opening.
Old Vegas still exists but you can experience downtown Las Vegas from the shadows of The Strat to beyond Downtown Container Park. Hsieh was a unique personality who helped reshape part of Las Vegas.
Tribute To Hsieh by Stevens
He might not be seen the same way as some of the great casino men of previous years but he did change things in this town. You can see some of his influence in how Derek Stevens runs his downtown Las Vegas casinos. By the time you read this, you’ll probably have read or heard about the tribute to Hsieh lead by Stevens.
One last non-Vegas note: I didn’t realize Hsieh was on the board of directors at JSX. His input might explain why I loved the JSX experience so much earlier this year.
I could go on about Hsieh for hours but I’ll keep this brief(ish). While Las Vegas and the whole world are dealing with COVID-19, I wanted to make sure to carve out a section for a man that helped change Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Quick Hits
+ Vegas Black Friday ‘Scoop
That was a bit heavier than I expected. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. If you weren’t lucky enough to score a $2 bath towel from Target’s Black Friday sale like I was, maybe you’ll enjoy the Vegas Black Friday deals that Michael broke down earlier this week. Let’s get to the rest of the news and rumors from Las Vegas.
- Cirque Du Soliel was sold. Former MGM Resorts CEO, Jim Murren, is now on the board of directors. The company is planning on reopening all Las Vegas shows besides Zumanity (already closed for good) as soon as next year. Read more here.
- Rumor of the week: Virgin may delay opening again. It makes sense that Virgin would delay the opening since it’s a national hotel chain. The hotel has a customer base all over the world that would need to travel to Las Vegas for either business or pleasure. That might happen someday. Expect to hear something official soon
- MGM Resorts renamed the poker room at Bellagio. Bobby’s Room is now known as Legends Room. Read more here. I’m surprised this took so long. The room was named after Bobby Baldwin who left MGM Resorts just over a year ago to work for Drew Las Vegas.
- Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa has a popup Christmas bar! Whatever. Someone give me a heads up when they have a popup Chanukah bar with all the Kedem wine I can drink and all the potato latkes I can eat.
- You may have seen the Earliest Checkin promotion from Circa as part of the Black Friday deals. They’re allowing anyone who books a room for opening night (12/28) to actually stay at the property for free on 12/26 and 12/27. As you’d imagine, rooms are a bit pricey for opening night but a three for one (or two) deal sounds good. Heads up: When I checked prices earlier this week you had couldn’t book just one night on the 28th. Not sure if that will be the case when you look. (Update: People were able to book one night, after a few “tweaks” by Circa.)
- Somehow Resorts World Las Vegas will crush the nightlife world. Read about it here.