Vegas News September 20, 2020
Two weeks without Vegas news on Sunday is wild! This was the first year I’ve taken a break from my weekend duty with TravelZork. Relaxing an extra day was nice, but I’m a creature of habit and was fidgety while trying to relax. Happy to be back sharing the ‘scoop and also the announcement of the first completely non-smoking casino on the Vegas Strip.
Things in Las Vegas are essentially the same with one major exception. Bars in Las Vegas will be open again at midnight on Monday (or Sunday night if you prefer). We’ll be able to bang away on video poker while enjoying complimentary drinks while sitting at a bar once again.
The COVID-19 numbers seem to be decreasing for locals but who the heck knows anymore. The Las Vegas Review-Journal got their hands on possible COVID-19 exposure locations in June, July, and August.
It looks as though casinos were still hot spots for the virus being spread in the previous three months. You can read the article or the author’s thread on twitter for more info.
Intriguing development—Cosmo now mostly non-smoking. pic.twitter.com/pw2spJTuPD— Vital Vegas (@VitalVegas) September 19, 2020
According to the raw data, it appears as if the Cosmopolitan had the most exposures to COVID-19 of any Las Vegas casino in the past three months. It’s probably just a coincidence that the casino is no longer allowing smoking in parts of the casino floor.
Speaking of non-smoking casinos and the concept of a non-smoking casino……
Park MGM | Non-Smoking Casino
MGM Resorts announced that Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas will open as a non-smoking casino on September 30. The opening date is a little ahead of schedule from what I guessed here last month. Interestingly enough, tickets for Professional Bull Riders World Tour at T-Mobile Arena are still on sale.
The Last Non-Smoking Casino
Park MGM will be the only completely smoke-free casino (non-smoking casino) on the Vegas Strip when it reopens. If you’re curious, the last casino in Las Vegas to ban smoking was Silver City Casino in the early 1990s. That only lasted for a few months and the casino closed its doors before the decade was over.
Smokeless Casino Environment
Air quality is more important than ever for casino guests. MGM Resorts included improving air quality in all of its casinos in its seven-point health and safety plan. This is all well and good but Bellagio and MGM Grand were second and third, respectively, on the list of COVID exposure data for casinos.
Anyway, I’m all about a smokeless casino environment (non-smoking casino ) at Park MGM, the Cosmopolitan, and even places like the newish slot area at Rampart Casino. Take that for what it’s worth, I’m not a smoker except for the very occasional cigar.
Vegas Property Reopening Update
Reopening update: Oyo and Tropicana both opened last week. Four Seasons will reopen on September 25.
Caesars Is Packin Em In!
Fast forward a couple of months and add a long weekend and Caesars Entertainment properties were even busier. The Stiffs and Georges blog shared a note from a stock analyst saying “Labor Day (weekend) was good for business, with 95% occupancy.”
Based on all reports, the Vegas Strip was packed for the long weekend. I think we’ll hear better than expected revenue when the casino corporations report third quarter earnings next month.
The regional marketing seems to be bringing the drive in visitors for the time being. There are no events or major holidays scheduled for a couple of months so I’m not expecting busy weekends like this until the Christmas holiday season.
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Reveals Rooms
This week Virgin Hotels Las Vegas revealed some new renderings of its hotel room design. The smallish rooms (AKA chambers) look nice and airy.
The company says we’ll hear what the exact opening date will be sometime this month. I’m expecting an announcement later this week. The property has been scheduled to open sometime after Election Day but my guess is that opening is pushed back until 2021.
This is just an educated guess based on previous information about the property trying to attract guests in Las Vegas for conventions. The Consumer Electronics Show has been moved to being an online event, so the busiest days for Las Vegas hotels in January will not happen this year. It won’t be surprising if Virgin waits until February when people might visit Las Vegas to watch and wager on the Super Bowl.
Las Vegas Quick Hits
Taking just two weeks away from writing the news roundup has really tapped me. I’ve already taken two “podnaps” (naps that begin after podcasts start and end before the podcast) today.
Having said that, I’m going to drop some more quick hits than usual and probably pass out again. Maybe I’ll get more coffee. Tweet me if you’re curious how the day turned out.
- Wynn poker is back on 9/30! Read more here.
- The Killers are gonna implode Caesars Palace Las Vegas on Monday! YIKES! Read more here.
- DTF opens at Aria in October. People are stoked for this place that I never heard of before seeing it was opening in Las Vegas. Read more here and via GSTP here.
- Magic Mike is moving into a new theater at SAHARA Las Vegas and opens next year. Read more here.
- NASCAR will take place in Las Vegas without fans. Read more here.
- USA Today readers voted on the 10 best Vegas casinos. Read more here.
- Milos is moving from the Cosmopolitan to The Venetian. No word if the restaurant will keep the amazing lunch special on the menu. Read more here.
- Time for another Boring update. Yes, this amuses me. Read more here.
- NAB is being pushed back to October. Read more here.
- Here’s a strange one. It appears as though Station Casinos might build Durango Station. I doubt this will happen but it’s on the table. Read more here.
- Palace Station is replacing the overpriced, but delicious, burger joint with a sports bar from Clique Hospitality that will probably be equally overpriced. Read more here.
- The Vegas Golden Knights season is over. Time for the off-season. Read more here.
- The Las Vegas Raiders are undefeated! See and hear more here.