Nevada Governor: “Las Vegas Hotels Will Reopen June 4” But Will The Experience Be Different?

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The casinos on the Las Vegas strip have been shut down for 2 months and as you may have expected, the impact to the economy has been devastating. 

Earlier this week, Las Vegas revealed a new slogan called Vegas “reimagined,” and announced they would be reopening at the beginning of June. Well, we finally have more details.

THE NEW “REIMAGINED” VEGAS

Tuesday afternoon, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced that Nevada was ready to move into “Phase 2” and reopen 29 May 2020 (this coming Friday).

The Governor said:

“So far, during Phase 1, we continue to see a consistent and sustainable downward trajectory of percentage of positive COVID-19 cases and a decrease in the trend of COVID-19 hospitalizations.” 

The Governor went on to emphasize the importance of continuing to wear face coverings in public and maintaining at least six feet of social distance.

However, in Phase 2, the city will see an increase in public and private gatherings from ‘no more than 10 people’ to ‘no more than 50 people.’

WHO IS OPEN AND WHO IS CLOSED?

The state has taken a strategic approach to reopen by assigning “phases.” However, in a city that has built its foundation on entertainment, the various phases can be confusing.

For example, there are some businesses that will continue to remain closed in Phase 2 including:

  • Adult entertainment establishments
  • Brothels
  • Nightclubs and day clubs

Interestingly, the following businesses are allowed to open:

  • Gyms and fitness facilities
  • Day and overnight spas (but steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs or other communal facilities must remain closed)
  • Massage services (by appointment only)
  • Body art and piercing establishments (by appointment only)
  • Aquatic facilities, water parks, and swimming pools (however, locker rooms will not be allowed to reopen)
  • Indoor venues (e.g. movie theaters, bowling alleys, indoor malls, etc.)

And similar to Phase 1, Phase 2 will last 2-3 weeks as the state monitors the data and evaluates the trends. 

WHAT ABOUT THE CASINOS?

Although the city has the green light to reopen on the 29 May 2020, the reopening date for the gaming industry is 4 June 2020. However, if you’re searching for a specific hotel, you may find that many of the hotel properties on the strip will not be open.

In particular, MGM Resorts has determined the best option is to reopen in a staggered process, opening some hotels now and others later.

If you’re not familiar with the hotel ownership landscape in Las Vegas, there are essentially 3-4 companies that own EVERY hotel on the strip. For example, MGM Resorts owns:

  • Bellagio
  • CityCenter
  • Aria
  • Vdara
  • Excalibur
  • Luxor
  • Mandalay Bay
  • Delano
  • MGM Grand
  • Skylofts at MGM Grand
  • The Mansion at MGM Grand
  • The Signature at MGM Grand
  • The Mirage
  • New York-New York
  • Park MGM

Obviously, a lot of thought and planning has to go into reopening that many properties.

Additionally, the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission released a list of health and safety policies that hotels must meet before they can reopen. I trust this development has made the process of reopening better and safer but also more complicated for hotels.

In my research, I found that MGM properties (e.g. MGM Grand) will allow you to make a reservation on their homepage if they are open on June 4th. However, if the hotel will not be open (e.g. Luxor), the calendar will simply not allow you to see the month of June at all.

In stark contrast, Ceasars Entertainment allows you to book all of their strip properties on June 4th, however the hotel group announced that only the Flamingo and Caesars Palace would be open on June 4th, so I suspect the organization will notify you that you’ll be moving to a different property, which seems like a weird way to go about things in my opinion.

FINAL STAMP

If you’re interested in the seeing the health and safety policies for each hotel which are available to the public, google [insert hotel name] + health and safety plan.

Here is an example of (my favorite Las Vegas hotel) the Wynn health and safety plan.

Although, I have no plans of visiting Las Vegas any time soon, I am fascinated by the reopening of the strip and expect it to be very different than the Vegas we’ve known before.

But as I mentioned in my previous post, it’s hard for me to imagine an experience different than what I’ve experienced before: rubbing shoulders with hoards of tourists, eating at a buffet with hoards of tourists, visiting a casino with hoards of tourists, etc.

With the MGM Grand alone having nearly 7,000 rooms , I think the hotels have an extremely challenging road ahead and it has the potential to be disastrous if not done properly.

What do you think about the strategy to reopen the strip?

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