Visiting Las Vegas Virtually During the Quarantine

Neon Museum in Las VegasNever thought we’d see the day, but the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown LV are virtually empty, and have been for the past few weeks.

That is, minus the cars that drive down Las Vegas Boulevard to take in the unusual sight of a pedestrian-free Strip, and law enforcement that’s parked outside of major casino-resorts to ensure no one makes their way in.

But while Las Vegas is temporarily “closed” (casinos and nonessential businesses are set to open back up April 30), you can still experience Vegas virtually with several Vegas experiences and attractions going online, some just requiring a simple search on YouTube even.

Here are some of the best Vegas-based experienced you can catch virtually during this time of quarantine. Think of it as a virtual field trip until you can experience the real thing live!

Cirque de Soleil

The Las Vegas show staple, Cirque de Soleil, launched CirqueConnect last Friday.

It’s a digital content hub featuring new 60-minute specials each week. The footage contains “awe-inspiring” show footage and fan-favorite videos with hopes of transporting viewers from the comfort of their safe space.

Cirque de Soleil Fun Facts

  • The mesmerizing acrobatic circus show was first founded in 1984, and has since been put on display for over 180 million people in 450 cities on every continent minus Antarctica.
  • Las Vegas has six permanent Cirque de Soleil shows, with Mystere at Treasure Island being their first permanent show and longest-running show.
  • The shows are expensive to produce: Ka, which premiered in 2005, cost close to $165 million to produce, making it one of the most expensive theatrical-productions in history.

Fountains of Bellagio

The dancing Fountains of Bellagio are among the most iconic venues on the Las Vegas Strip, and with it temporarily being shut down right now, many users have taken to YouTube to upload their footage of the glorious sight.

Here there were in all their glory just last year, dancing to the theme of Game of Thrones.

Fountains of Bellagio Fun Facts

  • The Bellagio fountains hold 22 million gallons of water that’s taken from an on-site well and it fills up 8.5 acres of a man-made lake.
  • The “lake” contains sensors that are able to detect wind strength. If the wind is too strong, the fountains get shut down so that the pressure of the water doesn’t go over boundaries.
  • The fountains are illuminated at night by nearly 5,000 lights.

Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art

Take an inside look inside into the UNLV Gallery at the “Connective Tissue” exhibit on this 360-degree virtual tour. It was created by a former neurologist-turned-artist, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiy.

The exhibit features “large scale murals and interactive installations enriched by Phingbodhipakkiya’s belief that power and impact are created through connections and networks.”

“Just as a flawless pirouette requires recruitment and control of nearly every muscle group in a dancer’s body, the things we hope to achieve as a society cannot be done by individual effort alone,” she says, “they require collective action.”

Mirage Volcano

Experience the “big bang” Mirage’s front yard has to offer with their explosive Mirage Volcano show, which you can see aerial footage of below.

Mirage Volcano Fun Facts

  • The Mirage Volcano is set to the driving soundtrack from The Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Indian tabla sensation Zakir Hussain
  • Every night, the tranquil waterfall transforms into a fiery explosion, with fire shooting 100 feet up into the night sky.
  • The volcano circulates 119,000 gallons of water per minute, is 54 feet high, and is situated on three water-covered acres.

Neon Museum

Now, exclusively through its app, the Neon Museum is offering free virtual tours. Just remember to enter in the password “NEON” once you download the app. There is also a great selection of video content featuring different sections of the museum on YouTube.

Neon Museum Fun Facts

  • The oldest sign in the Boneyard is the Green Shack sign, which is 80-years-old and is from the 1930’s.
  • The signs are actually huge; the iconic Stardust sign from the former hotel is 188 feet tall and 96 feet wide.
  • The land the museum sits on is incredibly cheap to lease, with the city charging them $1 a year to operate on the property.

The Mob Museum

The Mob Museum website has produced a three-part guided virtual tour to enlighten online viewers who interested in the mob’s rich history in the city.

Mob Museum Fun Facts

  • On February 14, 2020, the museum celebrated its 8th year in operation and offered free admission on Valentine’s Day.
  • There’s an underground speakeasy-style bar on the lowest level of the museum that features unique cocktails.
  • The museum features 20,000 square feet of exhibition space that spans across three floors.

Wynn Las Vegas

On its official Twitter account, Wynn Resorts has been uploading virtual tours and behind-the-scenes videos around the property, including art tours and interviews.

Wynn Las Vegas Fun Facts

  • Wynn boasts a massive art collection that’s second to none on the Strip.
  • It’s the only place on the Strip where you can golf on the resort’s property.
  • It features an upscale shopping mecca.

EarthCam Network Livestreams

The EarthCam Network has live webcams that are set up across the city. It features real-time shots of the “Welcome to the Las Vegas” sign, views of the Fremont Street, and scattered views across the Las Vegas Strip.

If you ever wanted to see a rare sight of the Las Vegas Strip minus the heaps of crowds and heavy traffic, be sure to take a look at this.

 

Third Resorts World Las Vegas Worker Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Resorts World Las Vegas Construction SiteConstruction in Nevada has been deemed essential amid the statewide coronavirus closures. But while it’s business as usual for the state’s construction workers, procedures and policies have been put into place in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among workers.

The procedures came on the heels of the closures and when the first workers tested positive for coronavirus on Las Vegas construction sites. On March 23, the first Resorts World worker tested positive for coronavirus.

On April 1, a second subcontractor on the Resorts World tested positively for coronavirus. The last time the worker was on the site was March 23.

Now, a third worker at the Resorts World construction site has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the developer’s confirmed report on Monday.

While the third positive case of COVID-19 has surfaced, construction is still planned to continue on despite policies being implemented that will aim to minimize further transmission risk.

Construction Allowed During Coronavirus Pandemic

Besides construction being allowed in Nevada, it’s being allowed in many other states across the country. But why?

According to public health experts, since construction work is mainly done outside, where it’s harder for the airborne virus to live, construction sites can still operate safely for the most part. That is if precautions are put into place.

Those precautions still include the social distancing guidelines advised to the general public, which ask for workers to maintain 6 feet of distance when working at all times.

Nevada job sites are also restricting meetings and limiting necessary meetings to less than 10 people. Daily surveys are being taken of workers’ health conditions, as well as extra sanitization of areas to keep workers as safe as possible.

New Wellness Screenings at Resorts World Site

A spokesperson for Genting Group, the developer for Resorts World, advised that as of Monday, management will be implementing required wellness screenings to be done at the start of each shift for every worker.

Management also advised that they will be reducing the size of crews on-site, and installing even more handwashing stations scattered throughout the Nevada job site.

According to the spokesperson, the company is “doing everything we can to ensure prudent preventative policies and procedures are being followed across the job site and that workers are informed of new information and guidelines related to COVID-19 daily.”

Outbreak Seems Well-Contained in the Construction Industry

While some construction workers at Nevada job sites have indeed tested positive for COVID-19, for the most part, the outbreak has seemingly been well-contained in relation to the number of workers on-site, and the hours they put in each day.

Frank Hawk, who is a chairman of a group of Nevada contractors who specialize in carpentry, said that he is “pleasantly surprised at how contained this seems to be in the construction industry.”

Hawk, who advised that his Las Vegas carpenters are putting in 750,000 man-hours of work monthly, hasn’t had a single reported case of an infected union carpenter, and he hopes things continue to stay that way, “knock on wood.”

Other Positive Construction Worker Cases in LV

Another known case of a construction worker testing positive for COVID-19 at a Nevada job site was reported two weeks ago out of Allegiant Stadium.

While the condition of the worker wasn’t stated, the company made this statement in response:

“As a precaution, the location and surrounding areas where the worker labored was shut down and sanitized. ‘Work continues in other areas of the project that remain unaffected.”

The affected worker was said to not be in close contact with others on the site and construction still carried on while implementing more safety protocols.

That individual was told to self-isolate at home for a two-week period before returning to the Allegiant Stadium construction site.

Stay Tuned

While construction is still business as usual in the valley, under new safety operating procedures to protect the workers, of course, it’s still unclear when things will return back to normal in Las Vegas.

Gov. Sisolak recently extended the statewide closures of casinos and nonessential businesses until April 30, and some casinos are counting on that day to reopen and get back to business.

We’ll have to keep monitoring the situation to see how the pandemic unfolds over the next few weeks. Be sure to stay tuned for more coronavirus coverage, and as always, stay safe and healthy out there!

COVID-19 Cases in Clark Country Continue to Climb; 1608 Cases

Clark County, Nevada MapWeek by week, coronavirus cases in Clark County have more than doubled.

According to the Southern Nevada Health District, 117 new cases were reported from Sunday, April 6, to early Monday, April 7. That brings the total number of cases statewide to 1,953 from Sunday’s 1,836 total.

Of the 117 new cases, 89 of those cases are in Clark County.

Let’s take a look at the total number of cases in Clark County currently, as well as how Clark County is going about doing testing for the virus.

Clark County Total

Clark county holds the majority of COVID-19 cases in the state. As of today, the figures are are1,608.

The total number of deaths in the state has remained steady with no steep incline. The number of reported deaths in Nevada is 46, with 41 of those deaths reported out of Clark County.

Of the 41 deaths out of Clark County, 25 of those patients had underlying medical conditions. The other 29 patients required intensive care.

In the area, an additional 371 people have been hospitalized. Of that 371, 59 of those people required intensive care units.

According to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 17,629 people have been found to be tested. Of the 17,629 tested, 15,700 people came back negative for COVID-19. That number accounts for an 11 percent infection rate.

However, with testing in the Silver State is mainly reserved for those who are seriously ill or who have been in immediate contact with coronavirus, that 11 perfect infection rate is likely inflated.

Testing in Clark County

One of the first drive-thru testing services that opened in Clark County was at an Urgent Care facility on Sahara.

After three days of testing services, Sahara West Urgent Care has to stop their drive-thru COVID-19 testing because of the lack of manpower. The limited number of members who were helping to administer tests had to resolve to working overtime, without getting paid.

Gov. Sisolak, who extended the statewide coronavirus closures until April 30, did so in an effort to prevent local healthcare facilities from getting overwhelmed be caring for patients who either have or could possibly have coronavirus.

Last week, Gov. Sisolak activated the National Guard in hopes of getting the COVID-19 situation in Nevada controlled as best as possible. He has been adamant about requesting more medical supplies for the state from the federal government, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and tests.

UNLV Offering Drive-Thru Services, But May Run Out of Tests Soon

UNLV also began participating in a curbside coronavirus screening program since March 23, but as of the end of Tuesday, April 7, they could be wiped clean of tests.

Since they’ve began testing, they’ve been able to test 2,000 people. But with drive-thru testing being a highly popular and sought after service in the valley, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the demand.

According to UNLV’s School of Medicine’s spokesperson, Paul Jonich, their call center has been receiving an average of 2,000 inquiries a day during the week of March 23, which is when they opened their drive-thru testing service.

The service is free for individuals, regardless of insurance status, available only by appointment, and results are returned within five to seven days.

Test candidates can contact 702-583-4408 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for an eligibility screening.

At-Home Testing

One local Las Vegas group, Ready Responders, started at-home testing in the Las Vegas Valley last Friday.

Their approach is different in that you can get tested without even leaving your living room. Ready Responders has 30 members who are capable of performing testing come to homes around the Vegas valley.

“You stay in your home you stay safe and we test you,” said Dr. Doug Bushell, a physician with Ready Responders.

“Our responders when they show up will have a full Tyvek suit. It’s a big white suit that they’ll put on. They’ll have goggles. They’ll have gloves, they’ll have an N95 mask.”

Within five to seven days, a private lab will have the results sent to you.

To contact Ready Responders, call (504) 290-2663 or visit their website at ReadyResponders.com for more information.

How COVID-19 Tests Work

Coronavirus sample tests typically involve a swab being pushed deep inside a patient’s nasal cavity or back of the throat to collect cells, then having that swab sent over to a lab for the cells to be inspected.

The testing process is similar in determining if a patient has the flu.

Should Everyone Be Tested?

With the lack of available tests in the country, it isn’t really feasible to test everyone who is sick. Because of this, health official recommends prioritizing testing for the high-risk individuals who need it most.

Those individuals include healthcare workers who have been in direct contact with COVID-19 patients, people exhibiting clear symptoms who are in areas of high infection rates, and people who are 65 years old and older that have chronic, underlying health issues such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.

When there is no longer a shortage of tests, more people who are worried they have it will be able to get tested for some peace of mind.

Social Distancing, Washing Our Hands, and Wearing Masks Is Our Best Bet for Now

With the pandemic’s impact only continuing to worsen, it seems our best fight against it is to continue social distancing to flatten the curve and rate of infection.

Gov. Sisolak recently announced a Stay-At-Home order for Nevada last week, when he announced the extension of casino and nonessential businesses closures.

The order asks that every Nevada stay at home, outside of essential trips like grocery shopping, doctor’s visits, and outside recreational activities like walking. It also asks Nevada residents to maintain not gathering in groups of more than 10 people and keeping 6 feet of distance between people whenever out on essential trips.

Continuing to implement other vital public health measures, like washing our hands for 20 seconds at a time before and after touching public surfaces, and wearing masks will also help to fend off infection.

On Friday, President Trump announced that the “CDC is advising the use of non-medical cloth faced covering as an additional voluntary public health measure.”

Stay Tuned

While casino closures have been extended to April 30, it’s hard to say whether an increase in coronavirus cases in the state will push the reopening date back even further. We can only continue to monitor the COVID-19 and await government orders.

Until then, check more for more coronavirus coverage and stay safe and healthy out there.

Golden Knights Donating Meals to Las Vegas Healthcare Workers

The great city of Las Vegas is coming together for one another in these trying times. Since we don’t have sports, the Las Vegas Golden Knights are making great use of their time to help their city.

Vegas Golden Knights Helmet Logo

Three members from the NHL team are partnering with the Las Vegas Golden Knights Foundation to give out more than 7,000 meals to healthcare workers in the Vegas area. The players getting involved are William Karlsson, Jon Merrill, and Deryk Engelland.

The food will be provided courtesy of chefs at the MacKenzie River. MacKenzie River is the restaurant that is located inside of City National Arena.

The team will provide 300 meals per day, five days a week, for the next five weeks. As of right now, this is with the current three players assisting with the foundation, but more players could potentially be added and increase the amounts of meals.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights Foundation president, Kim Frank, had this to say in an interview:

“Medical professionals throughout Las Vegas are battling this virus on the front lines in an effort to keep our families and community safe, we’re proud to show our support for those working in healthcare across the Las Vegas Valley by providing thousands of meals over the coming weeks.”

When Will the NHL Return?

As the entire world waits to come back after the unfortunate COVID-19 outbreak, we’re all just stuck quarantining in the meantime. While this is happening, obviously, no major sports are being played.

We lost March Madness, the finish to the NBA season, NHL, MLB, and so many. Too many. 

Every industry in the US and the world is hurting right now, and there just is, unfortunately, no telling when things will come back. 

President Trump said yesterday after a meeting with multiple different sports league commissioners, including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, that he is hopeful for the NFL season to start as scheduled. 

This doesn’t really mean much to die-hard NHL fans, but take it for what it is right now. Hopefully, we are on the mend, as there is talk about trying to see a full 2020-21 schedule.

The Wrap Up

I love hearing news like this. As someone who lived in Las Vegas myself, I love to see a local sports team like the Vegas Knights to help out those in need.

Not just Vegas, but we’re all in this together during this global pandemic. What do you guys think about the Knights? Do you hope to see other teams step up and help in times like this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

How Will the Coronavirus Affect the Las Vegas Economy?

Rates of Covid-19 continue to surge around the country. In Nevada, more than 1,700 individuals have been diagnosed with the virus, including 228 additional cases over the past 24 hours. Interestingly, some experts believe the Las Vegas economy will bounce back in a big way once this crisis is over.

Welcome Sign In Las Vegas

This is a very unusual time for Nevada and the country as a whole. Today, we’ll be looking at how casino companies in Las Vegas are responding to the situation. We’re also going to discuss how the city may look in the future.

Let’s get into it!

All Nevada Casinos Remain Closed to the Public

For weeks now, almost all of the land-based casinos in the United States have been shut down. This is done to help stop the spread of Covid-19, a new coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan, China. As you might expect, it’s taking an incredible toll on the country’s many casino companies.

Nevada ordered all of its casinos to shut down in mid-March. This came with sharp criticism from the Las Vegas mayor. Eventually, however, it became clear how important it was to limit large public gatherings.

The casino shutdown is still going on today. It’s costing many companies in this city millions of dollars every single day. It’s still unclear when exactly the state’s gambling venues will be able to function normally again.

Some analysts felt that Macai would prove hugely lucrative for many Las Vegas casino companies. Unfortunately, the Chinese territory is experiencing very low revenue figures. A new report even claims the casinos here will earn no revenue at all during April.

The tourism industry is at a standstill right now. Many worry that the Las Vegas economy may suffer for months due to this new virus. This week, one analyst claimed that things may bounce back in a big way once this situation clears up.

Here’s What May Happen to the Las Vegas Economy

Nevada, and specifically Las Vegas, is being hit extremely hard by Covid-19. This city relies heavily on its tourism and gambling industry. Right now, unfortunately, both of these industries are essentially shut down in Las Vegas.

Mike PeQueen, an analyst at HighTower, believes the Las Vegas economy will improve rapidly once the coronavirus is no longer an issue.

“When this ends, we will have gone through a great deal of suffering, both physically and economically,” he said. “But it will end, and this city is perfectly poised to be the place that people come to re-enter the social phase of their lives.”

PeQueen also believes the Raiders’ move into Las Vegas will help the economy, as well.

“I absolutely agree that when we can all get together in Raiders Stadium,” said PeQueen, “whether or not we’re wearing masks or not, it will absolutely be one of the catalysts back to Las Vegas’s recovery. No question.”

Things are still escalating around the country. It may be a long road for Las Vegas to get back to normal. Eventually, however, that’s exactly what will happen.

How Are Other States Faring?

Relatively speaking, Nevada is doing fairly well in its fight against the Coronavirus. The same cannot be said for many states around the country. New York has just seen its total number of infections rise to 113,704.

New Jersey is also seeing a huge spike in cases right now. Louisiana is experiencing a massive surge in infections, as well. All of these states are seeing their economies suffer significantly. The gambling industries here are hurting significantly.

All of New York’s land-based casinos are shut down. Over in New Jersey, the world-famous Atlantic City is closed down. Many believe this will continue for at least the next four weeks. The restrictions may last for months.

Some states are managing to fare better than others. As we’ve already seen, however, things can change extremely quickly. We’ll need to wait and see how health officials around the country try to tackle the virus.

The Las Vegas economy is still suffering. Many are out of work here and it may be some time before the casinos are able to open up again. Hopefully, the city experiences a wave of tourism once things clear up.

Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few months!

NBA Update: Las Vegas Only City Seriously Being Considered for 2020 Playoffs

Thomas & Mack CenterThe NBA season was officially suspended March 11 when a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus. With its season in suspension, it makes sports hopefuls wonder if the season can be finished out in any other way.

It looks like any fighting chance for the NBA to resume their season would be for them to hold their playoff games in Las Vegas.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, the NBA is considering holding its entire postseason in Vegas. Vegas, which is home to the Association’s annual Summer League, which is held in Cox Pavilion and the Thomas & Mack Center.

Sources revealed to Mannix that the league was looking to resume their play in a viable city, but that the NBA’s traditional postseason of four rounds of best-of-seven series wouldn’t take place. While the league is considering their options, they are “nowhere close to formalizing anything” as of yet.

According to the New York Post, the league has been searching for te perfect “one-site, fan-less, 16-team playoff and a five-to-seven-game regular-season prelude.”

Another prominent city that has its eye on hosting the league. Atlantic City’s mayor is currently trying to lure the league to the boardwalk and believes AC would be the proper space to hold the NBA playoffs.

Quarantining in One Location is the Only Real Option

For the NBA to resume their season, Mannix explained that the only real way this could work is by “quarantining in one location.” His source added that “Vegas is the only city the NBA is currently giving any kind of serious consideration.”

So, why Vegas?

Well, for one, the NBA already has an extensive history and relationship with the city and its civic leaders. Another major selling point is the abundance of venues and hotel rooms that Las Vegas has to offer compared with other major US cities.

Vegas could easily stage the entire playoffs without running into issues that less-equipped cities would likely have. The amount of space would also help ensure the safety of the players, especially if a single site is the only option amid the nationwide quarantine.

Potential for Playoffs Rests on COVID-19 Escalation

Of course, the only real way for the playoffs and the NBA season to even resume is if the COVID-19 situation deescalates on a global scale. With it nearing what’s predicting to be its worse level in the coming weeks, travel restrictions will continue to be enforced.

Currently, there are over a dozen NBA players who have tested positively for coronavirus, and the number of cases continues to grow exponentially.

The safety of the players and members of the league remains the utmost priority during these challenging times.

“I mean, the only thing I know is that we’re going to put safety first and we’re not going to take any chances. We’re not going to do anything that risks the health of our players, our fans, our staff, the whole organization,” said Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

Diamond Resorts Offering Free Rooms to First Responders Worldwide

Timeshare RoomDiamond Resorts, a luxury timeshare company, announced that they will be offering free rooms to first responders and medical personnel at their properties worldwide and in Las Vegas.

It’s a company statement released Friday, they said the accommodations were part of their global initiative to “help provide those responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with safe, comfortable and convenient places to rest while they carry out their critical work.”

“At Diamond Resorts the first thing we say to our members, owners and guests arriving at our properties is “welcome home.” While those who can stay at home, our courageous medical personnel and first responders are working tirelessly on the front lines of this crisis.”

Diamond Resorts expressed that they are proud to be able to support the men and women who are risking their lives every day for the safety of the country by providing them with a “home away from home.” as their way of saving a gracious thank you.

In that same statement, the company announced that all of the Diamond-managed properties around the world will be participating in offering these complimentary accommodations.

Diamond Resorts say that their suites are “particularly well-suited” to adhere to social distancing guidelines, as they’re larger than typical hotel rooms. Most suites also conveniently include full, in-suite kitchens, which feature full-size refrigerators, ovens, and stoves.

Suites also include full bathrooms and laundry facilities.

Implementing Stringent Safety Procedures

The company also advised that they would be implementing stringent safety procedures to help protect those with a greater risk of exposure to the virus while maintaining the health and safety of their staff.

These procedures include check-in and check-out being made without any contact, additional cleaning and disinfectant protocols, and 72-hours between the same rooms being used.

Supporting Local Communities

As well as providing free lodging to the brave first responders, the company is also looking for ways to support local communities, such as donating food and other critical supplies to food pantries. Some properties are also utilizing their parking lots as testing sites.

“Now more than ever, we are committed to doing everything we can to support our local communities.”

Diamond Resorts CEO Mike Flaske & the entire Diamond Team believes that together, we can overcome the crisis by lending a helping hand to one another.

Diamond Resorts Open Properties and Locations

Diamond Resorts, which is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, has properties all over the globe and the US. In total, they have a network of over 379 vacation destinations in 35 different countries.

Diamond Resort has five Las Vegas properties which include:

Cancun Resort Las Vegas, 8335 S Las Vegas Blvd, (702) 614-6200

Desert Paradise Resort, 5165 S Decatur Blvd, (702) 579-3600

Polo Towers Suites, 3745 S Las Vegas Blvd, (702) 261-1000

Polo Towers Villas, 3745 S Las Vegas Blvd, (702) 261-1000

The Carriage House, 105 E Harmon Ave, (702) 798-1020

Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit Also Offering Free Rooms to First Responders

Just a few days ago, the Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit, Michigan announced that they would be offering complimentary rooms to first responders in the area.

The casino-hotel is seeking to serve as a safe zone for first responders who have fears that they’ve possibly come into contact with the virus while on their jobs, to prevent spreading at home to their families.

According to reports, there are 40 rooms available for first responders in the area to use. As a precaution, those who enter the casino-hotel will undergo certain safety precautions, like a medical examination and having their temperature checked.

About Diamond Resorts

Diamond Resorts offers destinations, events and experiences to help members make a habit of breaking from the routine. From unforgettable getaways to exclusive concert series to VIP receptions and dinners, members turn to Diamond to recharge, reconnect and remind each other what matters most. Our focus on quality resorts, customer service and flexibility means members can return to a favorite resort, book a cruise to explore new countries or attend a once-in-a-lifetime event with the same level of confidence and anticipation. With access to a world of entertainment and activities, a Diamond membership ensures that people are always looking forward to vacation. 

From their official website.

For reservations, call1.800.438.2929 or email Groups@diamondresorts.com.

Caesars Entertainment Furloughs 90% of U.S. Employees

Caesars Entertainment LogoOn Thursday, Caesars Entertainment announced that due to economic downfall caused by the coronavirus casino closures, they would be furloughing roughly 90 percent of its staff in the U.S.

This decision came on the heels of government officials extending shutdowns and social distancing guidelines. Originally, Nevada casinos were to be shut down for 30 days, scheduled to reopen April 16. Gov. Sisolak has since extended the shut down until April 30.

With their property closed, the financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted the company to temporarily move to a “minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations.”

The furloughs will affect the company’s domestic employees, including corporate staff members.

Tony Rodio, Chief Executive Officer of Caesars Entertainment said the company has been taking “difficult but necessary steps to protect the company’s financial position and its ability to recover when circumstances allow us to reopen and begin welcoming our guests and employees back to our properties.”

When the furloughed employees have an opportunity to return to work, it might be under new ownership as reports have been circulating that Eldorado Resorts may be closing a $17.3 billion deal with Caesars come June.

Two Weeks Pay, PTO, and Health Care Premiums Paid

In an effort to help those employees who are being furloughed, the company will pay their first two weeks, at their current pay rate. Employees will then be able to utilize any paid time off after that check comes through.

For those employees who are under the Caesars health care plan, they will have their premiums covered until June 30, or until they return back to work.

Las Vegas Gaming Companies Who Are Paying Their Employees During Casinos Closures

Las Vegas Sands Founder, Chairman, and CEO Sheldon Adelson outlined his plans to pay his U.S. employees in a New York Post piece.

Adelson said that the company will be paying their 10,000 US employees, all of which who are out of work during this time, for the next two months. It’s an act of generosity and immense help for out-of-work employees, and Adelson is hoping other gaming executives will follow suit.

“The coming weeks will be tough, and the months that follow will be unsteady,” Adelson wrote. “To my fellow business leaders, let us lead by example.”

Wynn Resorts announced earlier this week that they would be paying their 15,000 workers in Las Vegas and Boston combined until May 15. Keeping employees on payroll allow their salaried, part-time, and hourly workers to receive two months-worth of wages from the date that Wynn properties closed.

Station Casinos announced that all hourly and salaried full-time workers will receive normal pay, as well as insurance benefits, until April 30.

Lastly, MGM Resorts will be utilizing its emergency relief fund to help their employees out during this challenging time. Currently, the fund has $4 million in it with gracious donation provided by the company, singer Bruno Mars, who has a Las Vegas residency this year, and Kirk Kerkorian, the estate of MGM founder.

Former Nevada Gov. Sandoval Leaves Executive Position at MGM

Brian Sandoval at PodiumFormer Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, who served as Nevada’s 29th governor from 2011-2019 and was succeeded by current Governor Sisolak, has announced that he will be leaving his executive position at MGM Resorts to pursue a position at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).

Sandoval joined MGM in January 2019 and served as the company’s President of Global Gaming Development. He has applied to become president of UNR, according to Wednesday’s press release.

Acting CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle expressed his gratitude for Sandoval’s accomplishments and visible commitment during his time at MGM:

“We are grateful to Governor Sandoval for all that he has accomplished in his time at MGM Resorts. He helped to advance our efforts in Japan, in jurisdictions where we were seeking expanded access, and areas where we pursued sports betting opportunities.”

Sandoval returned the gratitude to MGM Resorts, saying that he was “grateful for the opportunity and privilege to have worked at MGM” and that after having accomplished his goals for the prestigious company, he would be focusing his energy and efforts into hopefully becoming UNR’s next president.

In his closing statement, he wished everyone “good health and safety during these challenging times.”

How MGM is Doing During the COVID-19 Crisis

Currently, all of MGM’s U.S. properties are closed, as well as every other casino in the country during the coronavirus closures.

The group has been experiencing “substantial losses” amid the coronavirus, with their market shares dropping and suffering from high group cancelations.

In the company’s casino and hotel update, they expressed the negative impact the pandemic has had on their operations, stating that the company had major operating losses in March and that they don’t “expect to see a material improvement until more is known regarding the duration and severity of the pandemic, including when the company’s properties can re-open to the public.”

Macau Properties are Open, but Visitation is at Low Levels

When COVID-19 first broke out in China, MGM’s Macau properties, along with the over 40 other Macau casinos, were forced to shut their doors for over two weeks to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Since then, Macau has reopened its casinos, but it hasn’t met that business has returned to normal.

MGM advised in a statement that the company’s Macau properties are another problem in and of itself, with visitation remaining at low levels, not to mention the travel constraints that continue to impact the gaming and tourism market as a whole.

MGM Looks to Cut Expenses During this Time

Not surprisingly, MGM has outlined its plans to cut operating costs to mitigate the losses they’ve incurred due to the global pandemic.

They’ve estimated that 60-70% of their domestic operating expenses are variable and that they would look to cut those variable expenses first. This includes hiring freezes, furloughs, and reduction of staff.

They also stated that they would freeze a minimum of 33% of their domestic capital spending projects this year.

Excluding its MGM China and MGM Growth Properties, MGM had approximately $3.9 billion in operating cash and cash investment balances as of March 26.

The company believes that with its “strong liquidity position, valuable unencumbered assets and aggressive cost reduction initiatives will enable it to fund its current obligations for the foreseeable future.”

EDC Festival Postponed to October

EDC Festival Las VegasIt’s official. The Electric Daily Carnival, otherwise known as EDC, will be postponing its highly anticipated annual dance-music festival to October 2-4. It was originally scheduled to take place on May 15-17.

Insomniac Events founder and CEO, Pasquale Rotella, was adamant at keeping it as originally scheduled back in early mid-March, despite the early coronavirus scare and the fluidity of the situation back then.

But with the current state of the pandemic, they’ve decided the safest, most wise decision is to postpone it until this fall.

It was confirmed by Billboard that the 10th edition of the festival will indeed be moved to October, despite the official announcement being made.

An official announcement by promoter Insomniac, which will detail ticket holder information and options, can be expected to be made within the next several days.

Insomniac made an earlier decision to postpone their Beyond Wonderland festival, which was scheduled to take place March 20-21 in Southern California, to June 19-20 instead.

A Sold Out Show

EDC Las Vegas 2020 sold out within a record-breaking 48 hours, the fastest it’s ever sold out says organizers.

The originally scheduled lineup set included David Guetta, The Chainsmokers, Carl Cox, DJ Snake, Richie Hawtin, Major Lazer, Tiësto, Zedd, along with 200 other performers.

It’s currently unsure whether the postponed date will affect the lineup, but you can expect to see more details within the coming week.

COVID-19 Disrupts Major Live Music Events Nationwide

EDC is just the latest in a string of live music events that have been either postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the largest music events canceled this year was the 34th annual edition SXSW festival, a week-long event featuring music, technology, and film in Austin, Texas. The festival is the city’s biggest, and brings an estimated $300 million into the Austin economy.

In a statement released by festival organizers, it was the first time in 34 years that their March event was canceled. It was originally set to take place between March 13-22.

EDC also joins The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival rescheduled date of October. Coachella is set to take place Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 16-18, instead of its original April 24-26 date.

The country music festival, Stagecoach, also set in Southern California, was also postponed. Instead of its original April date, it will now take place Oct. 23-25.

New EDC Date Viable Option for Las Vegas Speedway

The good news is, the festival’s new date is aligned with Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s current schedule. Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) has hosted the festival since 2011, with Insomniac signing a 10-year contract with LVMS to host EDC through 2022.

Other big events scheduled around the time of EDC at the Speedway are South Point 400 Weekend, a NASCAR Cup series, scheduled for September 25- 27, and the Dodge NHRA Nationals, another major race, scheduled for Oct. 29-Nov 1.

EDC Rescheduling Conflicts

While Insomniac Rotella originally had hoped to possibly reschedule the festival to June, the month it was held back when it was still being held in Los Angeles, he thought it might be too hot for Camp EDC, especially with the Las Vegas summers.

A June date would also conflict with their other large music festival, Beyond Wonderland, which was postponed for June 19-20.

Right now, October seems like the safest option, especially with the impact of the pandemic continuing to worsen.

Stay Tuned

Don’t make plans just yet. If there’s anything this pandemic is showing us, is that it’s best not to make any solid commitments. Keep a lookout for Insomniac’s official announcement of when EDC will be officially postponed and what you can do if you’re an EDC ticket holder.