Memorial Day Weekend Reopening for Las Vegas Casinos Unlikely

Las Vegas StripWith Nevada entering into Phase 1 of its reopening plan on May 9, a week earlier than projected, it gave Las Vegas resorts some valid hope for the past few weeks that a Memorial Day Weekend reopening could be possible.

But, with the holiday weekend quickly approaching and no word yet from Governor Sisolak and the Nevada Gaming Control Board on lifting the shutdown order, it looks like that hope was short-lived.

Now, those resorts who began accepting reservations starting Memorial Day are pushing back their initial booking date until they receive further direction from state and local governing authorities.

Wynn Resorts was among the properties accepting reservations for Memorial Day Weekend, because, according to company spokesman Michael Weaver, the holiday weekend has consistently proven to be a popular time for Southern California visitors to visit Las Vegas and its properties. Last year, the city saw around 300,000 tourists come in from Southern Cali.

This is an important distinction, since visitation from Southern California guests who are able to drive into Las Vegas would likely prove more fruitful than expecting tourism from air travel to be nearly as high, especially when confidence in air travel amid the outbreak is understandably questionable.

The company was also hopeful for a holiday weekend reopening because they would have been able to have protective guest and staff measures in place.

Some Properties are Announcing their Reopening Measures

With casinos still in lockdown, the most important thing operators can do to prepare for reopening is developing a strong set of health and safety protocols.

A few mega-resorts have come public with their reopening plans, including MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, Treasure Island, The Venetian, and Caesars Palace.

Some common protocols among the properties include rearranging the casino floors to support social distancing guidelines, conducting non-invasive thermal screenings of entrants, ramping up cleaning and disinfecting methods, administering thorough COVID-19 training to employees, and not allowing housekeeping to enter rooms during entire guest stays among other measures.

While these properties have made their reopening plans public, it turns out the Nevada Gaming Control Board is allowed to keep reopening plans for other properties confidential if they don’t decide to go public with theirs.

We hope that other properties bring their reopening plans to light, as it will give the public more confidence in returning post reopening.

New Reopening Dates for Various Las Vegas Resorts

As of Monday afternoon, here’s a look into what the new dates Las Vegas resorts are beginning to take reservations:

  • Boyd Gaming Corp., June 1
  • Caesars Entertainment Corp., May 29
  • Circus Circus, May 31
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, June 4
  • Las Vegas Sands Corp., No reservations being accepted on the company website at this time
  • Station Casinos, June 1
  • Westgate, June 18
  • Wynn Resorts Ltd., June 1

Las Vegas Casinos Will Look Different When They Reopen

While a definitive reopening date is unclear, one thing is: Las Vegas casinos are going to look different when they reopen, at least for a while.

It won’t be the crowded Las Vegas that people are used to, filled with all the hustle and bustle. Instead, it will be a more intimate Vegas experience.

For one, fewer people will be allowed to gamble, at table games, and while playing slots on the casino floor. This is being done to support social distancing guidelines. MGM Resorts even announced last week that when they reopen their first two properties, The Bellagio and New York-New York, that they will only allow the properties to be filled at 25 percent capacity.

Casino employees will be on the lookout for crowd gatherings to ensure that guests keep their distance at all times while on resort properties.

Dealers and other casino staff will also be wearing face coverings throughout their shift, with dealers to offer up hand sanitizer to gamblers while they play.

Restaurants and bars, retail spaces, and pools will all look different too, with fewer crowds and more space between individuals and different parties of people.

Stay Tuned

Well, while it certainly would have been nice to see Las Vegas reopen during the holiday weekend, we trust that authorities will give the city the green light to reopen at the safest possible time, whether that’s in the next couple of weeks of further into June.

Were you expecting casinos to return for Memorial Day Weekend? And will you be one of the first to visit Las Vegas when it does finally reopen, or will you wait it out to see how things go first?

Let us know in the comments below, and as always, stay safe and healthy out there!