These Las Vegas Casinos Plan to Reopen on June 4

Las Vegas StripLast Tuesday, Gov. Steve Sisolak gave the go-ahead to casinos to reopen on June 4, as was tentatively planned.

This is major news for the popular tourist and gaming destination, as casinos in Las Vegas have waiting a long two months to see the light of day again.

The reopening decision came on the heels of the Silver State entering Phase 2 of its reopening plan, coupled with a positive decline in COVID-19 trends and data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

While all casinos will be able to open next week, that doesn’t mean that all of them are planning to. Major casino operators, like MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, will be opening only two of their 10 Strip properties initially. Of those operators, The Bellagio, New York-New York, Caesars Palace, and Flamingo will resume operations to start.

Here’s a look into other Las Vegas casino-hotels that are planning on opening up next Thursday, June 4.

Boyd Gaming

On Wednesday, Boyd Gaming announced it would be reopening several of its Nevada properties, and that they are excited for the opportunity to resume operations in its home state.

The properties they’re reopening in Nevada include:

  • Aliante
  • California
  • Cannery
  • Fremont
  • Gold Coast
  • Joker’s Wild
  • Sam’s Town
  • Suncoast
  • The Orleans

Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith said the company will have 19 of its 29 properties across the country opened initially, and plan to have its remaining properties reopened by the end of June.

Caesars Entertainment

On Wednesday, Caesars Entertainment announced that by 10 am, June 4, Caesars Palace and Flamingo will be open for business.

Because of public demand, the company also announced that on June 5 at 11 am, Harrah’s Las Vegas will also reopen.

“Initial customer demand to visit the Las Vegas Strip has been much stronger than anticipated, triggering our decision to reopen Harrah’s Las Vegas, in addition to Caesars Palace, Flamingo and LINQ Promenade, next week,” Caesars CEO Tony Rodio explained in a statement.

The Cosmopolitan

On Wednesday, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas announced it would reopen on June 4 at 10 am, dependent on approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The property has been fine-tuning and expanding their existing health and safety guidelines, to include several new enhancements.

Those enhancements include non-invasive temperature screenings, rearranging the casino floor plan to support social distancing initiatives, and increased sanitation measures. 

The D and Golden Gate

The D and Golden Gate will both be reopening June 4.

The reopening announcement came with owner Derek Stevens’ giveaway of 1,000 free flights to Las Vegas, to incentivize tourists to return sooner rather than later.

According to Stevens, the giveaway was part of an effort to safely bring visitors to the city, while also reminding them why the city earned its title of “Entertainment Capital of the World.”

El Cortez

According to the general manager, the historic downtown property will reopen at midnight on June 4.

The property is looking forward to welcoming back its extended El Cortez family of employees and guests and welcoming them back safely early next Thursday morning.

The company has been testing out plexiglass barriers, or “sneeze guards” on its blackjack tables and in between slot machines on the casino floor to safely welcome back guests. 

Ellis Island

The slightly off-Strip property, located on Flamingo Road and Koval Lane near Las Vegas Boulevard, confirmed they will be reopening their doors on June 4.

The smaller property is known for its live karaoke and 24-hour café. 

Golden Nugget

According to its website, Golden Nugget will be reopening its hotel first, on Wednesday, June 3 at 3 pm. The rest of the property, including its gaming floor, will reopen on June 4.

The website says the company is excited to welcome guests back, “just in time for summer fun.”

MGM Resorts

On Wednesday, MGM Resorts announced the reopening of The Bellagio, New York-New York, MGM Grand, and The Signature on June 4.

According to the company, more of its properties on the Las Vegas Strip will reopen as demand increases.

“As we plan for these openings, the health and safety or our guests and employees is at the forefront of all we do. Getting many of our employees back to work and welcoming guests through our doors once again will allow us to do what we do best – entertain. The team is ready and we can’t wait,” said acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle.

M Resort

M Resort announced that it would be reopening on June 4, although multiple amenities, such as the spa, pool, valet, convention center area, and banquet services will remain closed in the meantime.

“While the amenities our customers have come to know and love may be somewhat limited for the time being, the ability to safely welcome back our team members and guests remain our top priority,” M Resort general manager Hussain Mahrous said in a statement.

 The Plaza

On Wednesday, the Plaza announced that it would be reopening on June 4.

Entrances to the property will be reduced, as well as having curbside check-in available for guests to minimize contact. All employees will be required to wear masks and guests will be encouraged to do so. Staff will also have their temperatures checked before starting their shift.

Sahara

On the company’s Twitter page, they announced they’ll be reopening June 4.

The property will do a phased reopening. On its first day back, the casino floor, several dining outlets, rooftop pools, and Starbucks will be open for business.

Sahara says it’s committed to guest and staff safety, and any changes done will be to adhere to social distancing and safety guidelines.

Station Casinos

On Wednesday, Station Casino announced that several of its properties will be opening on June 4.

Those properties include:

  • All Wildfire division properties
  • Boulder Station
  • Green Valley Ranch
  • Palace Station
  • Red Rock
  • Santa Fe Station
  • Sunset Station

 Silverton

According to a Silverton company spokesman, the property will be reopening June 4 at 10 am. 

Silver Sevens

Silver Sevens will be reopening its doors on June 4 at 10 am.

According to the company, they will be making hotel reservations beginning June 18.

Initially, the property will be opening slots and limited food and beverage options once it reopens. 

South Point

Pending approval from the Control Board, South Point will be reopening June 4.

The Strat

According to Golden Entertainment, the company that owns the casino-hotel, The Strat Casino, Hotel, and SkyPod will be reopening bright and early at 8 am on June 4.

The property will be reopening to reduced capacity, at 50 percent, to allow for property social distancing.

As an added bonus, the company is offering up to a 45 percent discount on room reservations.

Treasure Island

Treasure Island will be reopening its doors on June 4 at 10 am.

The pool, spa, restaurants, and gift shops will also be available on opening day, as well as free self-parking.

On June 5, the sportsbook will open back up as well.

Tuscany Suites

On their Twitter, the company announced on Wednesday that it will be reopening June 4 at 4 am.

With the state in Phase 2, Tuscany Suites was able to reopen its Piazza Lounge on Friday, May 29.

The Venetian and Palazzo

Both The Venetian and Palazzo will be reopening jointly at 9am on June 4.

Wynn and Encore

On Wednesday, Wynn Resorts announced they would be reopening Wynn Las Vegas and Encore towers on June 4.

Sisolak Approves LV Casinos to Open on June 4th

Las Vegas is just a little over a week from getting back to some sense of normalcy. Earlier this week, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak approved plans to reopen many of the state’s major casinos. The current plan is for LV casinos to open on June 4th.

Governor Sisolak

Just about everyone in Nevada is anxious to see these gambling venues reopen. As most know, they provide a huge amount of money and jobs to the state. Today, we’re going to discuss which venues plan to reopen, and what this means for Nevada’s economy.

Let’s get into it!

Reopening the Casinos in Nevada Hasn’t Been Easy

Every state in the country has been economically affected by the new coronavirus spreading around the world. Some, obviously, are being hit harder than others. There are some that feel Nevada is being the worst-affected in terms of direct money and job loss.

Casinos in this state were forced to close down back in March. This instantly left hundreds of thousands of individuals without work. Many of the casino companies here also began losing millions of dollars each week.

Nevada’s tourism industry immediately came to a halt. That proved to be devastating for many of the restaurants in this city that rely on outside visitors. It’s easy to see how so many businesses started to suffer due to the shutdown of major casino-resorts.

Carolyn Goodman, the mayor of Las Vegas, controversially called for the city to start opening up weeks ago. Governor Sisolak didn’t budge, and continued to tell the media it was too early. Residents around the city eagerly awaited news on what was to come.

Now, it appears state officials feel things are safe enough to finally open back up. Many of the biggest casino-resorts are expected to open their doors next week. Here’s what we know about this situation.

Governor Sisolak Gives Green Light For LV Casinos to Open

Forcing all of the casinos in Las Vegas to close was completely unprecedented. Never before has this taken place in this city. It’s likely that most felt doing so would be impossible. For the past couple of months, the focus has been on getting back to normal.

Governor Sisolak has been cautious in allowing the state’s casinos to start accepting guests again. That’s perfectly understandable, as these venues are easy places for a contagious respiratory virus to spread. Sisolak seems content with the safety measures set in place and has given the green light for LV casinos to open their doors on June 4th.

Josh Swissman, one of the founders of The Strategy Organization, believes that opening back up will be a learning process for many of the casino companies here.

“Once their doors re-open on the 4th, operators are going to learn so much from those critical first few hours and days,” he said. “There will undoubtedly be tweaks and fine-tuning made to their re-opening procedures as a result of what they will see. Marketers should be watching visitation volume and guest behavior closely, and should look to pivot quickly if changes to their marketing plans need to be made.”

Not all of the casinos in Las Vegas are going to open back up at once. It will be a slow process and companies will look to slowly figure out what works and what doesn’t. The important thing will be to encourage social distancing on the casino floor.

Which Las Vegas Casinos Will Open Up Next Month?

The casino industry in Las Vegas is the biggest in the country. More than 40 million people flock to this city every year to enjoy the entertainment and gambling options available. With Sisolak’s approval for LV casinos to open next month, many of the major casino companies are gearing up to start accepting guests.

Caesars Palace and The Flamingo are scheduled to be the first casino-resorts to reopen. These venues will be accepting guests starting on June 4th. These venues will offer free parking and plan to open many of their restaurants, pools, and casino options.

MGM Resorts International claims that New York-New York and The Bellagio will be their first properties to reopen. A specific opening date for these venues has not been officially revealed.

Wynn Resorts has just recently announced that both of its Las Vegas properties will reopen to the public on June 4th.

“We are ready to provide our guests with a full Las Vegas experience with a collection of luxury amenities and unmatched service,” Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox told the media. “The entire Wynn team is looking forward to welcoming our guests back.”

If all goes according to plan, all of the casinos in Nevada will start accepting guests next month. Hope is that enough tourists begin flocking to Las Vegas to keep these properties profitable.

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

Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas Will Relaunch When Casinos Do

Bellagio Fountains in Las VegasThe Fountains of Bellagio have been one of the most iconic and romantic scenes on the Las Vegas Strip for a little over two decades, since they first dazzled Vegas visitors and locals in 1998.

Since the Strip was effectively shut down on March 17, due to Gov. Sisolak’s mandated closure of casinos as a result of COVID-19, the fountains went dark along with it.

For over two months, the free daily show, which runs every 30 minutes throughout the day and every 15 minutes beginning at 7 pm through midnight, has gone dry.

More than a thousand, lit-up fountains soar through the Vegas night sky, reaching heights of up to 460 feet, dancing to musical works ranging from classical, operatic pieces, to old-school crooner favorites from Rat Pack legends like Frank Sinatra, all the way to today’s pop hits and even soundtracks from new cult TV shows like Game of Thrones.

The Bellagio Fountains were created to express the romantic spirit of the Bellagio resort, but they’ve evolved to highlight the essence of the luxurious Las Vegas experience as a whole. Without them, the city hasn’t dazzled as brightly.

But, with casinos tentatively reopening on June 4, per Gov. Sisolak’s official decision, the Bellagio Fountains will once again welcome back visitors to a new song.

Iconic Bellagio Fountain Moments Over the Years

Throughout Vegas history, the Bellagio Fountains have become more than just a beautiful backdrop for those passing by, it’s transferred over to the digital space, being used in music videos, in performances for the Billboard Music Awards, and of course in films like the Vegas classics “Ocean’s Eleven” and “The Hangover.”

In 2001, Britney Spears took it to the water for her 2001 Billboard Music Awards (BMA) performance. Drake took a page from her playbook 16 years later and performed the lake during his 2017 BMA segment.

Bruno Mars, who was in the middle of his Vegas residency when the coronavirus shut down happened, rode jet skis across the lake for his “24K Magic” music video.

For the National Hockey League’s playoffs promo in June 2018, Vegas’ own Panic! At the Disco performed live on the lake, and even got doused by the waterfalls while doing so.

Spoiled Fountain Plans for 2020 NFL Draft

This year, the Bellagio Fountains were supposed to see its most exciting scene yet. Before the COVID-19 shutdown changed the plan, Las Vegas was crowned as the host city for the 2020 NFL Draft (it since became a digital-event). This was a huge deal.

With the city getting their first professional football league back in January, the Las Vegas Raiders, Vegas was determined as the perfect place to kick things off.

The plan was to boat draft prospects across the Bellagio lake to a red-carpet stage, in a suspenseful, elaborate set-up. But not to worry, Las Vegas will still get a chance to wow football fans with this memorable scene in 2022, as they’ve been named at hosts of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Bellagio Will Be One of MGM Resorts Two Properties to Reopen

When Las Vegas resorts finally get the green light to open their doors back up, visitors can expect to see only a selected handful of casinos opening up on the Strip to boot.

Earlier this month, MGM Resorts International revealed that they would only be opening up two of its 10 Strip properties initially, the Bellagio and New-York New-York. The idea was to not open them all up at once to gauge tourism levels, the state of the COVID-19 outbreak, and to provide at least two options to accommodate different traveler’s budgets.

MGM Resort’s acting CEO, Bill Hornbuckle, also announced on the Today Show that the two properties that will be reopening initially will only be operating at 25 percent capacity.

Hornbuckle expressed his confidence in reopening at capped capacity levels, coupled with the company’s newly developed health and safety reopening measures, known as its “Seven-Point Safety Plan.”

The reopening plan includes employee temperature screenings, requiring employees to wear masks at all times, social distancing to be followed by staff and guests, optimizing properties’ HVAC systems, COVID-19 incident protocols, increased hand sanitizer dispenser stations placed throughout high-traffic areas on the property, and more.

Last Thursday, Las Vegas began running its largest COVID-19 testing site at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the tens of thousands of casino employees who will be returning to work once the shutdown is lifted.

Stay Tuned

We can’t wait to see the Bellagio Fountains soar through the Vegas sky again. It’ll be the proper “Welcome back!” signal for guests, staff, and locals who will finally get to visit the Las Vegas Strip once it reopens.

Hopefully, if coronavirus cases remain steady and the Nevada Gaming Control Board provides enough promising data to give Gov. Sisolak confidence in his decision to reopen, it will be next Thursday, June 4.

Are you excited to return to Las Vegas and see the Bellagio Fountains dance once more? We sure are.

We know that for a while, Vegas is going to look a lot different than the Vegas we’re used to, but it will still be Vegas, and more importantly, it will be open for all to enjoy again. Now that’s something to celebrate about.

NV Governor Sisolak Aims for June 4 Reopening Date for Casinos

Las Vegas Strip at NightIt’s now officially been two weeks since Nevada has been in Phase 1 of its reopening plan, which it entered in on May 9.

Governor Sisolak advised that coronavirus data trends, including the number of daily positive cases, hospitalizations, and COVID-19-related deaths, would be monitored over the 14-day period to determine whether Nevada would be able to enter into Phase 2.

So far, so good it seems. The Silver State hasn’t seen any significant jumps in coronavirus reports, paving the way for Nevada to fully reopen as things stand now.

On May 26, Sisolak is set to hold a press conference discussing Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, as well as a reopening date for Nevada’s gaming industry. The Nevada Gaming Control Board will also hold an information workshop then discussing COVID-19 health and safety response measures for casino-hotels.

Before casinos are able to reopen, the Control Board needs at least seven days to review reopening plans from Nevada properties.

But this is great news for the state’s gaming industry, after a two-month-long shutdown, Nevada casinos finally have an end in sight. Sisolak says the state aims to have casinos statewide reopened by June 4.

Casinos are Eager and Ready to Return

The tentative reopening date has been a long time coming for Nevada casinos, who have been preparing for the day they get the green light to reopen for the past few weeks.

A majority of the companies in Las Vegas have been opening booking dates since Mid-May, with some of them accepting reservations for Memorial Day Weekend, a date they hoped they would get to reopen.

Many casinos have had to remain flexible with their booking dates, opening up booking dates just in case they were allowed to reopen, only to cancel them later when they didn’t actually get the green light.

But preparing to reopen has kept them busy enough until they get the official announcement from Gov. Sisolak. Resorts have been carefully developing their reopening plans, including a hefty list of specific health and safety protocols to ensure their properties are ready enough to welcome back guests and staff.

“It’s been a long two months for us. It’s been a long two months for everyone in the state, but we’re ready to go back to business in Nevada,” said Boyd Gaming Corp. spokesman David Strow.

Strip resorts are ready to finally open their doors, and for properties like Wynn Resorts, they’re looking forward to working with regulators to open safely and on time. The mass testing of casino employees officially went underway last Thursday, to prepare for casinos reopening.

According to Wynn Resorts spokesman Michael Weaver, the company applauds the Nevada governor for his targeted June 4 reopening date.

Weaver says Sisolak’s careful, science-based approach to shutting down casinos and halting tourism to stop the spread of the coronavirus is what has effectively enabled the state to finally open its economy back up, avoiding what could have been a possible catastrophe and an even longer lockdown period.

Tourists are Ready to Return, Too

With the whole country on lockdown practically these past two months too, the cabin fever has many ready to return to the city of lights. And while the virus is still an ever-present concern, Strip casinos are doing everything they can to make guests feel confident to return to their properties.

Their new safety protocols include everything from thermal screenings or entrants and ensuring that all staff members wear face masks, to rearranging casino floors to support social distancing and the careful monitoring of HVAC systems to name a few.

Combine these publicized reopening plans with the eagerness of the public to finally get out of the house and “return to normal”, and now you have Las Vegas in the prime position to welcome back guests at a more opportune time.

One frequent visitor from Fresco, CA, Virginia Allegra, says she plans to come back to Las Vegas as soon as it reopens. She’s so eager to return, in fact, that she’s already rebooked six separate reservations with MGM Resorts. The re-bookings were due to the company’s tentative reopening dates being pushed back several times this month.

Another frequent visitor from California, Joann Woodward, a nurse practitioner from Downey, says she plans on returning in mid-June, in order to give casino companies enough time to work out their new reopening measures.

And while she’s a nurse, she says she feels pretty safe in casinos.

“I’m a nurse practitioner, I already wash my hands 40, 50 times a day. I’m not going to shake hands with anybody or hug them,” Woodward added.

Control Board Holds a Lot of Weight in Decision to Officially Reopen

In Sisolak’s Thursday announcement of the tentative June 4 reopening date for Nevada’s gaming industry, he explained that the official decision to reopen is dependent on the evaluation of the state’s COVID-19 trends, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s meeting results.

The Governor should be provided with enough information to feel confident about his decision to reopen June 4 with the Control Board’s information workshop, plus positive COVID-19 state trends, should they continue to remain steady and not significantly increase.

Should the early June reopening date hold firm, it will allow casinos across the state at least two weeks to prepare.

That should hopefully give properties enough time to remobilize their workforce, iron out reopening measures, and begin marketing and promotional blasts to get guests back to their doors.

“It’ll be good to see the energy and the jobs and the life come back to the Strip, even under these unusual circumstances,” said Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs for Las Vegas-based Global Market Advisors LLC.

Reopening Announcement Came Soon After NV’s Unemployment Numbers Were Disclosed

Gov. Sisolak’s tentative reopening date announcement came on the heels of disclosing the state’s shocking unemployment rate: 28.2 percent.

According to targetable data, that’s the highest unemployment rate of any state in any month since 1976. The rate is so high that even local economists are alarmed by it.

While the numbers are shocking, it’s no surprise that a state that’s largely dependent on tourism and gaming, two industries that were knocked flat on their back by the coronavirus pandemic, has been impacted in the way that it has been.

Jeremy Aguero, an economist with Applied Analysis, says that reviving Nevada’s gaming industry will likely be the driving force in bringing the state’s economy back to life.

“It’s an important first step in pushing our economy forward, getting our economy back to where it was previously,” Aguero said. “There’s a great deal of uncertainty, but we’re taking steps to open all facets of our economy, and that’s exactly what needs to be done.”

Reopening Must be Done Successfully to Avoid Second Wave of the Virus

The Governor has been understandably plagued by his decision to reopen the state at the right time.

There’s obviously a lot that’s weighing on his decision, but no bigger issues than the health of the public and the health of the economy.

For one, the economy and livelihood of industry workers are dependent on the gaming industry reopening. It would mean that thousands of Nevadans could return to work and that the state could start generating sizable income again.

But on the other hand, the health and safety of the public in the face of the deadly coronavirus has been paramount in the decisions that have been made up to this point. The reopening needs to happen at the right time, at the right time, to avoid potentially running into a second wave of the virus.

That’s been a major reason why the decision to reopen has been solely dependent on the state’s COVID-19 trends. If reopening happened prematurely, it could have exacerbated the number of COVID-19 cases, and effectively sent the state back into lockdown.

Sisolak has been clear that that’s a situation he’s been trying to avoid from happening since the state of all this.

Stay Tuned

After what feels like months of waiting for a specific reopening date, the state finally has one.

It feels like there’s finally a light at the end of this long COVID-19 tunnel, and while we know it will take some time for Las Vegas to thrive like it did before this virus hit, we’re ecstatic that it will get to reopen soon.

What do you think of the state’s tentative June 4 reopening date? Will you be returning once casinos open up their doors? Share with us in the comments below!

Be sure to check back for the latest coronavirus coverage in Las Vegas.

Caesars Palace, Flamingo First Caesars Entertainment Properties to Reopen; Free Self-Parking

Flamingo Hotel in Las VegasRecently, Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. announced that Caesars Palace would be the first of its 10 properties to reopen when the shutdown order is lifted hopefully within the new couple of weeks.

Now, the company is announcing that Flamingo will open alongside Caesars Palace, making for two of their properties that will see the light of day to start. It’s likely Caesars Entertainment took a hint from MGM Resorts International’s playbook, who will be opening two of their 10 Strip properties initially: the Bellagio and New York-New York.

We think it’s a smart move, giving guests two options to choose from to fit within different traveler’s budgets.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. also announced a sweet perk: It will be suspending its self-parking fees at its properties when they reopen. This is similar to announcement MGM Resorts made last week that free parking will be made available at every resort that reopens.

According to the company’s Thursday announcement, the two properties will comply with reopening directives and guidance provided by Gov. Sisolak, the Nevada Gaming Control Board and public health authorities.

Bookings are available on the company’s website starting May 29.

What Will Available at the Two Properties Once They Reopen?

The company’s news release advised that both Caesars Palace and Flamingo will have much of its traditional offerings available, under stringent social distancing guidelines.

That means that lodging, dining options, traditional gaming options such as slots and table games, and access to outdoor pools will be open to the public, but it will look different for a while.

Caesar’s Entertainment’s CEO, Tony Rodio, advised that the number of seats at card tables will be cut in half, going from six seats down to three. No other individuals outside of the table players will be allowed within six feet of them.

As far as social distancing for slot machines go, every other slot will be deactivated on the casino floor, with stools removed from the disabled slots. This is being done to discourage gamblers from lingering and hovering in those spots to comply with social distancing.

Caesar’s Other Reopening Measures

In a determined effort to provide the safest properties for returning staff and guests, Caesar’s Entertainment outlined their health and safety reopening protocols earlier this month.

While guests are being encouraged to comply with social distancing guidelines, and the casino floors being rearranged to support that, Caesar’s staff will be held to stricter requirements upon reopening.

Those requirements include daily temperature checks of employees and making sure that all staff wears face masks throughout their shift.

Rodio also announced that prior to returning to work, Caesar’s staff will be given a questionnaire to complete, which is being used to determine whether an employee has symptoms related to COVID-19, or if they’ve engaged in activities recently that would require a coronavirus testing.

Mass testing for casino employees went underway on Thursday at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with 4,000 daily tests expected to be administered. Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. and MGM Resort International employees are to make up the bulk of employees tested, as the two casino operators have a combined 150,000 hotel rooms between them.

Harrah’s and LINQ to Reopen Next

After Caesars Entertainment tests the waters with the reopening of Caesars Palace and Flamingo, they plan on opening Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino the LINQ Hotel & Casino’s gaming floor next.

According to the company, demand will determine how soon these properties will reopen, but it’s also expected that many of the LINQ Promenade’s retail and dining options will reopen soon too, as well as the High Roller Observation Wheel.

When Will Properties in Las Vegas Reopen?

As of today, state gambling regulators still haven’t given the green light to lift the Governor’s shutdown order, although casino operators continue to develop their reopening plans. Many Strip resorts are hoping for a reopening date of June 1.

Here’s what we know: Nevada is currently in Phase 1 of its reopening plan. That allowed for the reopening of retail stores, restaurants, barbershops, hair and nail salons, with the requirement of only operating at 50 percent capacity.

No bars at restaurants are allowed to operate or allow seating. In the same breath, other Vegas experiences such as buffets, shows, and valet parking are still suspended.

Gov. Sisolak advised that the state would monitor how well Nevada fares under Phase 1 over a 14-day period.

It entered into Phase 1 on May 9, which would technically mean May 23 would be the determining period to move onto the next phase, and hopefully that means the reopening of casinos.

i
Currently, the state has over 7,255 positive coronavirus cases and 378 related deaths. However, there have been no significant increases in the number of daily cases, hospitalizations, or COVID-19-related deaths, which is what the Governor wanted to see in order to move the state along in its phased reopening plan.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board scheduled an information workshop, where it would listen to state and health officials’ readiness for reopening on May 26. Regulators have been requiring casino companies to submit their health and safety reopening plans. While some properties have come public with their reopening plans, the Control Board is allowed to keep that information private.

Stay Tuned

It’s good news that Caesars Entertainment Corp. decided to reopen another one of their other iconic properties to start.

Hearing more and more casino companies coming out with their reopening plans is a positive sign that reopening is just around the corner. It also gives returning guests a helpful insight into how seriously they’re taking reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the confidence to come back.

What do you think about Caesar’s Entertainment reopening only two of their properties to start?

Share your thoughts with us below, and be sure to check back for the latest coronavirus coverage in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Begins Mass Testing of Casino Employees Ahead of Reopening

Las Vegas Convention CenterWith casinos in Las Vegas gearing to reopen their doors in the very near future, with some resorts aiming for a June 1st reopening, the city will begin testing the first of thousands of casino employees for the new coronavirus starting this Thursday.

According to the official plan announced by several casino operators, local tourism, union, and hospital officials, the first group of casino employees that will get tested are those who are receiving job callbacks ahead of Las Vegas resorts reopening.

Officials have a hefty goal in mind for the testing, aiming to get 4,000 test samples administered for the coronavirus checkup daily. Results are expected to be delivered within 48 hours, and employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be referred to the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) to get contact tracing conducted.

Why Mass Testing Casino Employees is Essential

With casino employees on the verge of entering back into the gaming industry workforce, it’s vital that precautions are taken to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in Clark County, especially when casinos will be repopulated by numerous staff and guests again soon.

The prevention of the spread of COVID-19 starts with preliminary measures, like getting employees tested before they even step foot back onto the job-site.

According to Geoconda Argüello-Kline, union secretary-treasurer, coronavirus testing ensures that Culinary Union members are safe and healthy enough to come back to work. Before Las Vegas resorts even open again, the health and safety of staff and visitors is the number one priority.

It will also give out-of-town visitors more confidence to return to the Las Vegas Strip, knowing that the city is taking the health of their staff very seriously.

In the same way that the public will get a sense of ease from knowing casino operators’ reopening plans, is the same way they’ll gain more peace by knowing that tens of thousands of casino employees have been tested for COVID-19 and only the ones who have tested negative for the virus will be allowed back to work.

MGM Resorts & Caesars Entertainment Will Have the Highest Numbers of Employees Testing

It’s no surprise that the Strip’s two largest casino operators, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, will make up the bulk of employee testing. Both companies have 10 Strip properties each, with over 150,000 hotel rooms between them.

Former MGM Resorts executive, Jim Murren, is helping lead the way for employee testing by the efforts he’s put forth in helping state marshals boost testing capacity.

Caesars CEO, Tony Rodio, also recently announced that company employees would be given a questionnaire before returning to work that will determine their immediate need to be tested for COVID-19.

Testing to be held at Las Vegas Convention Center

The largest mass testing site in Nevada to date will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, as it has an adequate amount of space to pull off the required casino employee testing.

The center will work in partnership with University Medical Center (UMC), the Culinary Union and MGM, Caesars, and Boyd Gaming Properties in testing up to 4,000 casino employees a day.

“This is huge for Las Vegas,” says UMC Spokesman Scott Kerbs.

According to Boyd Properties, any employee who is returning to work will be getting tested at the Convention Center.

Current Coronavirus Cases in Nevada

On Tuesday, state health officials reported over 7,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and 365 related deaths.

Over the past few weeks, the number of cases has steadied out with no significant daily jumps in reported cases or deaths.

Right now, Nevada is in Phase 1 of its reopening plan, which it entered into on May 9. Phase 1 called for the reopening of retail stores, restaurants, barbers, hair, and nail salons at 50 percent capacity.

Governor Sisolak advised that he and his team of medical experts would monitor the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over a 14-day period once the state entered into Phase 1. Sisolak said the next steps would be determined after reviewing those results. According to the Governor’s phased reopening plan, casinos will reopen in Phase 3 or 4.

Stay Tuned

The announcement of mass testing of casino employees is a good sign that casinos will be reopening sometime soon.

What do you think about Las Vegas getting 4,000 casino employees tested daily, ahead of casinos reopening?

As a visitor or casino worker, does it give you more peace of mind to return to Las Vegas resorts? We’d love to hear your thoughts below. Stay safe, and continue to check back for the latest coronavirus coverage in Las Vegas.

Could Younger Gamblers be the Driving Force Behind Las Vegas’ Recovery?

Cosmopolitan Casino FloorWith Las Vegas casinos nearing reopening, questions are surfacing as to what will help drive the economy back to glory.

We know that for one, casino operators must continue developing strong reopening plans and safety protocols so that visitors can feel like Las Vegas is a safe space to return to amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Confidence in air travel is also a big one, as it’s the first step in getting out-of-state travelers who might not be close enough to drive in, the peace of mind in taking the journey necessary to get to Las Vegas.

But what else could help revive Vegas’ economy when the city does finally reopen? Well, according to Synergy Blue, a Las Vegas skill-based game maker, the answer could be younger gamblers.

In late April, Synergy Blue took an online survey of 1,000 U.S. gamblers and found that it was the younger gamblers who showed the most confidence in returning once the shutdown lifts.

According to Synergy Blue’s CEO, George Washington, it doesn’t come as a shock to anyone that the younger demographic is more risk-oriented and has a bigger appetite for social interaction, especially after being cooped up for the past two months.

Younger Demographic Likely Safest to Return

With the highest risk group of the coronavirus being those 65 and older or those with underlying health conditions or chronic lung disease, all signs point to the younger demographic as being the healthiest to return to Las Vegas resorts when they reopen.

Synergy Blue’s survey found that 62 percent of U.S. gamblers who were 29-years-old or younger said they would return to Las Vegas whenever stay-at-home orders and the shutdown are lifted, as opposed to the group 60 years old, where only 40 percent said they would return.

While younger gamblers aren’t known for being heavy spenders, if a higher percentage of them are willing to return to Vegas, they could prove as the driving force behind the city’s long-awaited economic recovery.

“It’s going to take time for some people (to return), but there’s a positive spin to this,” Washington said. “Over half of the people surveyed are willing to come straight out there (to casinos). People will be back to some normalcy soon.”

Younger Gamblers Could be Pose a Paradox for Casino Operators

According to Nehme Abouzeid, president and founder of LaunchVegas LLC, a consulting firm in Las Vegas, while the younger generation will likely be the first to return to land-based casinos because of their health, the typical slots player is older.

Abouzeid says it would be an “inverse relationship.”

The Las Vegas Convention Visitor’s Authority (LVCVA) also found that older gamblers typically shell out more money compared to their younger counterparts. Around 30 percent of baby boomers were found to have a total gambling budget of around $600.

Young Travelers Who Don’t Visit the Casinos Can Still Help Las Vegas Recover

Even if young travelers aren’t going to be hitting the slots or crap tables, their tourism will still help Las Vegas recover.

There is a lot for younger visitors to be attracted to in Las Vegas, from pools to shows and restaurants. And with the layouts of these popular amenities being modified to fit social distancing, younger tourists can feel ease returning to them to have fun while being protected.

Online Gaming Sees Major Boost Amid Nationwide Casino Shutdown

The survey also revealed that online gaming has ramped up heavily amid the nationwide shutdown of casinos.

According to the survey, 64 percent of the 1,000 U.S. gamblers questioned said they’ve played mobile games or participated in online gambling during the pandemic. It was the first time to gamble online for 1 of 5 of those surveyed.

“It seems that online gaming is having its test-drive moment,” Abouzeid said. “With land-based casinos shuttered, virtually no sports to bet on, and media consumption up due to the lockdown, online casinos are enjoying a unique window of opportunity.”

A whopping 93 percent of those gamblers surveyed also said they would continue to gamble online or use mobile gambling even when stay-at-home orders are lifted. But while this online sector has seen a major boost amid the outbreak, Washington said the growth shouldn’t hurt traditional casinos as the two options provide different advantages for different gamblers.

Washington expects to see more growth in the online gambling space, but not enough that it will noticeably put a dent in the traditional brick-and-mortar casinos.

About Synergy Blue

Founded in 2013, Synergy Blue is an industry leader in entertainment gaming solutions, known for the skill-influenced and arcade-style games they create. They create “Fun You Can Bet On!” The Las Vegas-based gaming company designs products for an emerging class of players. They have products and applications spanning across six different countries.

Latest Las Vegas Tourism Ad Highlights ‘New Reality’ for the City

Bellagio Fountains in Las VegasIn Las Vegas’ brand new tourism advertisement, it’s letting visitors who come to the city once the shutdown is lifted know what they can expect to walk into, and according to the ad, that’s a more intimate, #OnlyYou Vegas experience.

The video’s opening line confirms the era of COVID-19 we’re all currently in. A female narrator begins by saying:

“The world has changed…and Vegas is changing with it.”

But the commercial spot is putting a positive twist on the ‘New Vegas’ guests will experience when they’re able to return. The advertisement, which was created by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, emphasizes that the city is working on creating a more “intimate” Vegas experience, with more space for guests to enjoy.

A “New Vegas” Experience for the “New Reality”

The video highlights solo travelers and different couples experiencing popular Vegas scenes, with a couple dancing in front of the Bellagio with the iconic fountains going off in the background, to more secluded experiences to emphasis the social distancing that’s to come, like walking hand-in-hand on a trail in Red Rock Canyon, or swimming in a rooftop pool at night with no one else around.

A solo tourist can also be seen toward the end of the video taking in the sights and architecture of the Las Vegas Strip, with minimal people passing by in the background.

That’s something that will definitely be a new sight to see, especially when the “old Vegas” was full of hoards of crowds, sometimes making it impossible for people to even get a photo without groups of people walking in front of it or photobombing it, whether intentional or not.

The closing line assures those anxious to get back to the Entertainment Capital of the World that when Vegas is ready to see them again, they’ll be the first to know.

The new 30-second tourism spot will air across multiple cable networks beginning this week.

You can view it in its entirety below:

The Ad Compliments Vegas’ New “Only Vegas” Slogan that Aired Earlier This Year

Earlier this year in January, the infamous, award-winning “What happens here, stays here,” campaign finally got a facelift after 17 long years from when it was first introduced.

R&R Partners, the creative advertising agency behind Sin City’s original catchphrase slogan was behind the reimagined new slogan, “What happens here, only happens here,” too.

The goal behind the reimagined slogan is to showcase Las Vegas as more than just a gambling and entertainment destination, to the city it’s grown to become, one that even holds its own as a new sport’s destination now, too.

The advertising agency spent several years working on the new branding. It wasn’t unveiled in its fully planned advertising capacity during the week it originally planned to air, the week of the 62nd Grammy Awards, although the 60-second commercial spot did air that night.

Grammy night this year, unfortunately, came on the heels of iconic basketball star Kobe Bryant’s tragic death on Jan. 26.

Instead of airing the new #OnlyHere slogan on marquees around the Strip and on various cable networks, instead, Las Vegas properties paid their respects to the NBA legend by displaying heartfelt messages for the Lakers all-star and those involved in the helicopter crash that claimed Bryant’s life, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and nine others.

In the latest “New Vegas” tourism spot, it combined the #OnlyYou intimacy theme with the new #OnlyVegas experience.

Guests Can Still Except Vegas Excitement When it Reopens

The new ad did a great job of conveying how different Las Vegas will look when it comes to reopening in the age of social distancing, but it also made sure to let visitors know that they can still expect “Vegas excitement” to be here when it returns, too.

Fewer crowds and casino safety measures, like guests getting thermal scannings of their internal temperature when entering casino properties, and seeing dealers and other casino staff with masks on, will no doubt take some time getting adjusted to, but it won’t cancel the fun that people come to Las Vegas expecting to get.

Like MGM Resorts acting CEO, Bill Hornbuckle, pointed out, a safe Vegas is still Vegas nonetheless.

Las Vegas hasn’t been the only thing shut down over these past few months. Nationwide, people have been subjected to stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus outbreak, and it’s likely that once the entertainment city reopens, people will want to return to experience fun and excitement again, especially after experiencing fear and lockdown induced from the pandemic.

Of course, it will depend on guests’ confidence in air travel, being around large groups of people, their confidence in Strip casinos safety protocols, and the state of the outbreak during the time Las Vegas reopens, but one thing is for sure: The city is eager and ready to welcome guests back, and it will provide guests with a unique, #OnlyYou intimate Vegas experience that they can only get here.

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!

Casino Reopening Plans Should be Made Available to Public

Aerial View of Las Vegas Strip at NightWith Nevada’s casinos on the verge of reopening, the most vital order of business for them will be ensuring guests feel comfortable and safe upon reentering their doors.

A few mega properties on the Las Vegas Strip, such as Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts properties have all recently unveiled their new health and safety protocols in the era of COVID-19.

That’s been a beneficial move for casino operators, as the transparency allows guests to have more peace of mind when it comes to exactly what Las Vegas properties are doing to welcome them back amid the coronavirus pandemic. By stepping up to make their plans public, those properties will likely see guests flocking to their resorts first.

But, while the Nevada Gaming Control board is mandating every licensee, from megaresorts on the Strip to gas station convenience stores that offer slot machine games, to turn in their reopening plans, it seems that the Control board plans on keeping them confidential.

This can definitely be problematic in Las Vegas making its long-awaited return, especially when the public’s worries would ease given a full public disclosure of health and safety reopening plans.

Releasing Reopening Plans Would Benefit Everyone

For one, fully disclosing reopening plans benefits those who wish to return to Las Vegas once the shutdown order is lifted by taking a load of worry off of their shoulders, especially during the current, fragile COVID-19 climate.

The more thorough and detailed operators are in making sure their properties stand up against an ever-present virus, the more guests will feel confident in setting foot in those properties doors.

Not only that but sharing best practices can set the example for how other properties across the Las Vegas Strip should handle reopening. Those best practices so far seem to be rearranging casino floors to support social distancing guidelines set by the CDC, conducting non-invasive thermal screenings of guests and staff at casino entrances, and ramping up cleaning and sanitation of high-traffic areas and frequently contacted hard surfaces.

By pooling these predictably effective protocols, it will make Vegas stand up even stronger against the virus.

Nevada Revised Statutes is Allowing Board to Treat Reopening Information as Confidential

While we applaud the casino operators who have gone public with how they plan on reopening during this uniquely challenging time, it’s unfortunate that Control Board is reluctant to make reopening plans readily available to the public.

It appears as though a specific section of Nevada Revised Statutes, specifically NRS 463.120, is the reason behind allowing the pressing information to be kept under wraps. Under NRS 463.120, the board and the Nevada Gaming Commission is able to treat such information that it receives as classified.

However, this is troublesome given the fact that asking for reopening plans isn’t the same as asking casino operators to reveal their trade secrets or disclose any information that would give away a competitive edge.

What this means is that it’s up to casino companies whether or not they want to make their reopening plans public, as it’s not being enforced by the Gaming Control Board. It would be a smart move on the part of casinos to do so because it’ll convey to the public, especially a public that wants to return to their specific property, that they’re being proactive in their approach to reopen safely and securely.

Governor Sisolak Could Override the Statute

While the Gaming Control Board is within their right, per the Nevada Revised Statutes, to keep reopening plans confidential, Gov. Sisolak could issue an executive order that would override it.

If there’s anything we’ve seen clearly these past two months in Las Vegas, it’s that Governor Sisolak holds the power to effectively shut down the city, as he did when he mandated the order for casinos to close to stop the spread of COVID-19.

If he can order casinos to shut down and reopen, surely by the same force of law could he require the Control Board to release reopening plans.

Casino Reopening Measures (What We Know So Far)

For the properties who went public with their reopening measures, they’ve provided a lot of insight into what Las Vegas will look like when it reopens amid the same outbreak that shut it down.

For one, we know that table games will look a lot different, with nearly half of the number of gamblers allow per table reduced.

Casino employees will also be required to wear facial masks during their entire shift. While guests will be encouraged to wear masks, it’s not being enforced.

Elevators will only allow four people on at once. Speaking of elevators, those buttons will be sanitized frequently, as well as any other hard surface that gets frequent, direct contact, such as escalator rails and slot machines.

HVAC systems will also be monitored routinely for maximum efficiency. Some properties, like Caesars Palace, announced they will be disabling every other slot machine and removing its stool to encourage social distancing.

Thermal screenings will also be a big one, as it will allow for every entrant to be quickly screened for internal temperature. Incident protocols are also being put into place, should an individual test positive for COVID-19 while on site.

Stay Tuned

In the weeks leading up to Las Vegas’ hopeful return, it’s been helpful and encouraging to see casino operators release their reopening health and safety measures. It gives us a good idea of the state of Sin City we’ll all be walking back into.

We also know that not all properties will reopen once they’re given the green light to do so. It seems like slow and steady is going to win the race in getting back to the Las Vegas we all know and love.

We hope that more properties come forward with their reopening plans so the public can gain more confidence in returning to Las Vegas. Do you think that Governor Sisolak should enforce the Control Board to release reopening plans?

We’d love to hear your thoughts below.