Sahara LV Creates “Take a Seat” Reservation Program for Table Games

Sahara Las Vegas CasinoOn Tuesday, Sahara Las Vegas announced that they will be taking appointments for table games, in what they’re advertising as “reserve your playtime.” The new program was developed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the new safety protocols surrounding it.

In up to 72 hours in advance, players will now be able to conveniently reserve tables through this online portal. Players can reserve seats at Sahara’s Blackjack, Roulette and Bacarrat tables.

Once on property, players can check into the Infinity Lounge 15 minutes ahead of their requested time, and their reservations will be held up to 20 minutes past their requested time.

This is a convenient option for players who want to sit and play at their own table with friends or family, and the first-of-its-kind service at a casino property in Las Vegas, amid casinos in the city reopening.

Pre-social distancing rules apply to members of the same household, allowing for the maximum capacity of players at one table. Social distancing rules of those not in the same household are capped out at around three players per table, or half the full capacity.

In the same announcement, Sahara also shared that they will be reopening their poker room this Thursday, June 18. Tables will be limited to five players max per table, and players will be asked to reserve online in advance as well.

Sahara Welcomes Back Locals with Resort-Wide Specials

Sahara is known for being a hot spot for locals, especially since it transitioned back over to its iconic “Sahara” flagship name, after being the SLS for the past five years.

Now, the property is offering big deals to show more love to locals, with hopes that they’ll come back and book a stay with them very soon.

To entice locals to enjoy a “relaxing staycation escape,” they’re offering locals:

  • No resort fee
  • 10% off rooms and suites
  • Hundreds in savings with their virtual fun book, including half-off cabanas and daybeds, free Starbucks™ coffee and more
  • Ability to change or cancel reservations within a 24-hour window, without penalty fees
  • Free parking always
  • 50 percent off dining at the property

In order for locals to receive the deals, they must book stay by September 3, 2020. Book your staying by clicking here.

Stay Tuned

Locals, will you be taking advantage of the specials Sahara Las Vegas is currently offering?

And what do you think of the new reservation program for table games? It will be interesting to see if other casinos follow suit.

Be sure to check back for more updates regarding casino news in Las Vegas.

Gold Spike, Corduroy, and More Reopen in Downtown LV

Gold Spike Las VegasDowntown is expanding its available entertainment options. On Wednesday, Gold Spike, downtown’s adult playground, Corduroy, a popular bar known for its music selection, Smashed Pig, a gastropub, and Oak & Ivy, a cocktail bar, reopened.

Gold Spike’s ‘Backyard’ playground is welcoming back groups of no more than five or less per table, serving customers on a first-come, first-served basis with no required minimum. The new hours of operations are from Wednesday through Sunday, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The Smashed Pig will be offering dine-in service, featuring their full food and cocktail menu. Reservations are encouraged. Their new hours of operation are Wednesday through Thursday, from 3-9 p.m., Friday, from 3-11 p.m., Saturday, from 10 a.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Corduroy bar will be allowing groups of up to five people, to adhere to social distancing guidelines as provided by the CDC. Their new hours of operations as of now, in a similar trend to the other reopened businesses, are from Wednesday through Sunday, 5-11 p.m.

And Oak & Ivy, which is nicknamed downtown’s “Container Park’s bar in a box,” is encouraging guests to make reservations through OpenTable before coming down. Their updated hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday, from noon-8 p.m, and Friday through Saturday, from noon-9 p.m.

Downtown is Slowly but Surely Reopening

The four new downtown re-openings join a list of other downtown properties and the Fremont Experience which reopened last Thursday, June 4.

Ahead of reopening, the D Hotel & Casino’s parking garage was full of guests waiting to get back into the casino to gamble. Only hotel guests were allowed to reenter ahead of the midnight opening.

D Hotel & Casino’s owner, Derek Stevens, led a New Year’s Eve-style countdown to midnight, and the crowd was all for it. And it’s no wonder the pent-up demand was high, with casinos being closed a total of 78 days in the state.

Some things that looked different inside of downtown casinos right now are employees wearing masks, entrants having to undergo a temperature check when coming into the property, and plexiglass barriers on the casino floor. The Gold Nugget, on the other hand, is only taking hotel guests’ temperature at check-in.

It seemed that outside of questions about safety protocols, the most asked questions were if football was coming to come back or not in the sportsbooks.

Overall, it seems the energy downtown is full of excitement and forward-focused on what’s to come.

More Free Parking Options Downtown

Downtown Las Vegas has been doing a few things to encourage tourists and locals back to its streets.

For one, D Hotel & Casino’s owner Stevens gave away 2,000 free one-way flights to Las Vegas in the week leading up to its reopening. It’s no surprise that the flights sold out by the afternoon.

When Nevada entered into Phase 1 of reopening, which allowed for the reopening of dine-in restaurants without operating bars, many staple downtown restaurants started offering sidewalk dining to accommodate guests and make them feel more comfortable in returning.

Now, the city of Las Vegas is taking it a step further by providing new parking amenities alongside the safe reopening of its businesses and casinos.

Beginning June 8, additional convenient parking options have been introduced for those visiting downtown restaurants, attractions, and other businesses.

In partnership with the Downtown Project (DTP), parking is now free for the month of June at downtown LV’s Llama Lot, which is located at 152 N. Ninth St.

Discount for All-Day Parking

Additionally, all-day parking is now 50 percent off at many downtown lots and parking garages if reserved in advance through the ParkWhiz app.

In addition to the discounted and free parking, the city of Las Vegas has also introduced new technology giving patrons touch-free options in their garage transactions, including QR code scanning, using Apple or Google Pay, or waving hands in front of garage sensors instead of physically touching kiosks.

Downtown’s Reopening Came on the Heels of George Floyd Protests

A week before downtown reopened its casinos and retail businesses, it was overrun by protests honoring George Floyd. Downtown became the epicenter of the protests in Las Vegas.

It put businesses in a tough position of whether or not to postpone their re-openings.

Some popular bars in Fremont East district, including the highly-anticipated reopening of Commonwealth, made the decision to postpone their Thursday, June 4 opening after suffering some damage from the riots last Monday night.

But, despite the concerns of the violence, many downtown businesses were in solidarity and support of the protests.

Despite Public Concerns, People Showed Up for Downtown’s Reopening

While the coronavirus pandemic is still active, and protests and riots are still occurring, it didn’t stop people from returning to downtown Las Vegas and the city of Las Vegas to get back into the action.

Trends over how Las Vegas fares over the next few weeks with being reopened will be important in other casino operators deciding to reopen their properties to the public as well. Las Vegas is taking a smart, measure approach to its reopening, reintroducing properties a little at a time to gauge public impact and demand.

So far, so good. There have been no big jumps in daily COVID-19 cases or hospitalizations, and with airfare to Las Vegas being reduced and hotel rates being on the low-end, it’s predicted that Vegas will see many more visitors by the end of June and through July.

We hope that’s the case, as it’ll help springboard Nevada’s economy back into recovery after COVID-19 shuddered the state’s industry workforce.

Because of the coronavirus shutdown, and it being a city built on tourism and gaming, Nevada has topped lists for the highest unemployment percentage in the country for the month of April. Thankfully, with casinos reopening, many casino employees are getting their livelihoods back into full swing.

The “New Normal” for Vegas for A While

Vegas has reopened to a “new normal” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In fact, the new Vegas experience was highlighted in the city’s latest tourism ad that’s describing the new reality as a more “intimate” Las Vegas experience.

So if you’re returning to Las Vegas or you’re new to visiting the city as a whole, what will look different? Well, with social distancing guidelines being considered and implemented all throughout the valley, that will mean a less-crowded Vegas.

Normally, downtown Las Vegas, especially the Fremont Street Experience, is overrun with crowds and people from all walks of life. But now, with confidence in air travel wary, the crowds will likely be a mix of locals and domestic guests, especially visitors from Southern California who are able to simply drive into town to experience the fun.

Many casino properties are only operating at reduced capacity as well, meaning guests will have more space to take in the sights or experience amenities without, hopefully, having to fight to get a reservation in.

Guests can also expect to see casino employees wearing facial masks, and floors riddled with social distancing guideline markers.

Stay Tuned

The 4th of July holiday weekend in Las Vegas this year will be an interesting one to watch. It’s hard to predict how busy it might or might not get, but as things are looking right now, you can probably bet that more people will be heading to town during that time.

In fact, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, the Strip’s two largest casino operators, are planning to open up more resorts in time for the holiday weekend, including Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Aria.

Are you excited that more businesses and casino-hotels are reopening across downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip? Will you be coming into town to visit soon? Share with us below, and be sure to check back for more coverage regarding Las Vegas’ reopening.

Aria, Linq, Luxor, Mandalay Bay to Reopen in Vegas Next

Mandalay Bay & Luxor in Las VegasLas Vegas has been off to a swell start with its reopening of casinos that came on June 4. Not all casinos reopened at once, but slowly and surely, the city is beginning to open back up its famed resorts.

On Tuesday, MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp, who opened up only a handful of their properties to start, announced that they will be expanding their list of available hotel-casinos in Las Vegas.

Currently, the MGM properties that are open to the public include the Bellagio, New York-New York, MGM Grand, and its MGM Grand Signature properties. Of Caesars Entertainment, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, and Harrah’s are currently open.

Both MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment are the Strip’s largest casino operators. So what do these two operators plan on bringing back to life next?

MGM to Reopen Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Four Seasons, and Aria Next

In a news release, MGM Resorts International revealed that they will be opening up three more resorts before Independence Day.

First up will be the pyramid-shaped resort, Luxor, alongside The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay Place on June 25. The shopping esplanade runs between Luxor and Mandalay, so it’s only proper that the two open alongside each other.

The resort and The Shoppes will open up at 10 a.m. on June 25.

On July 1, at 11 a.m., MGM then plans to reopen its Four Seasons and Aria properties, just in time for the 4th of July weekend.

The three properties and shopping esplanade will open limited dining options, but it’s not clear what those dining options are just yet.

All three casinos do however plan to open up their pools with the initial reopening.

What’s left to reopen for MGM Resorts after July 1 will be Park MGM, NoMad, the non-gaming Vdara, and the Mirage.

Caesars Entertainment to Reopen Aria Next

Caesars announced they will be opening up the gaming floor at The Linq Hotel this Friday, June 12. The Linq Hotel and parking garage will remain closed initially.

The Linq Promenade reopened last Thursday, as well as The High Roller Observation Wheel.

Within the promenade, the following restaurants and dining options reopened: Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar, Flour & Barley Brick Oven Pizza, Haute Doggery, In-N-Out Burger, Maxie’s, Off The Strip, Tilted Kilt, Yard House, Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips, Jaburritos, and Virgil’s Real Barbecue.

As far as beverage options, Breeze Daiquiri and Ice Bar are now serving drinks. The promenade’s retail candy shop, I Love Sugar, also reopened.

What’s left for Caesars to reopen is Planet Hollywood, Bally’s, Paris Las Vegas, The Cromwell and the off-Strip Rio.

June 4 Reopening Day Excitement and Success

The energy on June 4 was palpable. After a near-three-month shutdown, the pent-up demand for guests to return to casinos once again and start playing was high.

Caesars CEO Tony Rodio was on-site on opening day with Vegas icon Wayne Newton, and said it was a pleasure to welcome back staff members and guests to some of Caesar’s Las Vegas properties and across the country.

“We are encouraged by customer interest and visits, strong demand, and the implementation, so far, of our enhanced health and safety protocols,” Rodio said.

MGM Resorts acting CEO, Bill Hornbuckle, was also waiting to greet guests at the Bellagio’s lobby, alongside other company executives.

Hornbuckle said it was exciting and emotional to see the kind of energy that was present the week prior when the company welcomed back employees and reopened its doors for the first time in months.

“Our guests are having a great time and are thrilled to be back in the city they love. We are eager to get more of our employees back to work and enhance the Las Vegas experience with additional resorts,” Hornbuckle said.

‘Strong Opening Weekend’

MGM Resorts executives described the opening weekend as ‘strong’ and used the opening weekend as a measure to gauge customer’s demand.

Since it was a successful weekend, the company is moving forward with its plans to reopen the aforementioned properties in the coming weeks, and we think guests will be excited to have more MGM properties to visit and choose from in their Vegas stay.

Stay Tuned

We’re thrilled to see that Las Vegas opening back up again, one property at a time.

It was sorely missed during the long shutdown period and we hope that it will return to its formal glory in no time.

Which of the properties that are reopening in the coming weeks are you most excited about returning to or visiting? We’d love to know! Share your thoughts with us below and be sure to check back for more Las Vegas reopening coverage.

3 Live Shows You Can Watch in Las Vegas This Week

Dueling Piano BarThis is the first full week of Las Vegas being reopened, since the shutdown order was officially lifted last Thursday, June 4. While casinos across the state were given the green light to reopen, not every Vegas casino chose to reopen right away.

Instead, the casinos that are still closed are testing the waters, seeing how the city fares during its reopening before joining the rest of the pack. And not every amenity of the casinos that have reopened, for example, The Bellagio, Caesars Palace, and Treasure Island to name a few, are available to the public just yet either.

Many of those unopened amenities include dining and beverage options, like restaurants and bars, hotel gym rooms, and live entertainment.

Casinos have been waiting for the word from the Nevada Gaming Control Board to bring back live bands in their lounges and bars and many of their famed live entertainment shows.

However, the motto has been “the show must go on” for these three live Vegas shows which have reopened their doors to the public. If you’re in town, here are three live shows you can catch in Las Vegas this week!

Mayfair and the Petrossian Bar at Bellagio

It seems like the Bellagio is fully leading the way in entertainment in Las Vegas’ reopening.

The Mayfair Supper Club, which overlooks the Bellagio Fountain show, reopened alongside the hotel on June 4, as well as Petrossian Bar & Lounge. Mayfair is a stage show that’s equal parts dining and entertainment venue.

Although it’s pared down from its full production, absent of show dancers, the co-star singers LaShonda Reese and Steve Judkins are back and showing off their pipes once more along with bandleader J.F. Thibeault and his entertaining ensemble.

Petrossian Bar & Lounge is an upscale piano bar-lounge that offers afternoon English tea service, champagne, caviar, and rotating pianists for live music entertainment.

Big Elvis at Harrah’s Piano Bar

The Harrah’s was the third Caesars Entertainment property to reopen on June 5, after Caesars Palace and Flamingo reopened a day earlier on June 4.

That means Big Elvis, performed by Pete Vallee, at Harrah’s Piano Bar is back. He’s one of the Strip’s longest performing lounge acts, and a crowd-favorite for sure. Big Elvis, if you couldn’t tell by the name, performed the King’s greatest hits three days a week at Harrah’s Piano Bar.

Recently, he’s been sharing the stage with dueling piano twins Kim and Tamara Pinegar, DJ Rusty’s karaoke, and the Saxman Duo. But since Big Elvis is a one-man singing show, it seems likely that he’ll be approved to perform in Phase 2 of Nevada’s reopening.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Big Elvis to return to Harrah’s Piano Bar stage this Friday, performing at 2, 3 and 5 p.m.

Piazza Lounge and Copa Room at Tuscany

It seems like piano bars are leading the back in safely bringing live entertainment back to the Entertainment Capital. The Tuscany, which is just east of the Las Vegas Strip, also made its triumphant return with it Kenny Davidsen’s Celebrity Piano Bar inside of Piazza Lounge.

Davidsen’s show is a mainstay in Vegas entertainment. It’s been going on for the past seven years and has been an incredible feature for guest singers over the years. The show starts at 8:45 p.m. on Friday nights.

The Copa Room inside of Tuscany has also been reactivated, with two shows in the books from Smashing Alice, a rock cover band, and its entertainment calendar is already starting to take shape again.

Dreamland Drive-In on West Diablo Drive

For this weekend’s encore performance that will be a completely new and unique Vegas experience, check out the Drive-In Drag Show on West Diablo Drive.

The Drive-In Drag Show, hosted by Edie from Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity, is a live-singing musical experience that guests can enjoy from the comfort of their cars.

It sold out on its first weekend, so don’t sleep on getting your tickets to this one-of-a-kind show. Performances are on June 11, 12, and 13 at 8 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit driveindragshow.com.

Stay Tuned

After nearly three months of Las Vegas shutting down, we’re so glad to see casinos and forms of live entertainment opening back up again.

We know this is exactly what the public needs to escape the reality of our current times.

Will you be checking out any of these live shows this weekend in Vegas? Share with us below! And be sure to check back for more news on Las Vegas reopening.

Gambler Hits Jackpot at Recently Reopened Red Rock Casino in LV

Red Rock CasinoRed Rock Casino, along with a select group of other Las Vegas Casinos, reopened but four days ago after a long after a near-three month shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The pent-up demand for gamblers to return for Red Rock’s reopening day was high, and it was evident in the line of hundreds who were waiting outside of the casinos before they swung their doors back open at midnight to welcome in the eager crowd.

Cheers could be heard and the staff was on-hand to greet guests at the entrance. At 12:01 a.m., it was already a lively scene in the casino that was empty just one week prior. The crowd was mostly filled with locals who were ready to get their play in at their favorite casino again after a long quarantine period.

But the best part? No sooner than they reopened did gamblers start earning big again! Some locals even took home a few hundred in winnings their first day back, and now, only four days later, a gambler has already hit the jackpot.

Panda Slot Machine Spells Out 10K Jackpot

One lucky gambler’s modest 88-cent bet turned into a near 10 grand fortune on a panda slot machine. The gambler won $9,092 to be exact. Ah, now this is just the kind of good news Vegas needed to see again!

Stay Tuned

Vegas is finally getting its feet wet after the dry spell that coronavirus caused back in mid-March, but it’s already off to a great start.

Not all of the city’s casinos have reopened, but enough to welcome back guests and provide them with the new “intimate” Vegas experience amid reopening during the pandemic.

Does this good news have you wanting to head down to the casino tonight? Who knows, you could be one of the lucky ones!

Atmosphere at Red Rock Casino’s Reopening Was ‘So Lively’

Red Rock Canyon Casino in Las VegasRed Rock Casino reopened at midnight on Thursday, June 4, to hundreds of eager guests who were ready to get back into the familiar scene of playing slots, putting back drinks, and having a good time.

At 12:01, the atmosphere was already so lively, it almost had a “first-day-back-at-school” feeling, and it’s no wonder why. Staff was on hand to warmly welcome guests back, including Scott Nelson, the general manager of Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa.

The crowd, which was made up of a majority of locals, with some drive-in guests, has had major casino fever since Las Vegas was effectively shut down due to the coronavirus in early March. It was clear the demand was pent up by the number of people who lined up outside of the casino ahead of the doors opening.

Red Rock made it into Station Casinos first phase of reopening, alongside five other properties. The remaining four, The Palms, Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, and Fiesta Rancho, will reopen at a later date.

You could hear the roar of players and bystanders at the craps table throughout the casino floor, the buzz of people toasting at Lucky Bar, and guests getting the famous midnight-oil steak and eggs at the 24-hour coffee shop, which is available at all Station Casinos properties.

“Nothing feels better than our guests and team members returning to our property,” said Joe Yalda, Red Rock’s vice president of guest experience.

What Looks Different at Red Rock?

For one, all staff members are required to wear masks. All guests and team members will also have their temperature taken by a non-invasive thermal scanner upon entering the building. To prevent guests from touching doors, the staff is also on hand to open doors for people coming in.

The casino floor has also been rearranged to support social distancing, with table games having maximum occupancy and rows of slot machines going from five chairs to three. Throughout all Station Casinos, electrostatic sprayers that contain hospital-grade disinfectants will be used to clean high-touch hard surface areas on the property. Several hands-free hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed strategically throughout the property as well.

Staff will also receive thorough health and cleanliness standard training to remain compliant with standards set by federal, state, and local authorities.

Local Were Ecstatic to Return

Red Rock sees a large percentage of local residents, so it’s no wonder that locals were among the largest percentage of those returning on reopening day.

For local residents Shanon and Terrace Diaz, for one, they couldn’t be happier that the shutdown has finally been lifted.

“We’ve been waiting, we wanted to be here right when it opens. It’s a good thing,” said Terrace Diaz.

Shannon Diaz added that she has just been wanting to feel the “real Vegas” again.

Shawn Berry, another local, was at the front of the line of those waiting to get in before the clock struck midnight. Berry said he could care less about the changes, and that he just was ready to gamble again.

That was a similar sentiment among those who showed up on the reopening day. And on day one of reopening, people were already winning, too.

Stay Tuned

Even with all the new changes at Red Rock, guests and staff members are picking up right where they left off and they couldn’t be happier about it.

Are you happy that Las Vegas has finally reopened? Will you be making it down to one of the casinos soon? We hope to see you!

Be sure to check back for more Las Vegas reopening news.

MGM Resorts Plan to Reopen Excalibur and Aria on the Strip Next

Aria Resort in Las VegasThe Las Vegas Strip has finally reopened after being shut down for over two months due to the coronavirus.

With the reopening came the strategic reopening planning by casino companies, such as MGM Resorts International. To start, they’ve opened up three of their 10 Strip properties: The Bellagio, MGM Grand, and New York-New York. It’s also opened up its MGM Signature hotel.

The company chose those two specific properties because it offers flexibility in different traveler’s budgets.

When Bellagio reopened its doors at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 4, crowds of visitors cheered as they made their way through the doors. They were also greeted by Bill Hornbuckle, acting CEO of MGM Resorts, and other company executives who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of guests in the resort lobby.

The Bellagio Fountains also made their debut, after being shut off since March 17. It was one of the most exciting reopening scenes on the Las Vegas Strip, especially after COVID-19 turned it into something of a ghosttown for the first time in its history.

“It’s been amazing. I can remember the day this property opened … it felt the same (today),” Hornbuckle said.

The property originally opened back in 1998, so it’s incredible that the reopening feeling was on the same wavelength. While the excitement was similar, guests definitely walked into some key changes amid the property reopening during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Those “new standards,” as Hornbuckle refers to them, include thermal checks at the property’s entrance, employees decked out in face masks, the casino floor rearranged for social distancing, social distancing signage, hand-santizing stations and more.

MGM Resorts was thrilled to welcome back its staff members and guests, despite the new restrictions. Hornbuckle said the reopening experience has been emotional for everyone and that the company went through a lot during the COVID-19 shut down, like the furloughing of almost 63,000 workers.

Now, the company has its sights set on the next phase of reopenings.

Excalibur and Aria to Open Next

According to a hotel spokesman, MGM Resorts is preparing to reopen Excalibur on June 11. It comes at a good timing, as the hotel will be celebrating its 30th year anniversary one week later on June 19.

The goal for MGM is to have the area of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue covered on the Strip with its reopened properties.

The company says it’ll take a breather after reopening Excalibur, then plan to reopen Aria in City Center in time for the 4th of July weekend.

Excalibur’s entertainment sector, including popular Vegas shows like Thunder From Down Under and Australian Bee Gees, plan to return July 1st with tickets now on sale for that date.

Excalibur and Aria will reopen under the same model as Bellagio and New York-New York: Reduced capacity, select dining and bar options, and under stringent safety protocols.

“But again, it’s one step at a time,” Hornbuckle explained. “We’re going to be patient; it is about doing this correctly and doing it safely first and foremost.”

Large Demand from Southern California Visitors

At Bellagio’s reopening on Thursday, the crowd was a mix of locals, drive-in and fly-in guests. This was a good sign, as Las Vegas is leveraging more tourists with cheaper airfare and reduced room rates.

According to Hornbuckle however, the resort is seeing its largest demand from Southern California visitors who are driving in.

The drive-in traffic is a promising pattern, as Southern California guests make up a lot of business on the Strip, and because it’s easiest for these types of residents to enter into Las Vegas versus others who have to fly in.

Hornbuckle explained that the pent-up demand for guests to get back into play has been high, and he estimates that the next few weekends of June will see a good amount of volume because of that fact.

But while initial demand has been good, Hornbuckle doesn’t expect things to go back to normal right away. In fact, he says the tourism industry in the city has “a long way to go,” especially with the dependence on outside factors like airline industry success and the confidence of the public to return.

New Mobile Check-In, New Norm

With many of MGM’s properties having upwards of 4,000 rooms, mobile check-in is the new tool that’s been introduced to help guests avoid more lines, making the check-in process more seamless while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Guests can use QR codes and their mobile devices to check into their hotel room, without ever having to check-in with a live agent.

Which Bars and Restaurants Reopened on June 4?

The reopening of its three casinos also meant the reopening of many big-name restaurants and bars for MGM Resorts.

At Bellagio, Prime Steakhouse from Jean George Vongerichten and Lago by Julian Serrano has reopened for dinner nightly. The popular Mayfair Supper Club also plans to open on Wednesdays through Sunday.

Noodles, Palio, Gelato, and Snacks have also reopened at Bellagio. For bar options, Petrossian Bar, Baccarat Bar & Lounge, and the pool bar are now available.

At MGM Grand, Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Crush, Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, and Avenue Café have reopened for dine-in service. Small restaurant options include Pieology and the walk-up Pool Café window.

For drink outlets, the Pool Bar, 32 Degrees, the Lobby Bar, the Casino Bar, and Starbucks are now open.

At the Signature at MGM Grand, Delights and Starbucks have reopened.

At New York-New York, Tom’s Urban, Gallagher’s Steakhouse, America, Chin Chin, Il Fornaio, NY Pizzeria, Nathan’s Famous, Haagen Dazs, and the food court all plan to reopen soon, with some dining options available now.

For beverage, Starbucks on the casino floor, Center Bar, NFL Bar, and the Pool Bar have reopened.

Stay Tuned

While coming to Vegas is a bet right now, as it always has been in other ways, resorts are doing their absolute due diligence to ensure guests are safe once they walk into their doors.

It’s comforting to know how hard they’ve been working to be able to provide fun and entertainment to Las Vegas visitors against, despite all of the concerns in the world right now.

Will you be returning to Las Vegas soon? Which one of MGM Resorts properties would you prefer to stay at?

Share with us below! Be sure to check back for more news regarding the exciting reopening of Las Vegas.

LV is Back in Business with Reduced Hotel Rates and Airfare

McCarran Airport in Las VegasThe time has finally come. The coronavirus casino closures have been lifted and the city of Las Vegas can shine once more. This time, it seems, they have several new strategies in place to bring business back to the famed tourist destination.

For the first time in almost three months, slot machines are rolling and dice are being thrown across tables again, sanitized dice that is.

The first gamblers and tourists back on the scene for reopening day are taking in the specific scenes of the Bellagio fountains relaunching after being dried up since March 16, filled downtown casinos, socially distanced-arranged casino floors, CEO’s greeting them in the lobby and more.

With airfare and hotel rates being strategically cheaper than normal, the city hopes to welcome in more even more guests with its reopening.

Last month, Frontier Airlines CEO, Barry Biffle, partnered up with Las Vegas resort and travel partners in an effort to come up with the best strategy to get people on flights back to Sin City, while ramping its flight safety protocols.

One downtown Las Vegas casino owner even did more than his fair share in getting people to return to the nation’s Entertainment Capital last week with an enticing flight giveaway.

Downtown Casino Owner Leads Charge with Free-Flight Giveaway

Derek Stevens, co-owner of the D Hotel and Golden Gate casinos in downtown Las Vegas, capitalized on the initial excitement for guests to return when he offered 1,000 free one-way flights to Vegas from 24 cities across the country.

He announced the flights last Wednesday, ahead of the June 4 reopening, and flights sold out in under two hours, with 1,000 more flights being added that afternoon. Before the end of the business day, all flights were taken up and none more were added after that.

Stevens called his plan “Keep America Flying,” and says it’s a part of a greater initiative to keep people traveling throughout the skies by offering one free trip at a time. Stevens also explained that this is Vegas’ way of being respectful of the fly-in market.

“The drive-in market is very important, but with what’s happened to the airlines, that industry has really been decimated. We wanted to come up with something that helps the U.S. airline industry, and helps support Las Vegas,” Stevens said.

Flights to Las Vegas

If you’ve been having an itch to get to Las Vegas recently, now might be the best time to do.

Flights into the Entertainment Capital are significantly cheaper from several big cities on budget airlines. For example, if you are in Oakland and wanted to come to Las Vegas next week, it would be less than $100 roundtrip with Allegiant Airlines.

Flying in from San Francisco is currently under $200 roundtrip.

Mid-July is showing even cheaper rates at half the cost from those cities right now, and United Airlines and Alaska Air have fares as low as $115 from the Bay Area for their basic economy flights.

And it’s not just nearby cities that are having cheap travel deals to Las Vegas.

If you are in New York City and wanted to get to Las Vegas next week, prices are showing as cheap as under $200 as well for a roundtrip flight, with flights going as low as $97 roundtrip every weekend in July.

These rates are a third of what they normally go for, so now might really be the prime time if you were trying to get to Las Vegas on a budget.

Reduced Hotel Fares in Las Vegas

Now only is it cheap to fly into Las Vegas right now, but hotel rates are significantly cheaper as well, at a lot of the luxury resorts, too.

Here’s some insight into what some of the rates at the casino-hotels (that have opened up) in Las Vegas are looking like today, if you were to book a one-night stay today for Friday, June 5:

The Bellagio: $196

Flamingo: $88

New York-New York: $97

Caesars Palace: $121

MGM Grand: $99

Signature at MGM Grand: $89

The Venetian: $152

The Palazzo: $152

Treasure Island: $74

Wynn Las Vegas: $186

Encore at Wynn Las Vegas: $135

Sahara Las Vegas: $101

Red Rock: $128

The STRAT: $54

Harrah’s Las Vegas: $74

The Orleans Hotel & Casino: $64

Palace Station: $60

Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino: $67

Now, let’s compare those rates to a weekday rate for next week and you’ll notice an even more significant price drop. Here’s what rates are going for next Tuesday, June 9, at those same properties:

The Bellagio: $137

Flamingo: $22

New York-New York: $27

Caesars Palace: $68

MGM Grand: $34

Signature at MGM Grand: $48

The Venetian: $127

The Palazzo: $152

Treasure Island: $45

Wynn Las Vegas: $118

Encore at Wynn Las Vegas: $118

Sahara Las Vegas: $48

Red Rock: $76

The STRAT: $13

Harrah’s Las Vegas: $18

The Orleans Hotel & Casino: $25

Palace Station: $33

Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino: $30

As you can see, the city is making it a lot easier financially for people across the country to have a Vegas vacation again. Of course, with the city reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, things are going to look a bit different for a while. Vegas is calling it its “New Normal.”

The “New Normal” for Las Vegas for Awhile

Casino employees with masks on, thermal temperature scanners at casino entrances, spread out casino gaming floors for social distancing, and reduced capacity as resorts. These are all the things that guests can expect to see when they check-in to their hotel.

In the city’s new tourism ad that was unveiled mid-May, it highlights the fact that guests will be walking into a more “intimate #OnlyYou” Vegas experience when they return.

However, Vegas under its new coronavirus restrictions is still a city of fun and entertainment nonetheless. And while this is only the second day casinos have been reopening in the city, it seems like a promising start with the pent-up demand of people wanting to get back in on the action.

Stay Tuned

It’s hard to tell how long airfare and hotel rates will stay at this reduced rate, but, for the sake of hopeful travelers, we hope they stay down for a while.

It will also be interesting to see how Las Vegas does at the end of June, having been reopened for nearly a month.

All we know is, we couldn’t be more excited that casinos have opened back up again! Will you be visiting Las Vegas anytime soon? Let us know in the comments below!

Scenes from Las Vegas’ Reopening: Bellagio Fountains, Packed Casinos, and COVID-19 Protocols

Bellagio Fountains in front of Bellagio Hotel in Las VegasIt’s been nearly three months, or 78 days, since Las Vegas casinos have been in operation, which makes today, June 4, a momentous day in Vegas history with the reopening of casinos across the state.

Many properties began reopening this morning at 9 a.m. MGM Resorts’ two casinos, which are opening initially ahead of its other eight Strip properties, include The Bellagio, which opened its doors at 10 a.m., and its sister property, New York-New York, who just opened one hour later.

One of the most exciting scenes this morning came with the reopening of The Bellagio resort, with the iconic Bellagio Fountains soaring into the sky again after being shut off on March 17.

A local Las Vegas high school teacher, Colleen Vosicky, excitedly drove down to the Bellagio this morning to see her two favorite things on the Strip: the Bellagio Fountains and Bellagio’s free Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, which is themed “Japan Journey: Magic of Kansai.”

Vosicky says the fountains are what “make Vegas, Vegas.” The second fountain show today played to Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas.”

The conservatory is now open to the public, but has ropes around its new display to encourage social distancing throughout the exhibit.

Tourists Return to the Entertainment Capital

While casinos reopened today, Las Vegas Boulevard was a mild scene with a handful of tourists roaming about. Most tourists were already inside of the reopened casinos.

Two annual visitors from Florida, Eyal Ben Shushan and Suzette Suarez, flew into Las Vegas on Thursday to get in on the reopening action. They plan on staying at the Venetian through Sunday.

“We love Vegas,” Ben Shushan said. “We have our spots that we like to see — not too much into the gambling as we adore the architecture and everything, to be honest. We just like traveling and getting and getting our head away from what we do in our daily lives.”

Suarez is a nurse who was ready for a much-needed vacation, and Shushan wanted to be in Vegas to celebrate his birthday this weekend. The pair felt like it was safe enough to return, especially with the newly implemented coronavirus safety measures, like Venetian’s Clean Initiative.

Two Illinois visitors, Kathy Massullo and her mom, Georgia Hess, are also staying at The Venetian and waiting an hour for it to reopen its door. The pair were not aware that Thursday was the first day casinos reopened, as they booked their reservation in advance and didn’t keep tabs on the local news.

Hess is most looking forward to making some winnings at the casino, while her daughter Massullo is grateful for the trip to spend a vacation and quality time with her mother after a long countrywide shutdown.

“We just enjoy being together with everything that’s been going on and trying to go back to a sense of normalcy — whatever that is — a new normal,” Massullo said.

Employees Return to their Casino Industry Work

Casino employees have been preparing to return to work for nearly two weeks, as tens of thousands of industry employees were pre-tested for COVID-19 before being allowed back on the job.

Employees were tested at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Las Vegas Sands Expo.

Greg Barlow, a bellman at Bellagio, returned to work bright and early at 7 a.m. this morning for the first time since March. Barlow said his couch was going to miss him.

Bill Hornbuckle, acting CEO of MGM Resorts International, was back on the scene to welcome in visitors in Bellagio’s front lobby this morning. He elbow-bumped his fellow executives that were also on-site for the day reopening day.

Locals Return to the Casinos, Too

Plenty Williams, a local resident, said he waited nearly three months for this day to arrive in his hometown.

With two days off from his job, he headed down to the Fremont Street Experience for the traditional Vegas experience: gambling, having a few cocktails and relaxing in between.

He described the scene at the D Hotel as “vibrant” at 4:30am. Williams said the only thing that looks different about going inside is having your temperature checked. Guests put their wrist up to have their internal temperature taken, and are also offered a mask upon entering.

Williams said the coronavirus shutdown was a depressing moment for the city as a whole but is looking ahead towards Vegas new future.

“The reopening of Las Vegas, it has made me excited,” Williams said.

The reopening of Las Vegas casinos couldn’t have gone better for one local, Beth Toy. The Las Vegas resident returned to her very Las Vegas resort this morning, Red Rock Casino, and won $4,040 on a video poker machine after hitting four aces.

“This is too cool. I love Vegas,” Toy said. “This is my stress reliever. I wouldn’t have missed this.”

Toy wasn’t the only one dying to get back inside of Red Rock, as she was among hundreds of people who were lined up in front of the casino before it opened.

Downtown Casinos Opened a Day Earlier than Strip Properties

The scene downtown was vibrant and full of good vibes with the casinos reopening. In fact, hotel-casinos in downtown LV opened a day ahead of Strip properties and the pent-up demand to walk back into a casino door was high indeed.

At the D Las Vegas, the parking lot was full of patrons waiting until the clock struck midnight to reenter the casino floor. Only hotel guests were able to come inside of the property ahead of the midnight opening to the public.

Once the clock hit 12:01 a.m.on early Thursday morning, casinos in Downtown Las Vegas became packed.

The Fremont Street Experience, on the other hand, remained quiet through sunset. If you were looking to find the crowds on the morning of June 4, you would look no further than downtown casinos.

Dancers working at downtown casinos could be seen wearing masks and full plastic face shields as they spun around on tables.

“This is a tuxedo day. We’re kicking off Las Vegas. People are excited and curious,” casino owner Derek Stevens said the day of reopening.

Coronavirus Measures Put into Play

One of the most noticeable scenes on Las Vegas’ reopening day is the number of casino employees fanned out across the casino floor wiping down slot machines and other high-contact hard surfaces throughout the area.

Upon entering the casinos even, guests should expect to have their temperatures checked in a non-invasive manner.

Guests will also notice how much more space is in between table games and slot machines, as casino floors throughout properties across the whole valley have been rearranged to support social distancing guidelines.

Most, if not all, casino employees are wearing some type of facial coverings. Casino companies like Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts, and Caesars Entertainment are requiring their employees to wear masks at all times during their shifts, and are required to have masks available to offer to guests.

While guests are not mandated to wear facial coverings, they are strongly being encouraged to do so. Signage posted throughout the casinos also provides instructions on how to properly wear and dispose of masks, reminders for social distancing, and what to do if patrons notice someone is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

Table games and sportsbooks also have plexiglass barriers and partitions added for extra protection for employees and guests, and contactless hotel check-ins are being offered at many properties to reduce guest interaction.

Reduced Capacity and Limited Strip Properties Open to Start

With Las Vegas reopening amid a global pandemic, they want to make sure they’re doing things right.

Upon reopening, many properties are implementing a reduced capacity rule to start. MGM Resorts, for example, is only allowing 25 perfect capacity.

Not all Las Vegas casinos have reopened right away either. MGM Resorts, for example, have only reopened two of their 10 Strip properties, The Bellagio and New York-New York. Caesars Entertainment reopening Caesars Palace and Flamingo on June 4, and will be opening up their Harrah’s property on Friday, June 5.

Casino companies are taking a careful, measured approach to reopening, making sure that nothing backfires in their face that would potentially cause another closure, and we applaud them for doing that.

Las Vegas Casinos that are Now Open

As of June 4, these Las Vegas casinos are open for business:

  • Boyd Gaming (Aliante, California, Cannery, Fremont, Gold Coast, Joker’s Wild, Sam’s Town, Suncoast, The Orleans)
  • Caesars Entertainment (Caesars Palace, Flamingo)
  • The Cosmopolitan
  • The D and Golden Gate
  • El Cortez
  • Ellis Island
  • Golden Nugget
  • MGM Resorts
  • M Resort
  • The Plaza
  • Sahara
  • Station Casinos (All Wildfire division properties, Boulder Station, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Red Rock, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station)
  • Silverton
  • Silver Sevens
  • South Point
  • The Strat
  • Treasure Island
  • Tuscany Suites
  • The Venetian and Palazzo
  • Wynn and Encore

Stay Tuned

After a long, nearly three months of being shutdown, we’re more than thrilled that Las Vegas has finally reopened. The governor and city officials have taken the reopening very seriously, and we believe they’ve put Las Vegas in a position to win.

Are you excited that Las Vegas casinos have officially reopened? Will you be visiting the city anytime soon?

We’d love to see you back! Be sure to stay tuned for more updates regarding Las Vegas’ reopening.

Visitors Flock to the Reopened Las Vegas Casinos

At just past midnight on Thursday, June 4th, a historic moment took place in Las Vegas. Several of the major casino-resorts here finally opened back up to the public. According to several reports, these reopened Las Vegas casinos saw a huge surge of guests.Las Vegas Street View

It’s a very exciting time for this city. In many ways, the casinos here are the lifeblood of Las Vegas. Today, we’re going to look at what is now available for visitors here.

Let’s get into it!

The City of Las Vegas is Slowly Getting Back to Normal

Since March, people around the country have been asking when the casinos in Las Vegas would be allowed to reopen. As some states began allowing their gaming venues to open back up, the call to open these casinos became ever louder. Finally, state leaders announced that casinos would be given permission to open their doors again on June 4th.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board required all the casinos here to set strict safety measures in place. That includes installing hand sanitizing stations and thermal cameras on the casino floor. Health officials want to ensure that these casinos don’t help to spread the new coronavirus.

Some of the biggest casino companies in the country immediately began preparing to reopen. Different companies will begin opening their gaming venues at different times. MGM Resorts, for example, revealed that several of its properties would reopen on June 4th.

It’s hugely important for casino-resorts in Las Vegas to start operating again. Without them, tourism into the city is almost non-existent. A huge number of residents rely on these casinos for employment.

Fortunately, things are beginning to get back to normal. Many visitors have started flocking into Las Vegas to take part in the reopening festivities. Based on what people are saying, opening day was very successful.

Here’s What People Are Saying About the Reopened Las Vegas Casinos

For obvious reasons, it was exciting to hear that the major casinos in Las Vegas were opening back up to the public. Some voiced their fears that the safety measures being set in place would be too strict. They worried that Las Vegas would stop being the fun, wild city that it once was.

Fortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case. In fact, visitors seem thrilled with what they’re seeing. Several tourists here spoke with USA Today about the decision to visit Las Vegas amid the current pandemic. Sergio Portesan, a 26-year-old from Minnesota, claims the decision came down to his mother, who is a nurse.

“I was like, if you tell me no, I’ll cancel,” Portesan said. “She’s like, do it. It’s important to you. It’s historic. You’ll never see it again. You’re young and healthy.”

Derek Stevens, owner of the D Hotel-Casino in Downtown Las Vegas, also spoke about the situation to the media. He claims his biggest venue is not yet sold out. Bookings are increasing, though, and rooms may fill up by this weekend.

“This will be a very fun, gregarious group,” Stevens said. “These are people that want to get out of their hometown and come visit Vegas. If you’ve been able to keep your job, you’re still making your income, but you’ve had no where to spend it. You can only do so much damage on DoorDash.”

The specific regulations differ depending on the casino. The D currently requires temperature checks for everyone who enters. The Golden Nugget just down the street only checks the temperature of those checking in.

One thing is clear. People still want to visit Las Vegas.

When Will Sports Return to Las Vegas?

Over the past few years, Las Vegas has developed into a major sports town. It all started when the Golden Knights NHL team was established here. This team helped to draw in a huge number of visitors from Nevada and around the country.

Recently, the Oakland Raiders decided to make the move into Las Vegas. A massive stadium quickly went under construction to accommodate this team. Many felt this was an investment into the city and would significantly help to boost tourism.

Unfortunately, most major sports leagues remain shut down. It’s unclear when exactly these leagues will resume their seasons. Some feel this won’t happen until sometime in 2021.

Not everything is shut down, though. The UFC has already started holding events again. In fact, events are now taking place at the UFC Apex Center in Las Vegas. Fans are not yet able to attend these shows.

No one can say with certainty when things will completely get back to normal. This week is a good start. It’s clear that many people are happy to see the reopened Las Vegas casinos. Hopefully, tourism rates continue to grow here over the next months.

Do you plan on visiting Las Vegas anytime soon? Let us know in the comments section below!