The Las Vegas Strip will have its first smoke-free casino at the end of the month.
MGM Resorts International announced on Monday that Park MGM will be a smoke-free facility when it reopens on September 30, 2020. The tobacco smoking ban covers the entire property, including the NoMad Las Vegas boutique hotel located at the upper floors of the resort building. The 5,200-seat Park Theater, which remains closed due to the COVID-19 ban on public gatherings, will also be a no smoking area when it opens its doors again in the future. Smoking areas will be provided outside Park MGM, and tobacco smoking is permitted at nearby MGM Properties like New York-New York and Aria.
Park MGM President Anton Nikodemus says that while it is the first in the Strip, it is not the first of MGM’s properties to be smoke-free. He noted that properties in other states like MGM Springfield in Massachusetts and MGM National Harbor in Maryland also ban smoking. Added Nikodemus:
“We’re making the facility completely non-smoking because of continued guest requests. We believe there is a high level of pent-up demand to have a non-smoking casino, especially here in Las Vegas.”
A Milestone, Not A Gamble
MGM’s move is seen as a milestone and not a gamble.The move is a turning point in a city known for its bright lights and heavy smoking, especially on the gaming floors. Before the pandemic struck, visitors could find ashtrays on every gambling table and and servers parading across the gaming area peddling cigars and cigarettes.
In the past, smoking and second-hand smoking have sparked political debates and even lawsuits. But the pandemic has forced the world to rethink a lot of things. For Sin City, this is one of them. There has been an increasing demand to have non-smoking casinos on the Strip. It’s but fitting that the biggest operator in the city is the first to provide that.
The Park MGM is the property that used to be the Monte Carlo casino-hotel. It has 2,993 rooms and several restaurant’s including Las Vegas’ only Eataly. It has been closed since March when casinos and hotels were shutdown by the government to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is the last of MGM Resorts International’s 29 U.S properties to reopen.
Earlier in the summer, there were rumors that the property on New York-New York and City Center would ban smoking. These stories floated when MGM and other companies started reopening their doors. There were whispers that Park MGM would be the first smoke-free casino in the Strip. On Monday moning, the resort’s website was updated with a new homepage that read: “Let’s Clean the Air: Park MGM is Smoke-Free.”