Vegas is Getting Ready to Reopen: Here’s How
Hello fabulous friends! These last few months have been incredibly challenging for everyone. I hope you have all stayed healthy and have been kind to yourselves during this time. Right now, it’s hard for any of us to know what comes next or how to proceed, but I have seen a lot of optimism for travel and events in the fall, and I, too, am feeling very optimistic about the coming months.
Still, reopening Las Vegas—just like anywhere else—is not a simple matter of flipping the “on” switch. As COVID-19 concerns persist for the foreseeable future, Las Vegas is making some significant changes in order to safely welcome people back to our hotels, casinos, restaurants, and other shared spaces.
To help people understand all of the new safety and social distancing procedures being put in place, including rigorous cleaning and screening protocols, I have compiled a list below of what all of the major operators have released for their reopening plans.
We want you to come back to Las Vegas, but we also want you to feel safe in doing so, and feel confident in knowing that every possible precautionary measure is being taken to protect guests as well as employees as the city reopens in this post-pandemic new world. Is a reopened Las Vegas going to look and feel exactly like it did before? No, it won’t. For the time being, it’s going to be different. But that doesn’t mean it can’t still be fabulous!
I look forward to welcoming you back here myself, with a stylish facemask on!
“Best on lower room rates and smaller crowds”
First things first: As the Los Angeles Times reported, early returning visitors to Las Vegas can expect lower room rates—probably the lowest we’ve seen since the Great Recession, if not the lowest ever at some properties—and lighter crowds, which for many can make for a much more pleasant experience. For those who thrive on the energy of a crowded casino floor, this might not be the best time to come back. But for those who welcome a little bit of breathing room, whether it’s while playing craps, watching the Bellagio fountains, walking through the Bellagio conservatory, dining out at popular restaurants, or even just walking down the Strip, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime Las Vegas experience that you never thought possible. Introverted and crowd-averse friends, now is YOUR time!
Opening June 1 (estimated): The Venetian
As of right now, The Venetian plans to reopen beginning Monday, June 1. With this reopening, they have also announced the launch of “Share the LOVE,” a program to donate 50,000 free nights in their luxury suites to essential workers and first responders who have provided crucial services in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. To “Give Love,” book a room at the current 25 percent off discount, and The Venetian will donate a night in a suite on your behalf to someone who has selflessly given of themselves to get us through this crisis.
The Venetian has also implemented “Venetian Clean” standards, more than 800 separate initiatives rolled out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include thermal camera temperature screening at every entry point, sprayers used to apply hospital-grade disinfectants on high-touch surfaces during off-peak hours including hotel lobbies and public spaces, hundreds of hand sanitizing stations located throughout the resort, and physical distancing for all guests and employees. In every hotel suite, guests receive a personal care amenity kit with hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, gloves, and a personal facemask. Employees will be wearing PPE (gloves and facemasks) as appropriate to their roles; guests are encouraged, but not required, to wear a facemask.
As before, self-parking at The Venetian remains free of charge.
Opening June 1 (estimated): Wynn and Encore
While it is not yet entirely set in stone, representatives from Wynn and Encore have previously announced a tentative reopening date for May 26, and that the sister properties would reopen at the same time. Even once the resorts reopen, however, their poker tables will remain closed.
Wynn’s full “health and sanitation plan” is available to view here, and includes thermal cameras at every entry for non-invasive temperature checks; appropriate PPE for all employees, including mandatory face masks; hand sanitizer dispensers located throughout the resorts; new arrangements for queuing and sitting that allows for physical distancing; and rigorously detailed new cleaning and sanitizing routines in every aspect of resort operations. Guests will be greeted by security at the resort, screened for a temperature, and provided with a facemask to wear on the property as well as hand sanitizer. Guests will receive an amenity bag at check-in containing masks, hand sanitizer, and a COVID-19 awareness card. Guest rooms will also have a spray bottle of sanitizer or disinfectant wipes. Wynn employees will operate all elevators and ensure physical distancing and limited capacity within the elevator cars and in queues.
The Wynn Golf Club already reopened on May 18. Self-parking at Wynn and Encore remains free of charge.
Opening June 1 (estimated): Some MGM Resorts
While MGM Resorts was among the first operators to reveal their full safety plan for reopening, they have yet to finalize a reopening date for any of their Las Vegas properties. New York-New York and Bellagio will be the first resorts to reopen once they do, and in welcome news for all, they have also announced that they will offer free self-parking at all properties “for the foreseeable future.” Let’s hope that means “forever,” and that the reviled resort fees disappear like David Copperfield, too.
MGM Resorts’ Seven-Point Safety Plan includes screening questions and temperature checks of all employees; mandatory masks and other PPE for employees (optional, but recommended, for guests); physical distancing policies; new hand-washing and hand sanitizer stations throughout all properties; adjustments to HVAC and air quality controls; incident response protocols in the event of a test-positive infection; and contactless self-check-in. The hotel lobbies, casino floors, and restaurants will look quite a bit different, with new configurations designed for appropriate physical distancing. At restaurants, you can expect virtual queuing, digital menus, and tableside tap-and-go payment.
Opening June 1 (estimated): Some Stations Casinos
The gaming operator most popular with locals, Stations Casinos, has announced that Red Rock Resort in Summerlin, Green Valley Ranch and Sunset Station in Henderson, and Palace Station just west of the Strip will be among their first properties to reopen. Other locations, including the Palms, will be assessed at a later date.
Once these properties reopen, their new health and sanitation guidelines will be implemented. All staff will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing before returning to work and will then be tested regularly afterward. Employees will also be required to wear facemasks and other PPE. Masks will be available to guests when entering a property, though those entering a property with a mask already on will be required to remove it briefly for identification. Thermal scanners will be used at all points of entry to screen for temperatures. All properties will use electrostatic sprayers and hospital-grade disinfectants in a significantly increased cleaning frequency.
Touch-free hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout all properties, and physical layouts will be rearranged to promote physical distancing, including limited occupancy at table games. Poker rooms, buffets, and movie theatres will all remain closed during phase 1 reopening.
Self-parking is free at all properties.
Other estimated reopening dates:
Treasure Island: May 26
South Point: May 26
Caesars Entertainment Corp.: May 29
Downtown Grand: May 29
Circus Circus: May 31
Sahara Las Vegas: June 1
Boyd Gaming Corp. properties (including The Orleans and Main Street Station): June 1
The Cosmopolitan: June 4
Westgate: June 18
I look forward to welcoming you back–safely. Until then, be well, and be FABULOUS!