Las Vegas Reopening After COVID-19: Everything You Need to Know
The coronavirus shutdown in Las Vegas will likely result in a tax loss of more than $1 billion in 2020. That's the fourth-largest loss in the country, only outpaced by California, New York, and Florida.
Thankfully, the Las Vegas reopening is underway but that doesn't mean it's back to business as usual. Let's look at how things look as Las Vegas reopens its doors to the world.
Las Vegas Casinos - What's Open So Far?
Las Vegas casinos got the green light to start reopening on June 4. While many Strip casinos chose to reopen right away, some took a more conservative approach.
The following Strip casino resorts opened their doors to guests on June 4:
- Treasure Island
- Planet Hollywood
- MGM Grand
- Caesars Palace
- Wynn & Encore
- The Strat
- Rio All-Suite
- New York-New York
- The Signature
- Circus Circus
- The Venetian
While Caesars Palace reopened on the earliest possible date, that's not the case for all Caesars-owned properties on the Strip. Harrah's opened on June 5 and The LINQ Hotel + Experience opened a few days later on June 12 followed by Paris Las Vegas on June 18.
There's plenty of pent-up demand to get back to Vegas but even so, the Strip isn't expected to be anywhere near capacity for quite some time. Even with some casinos not operating, there are plenty of rooms available for the first round of visitors.
Downtown Las Vegas and The Fremont Street Experience:
Downtown casinos and the Fremont Street Experience also started reopening on June 4. Fireworks went off on the Fremont Street canopy at the stroke of midnight, June 4, to signal the reopening.
On June 4, Station Casinos reopened 7 of their properties:
Palms, Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, and Fiesta Rancho remain closed during this first phase while the company assess the performance of those first-to-reopen properties.
Other Things To Do in Las Vegas
Gambling might be the first thing many people think of when it comes to Las Vegas but it's hardly the only activity in the city. Even if you enjoy gambling, is that enough to get you back?
Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants and bars have been hit hard by the coronavirus shutdown. Some establishments that are outside of the casino resorts managed to stay open for take-out and delivery but anything inside the resorts was closed from mid-March to at least early June.
Most restaurants in the casino resorts opened at the same time as the resort itself but in most cases, with some changes to how they operate. If you're planning a trip to Vegas, check ahead to see which restaurants are operating in your resort, and when.
Buffets are one casualty of the current changes. Most casinos are not offering buffets at this point, at least not the way they usually operate. Instead of self-serve, you may be able to order from a menu while still getting the "all-you-can-eat" benefits of a buffet.
Bars and nightclubs are also open with limitations. Most clubs have closed their dance floors and only offer table service. And gentlemen's clubs are still closed, with no reopening date on the horizon yet.
Shows and Entertainment
Live entertainment took a big hit when the shutdown happened, with concerts and shows getting canceled throughout the rest of 2020.
At this point, live entertainment venues are not open so entertainment like the various Cirque du Soleil shows, magic shows like Penn and Teller, and the many other live events on the Strip are still on hold.
Some outdoor attractions like the Bellagio fountains and the High Roller Ferris wheel are operating with appropriate social distancing rules so you're not completely out of entertainment options.
Las Vegas Coronavirus Rules
While the city started reopening on June 4, things are definitely not back to business as usual in all casinos and attractions. Every casino is taking extra precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19, to varying degrees.
Resort pools were allowed to reopen at the same time as the casinos but with much more strict rules in place. The massive pool parties that some resorts are known for are on hold for the moment and strict social distancing guidelines are in place.
Pools also go through a strict cleaning process throughout the day to ensure they're as safe as possible.
Currently, masks are highly recommended but not necessarily required. It depends on how the casino is set up and what type of gambling you're doing.
Masks are now required at table games if the casino hasn't set up other barriers like the plexiglass shields that some casinos have installed between players and the dealer.
This isn't the case for slot machines though, at least not yet. The early and complete shutdown of Las Vegas when the pandemic struck helped the city avoid a major outbreak of COVID-19 but now that things are getting back to business, the state is waiting to see if there's an uptick in cases.
If so, you could find the rules start tightening up a bit.
Note that some hotels welcome their guests with special amenity kits. As an exemple all guestrooms at MGM Resorts will include this in-room kit which includes two face masks, hand sanitizer and a door opener hook/button stylus.
Keep in mind that some of these rules are more strict for employees in the hotels and casinos. They are required to wear masks or face shields at all times. Most resorts are also doing regular health-checks for their staff throughout the day to help minimize the risk to each other and to their guests.
What About Las Vegas Casino Prices?
Do all these changes and restrictions mean you can get a good deal on a trip to Vegas right now?
Yes! Most resorts are offering good deals on their rooms at the moment, especially mid-week. As always don't forget to take into consideration the resort fees to make sure you understand the whole price of your room!
If you're driving to Vegas, most resorts have waived their parking fees so that's another way to save. If you're flying in, you'll have mixed results. Airlines have drastically cut back on the number of flights so the prices might not be as low as you expect.
And be sure to check our Las Vegas Hotel Deals page for the latest offers when you're heading back to Vegas.
Will the Las Vegas Reopening Continue?
We're still in the early days of the Las Vegas reopening but so far, things are looking positive. The city relies heavily on tourists for its economy so it would take a pretty serious jump in coronavirus cases to see another shutdown.
If you take proper precautions, like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, you'll be able to enjoy yourself in Vegas while staying safe.
Be sure to check the Las Vegas Jaunt blog for the latest updates as Las Vegas reopens.