During the COVID-19 crisis Las Vegas grew into a ghost town, luckily this will change soon. Steve Sisolak, Governor of Nevada, announced a couple of days ago that hotels, resorts & casinos may receive guests again from June 4th, ± one month after a different big gambling city reopened. Steve also announced that all precautions have been taken and describes Las Vegas as the “safest place in the world”.
Anyone who has ever been to Las Vegas can agree it is hardly impossible to lockdown “Sin City”. The last time this happened was on November 25, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was buried. At that time, the casinos were closed from 7:00 in the morning until 0:00 in the night, but after that, the wire was just picked up again. Even after the gruesome “Mandalay Bay Shooting” on October 1, 2017, when 59 people were killed and 869 injured were hospitalized, this had little or no effect on the activities in the city that never sleeps.
Corona lays down gambling capital
The coronavirus has proven that even the enormously powerful and wealthy casino bosses who are active on the Strip can be defeated. While well-known Resorts such as The Encore, Wynn and MGM Resorts announced their closure at an early stage, other major hotel chains such as Caesar’s Entertainment and Sands Las Vegas delayed this decision as long as possible. Also the hotels and casinos in the downtown part of the city actually only closed when Governor Steve Sissolak himself decided to close the city.
Las Vegas Ghost Town
Days, weeks and months went by and via social media we saw several videos of Las Vegas that had become a ghost town. For decades it wasn’t so quiet there anymore and this current lockdown creates a loss of billions of dollars every day. Multiple resorts are on the verge of collapsing and the chances of failure and takeovers are quite high.
Finally good news
Although the coronavirus in the United States is still a very big problem, last weekend we saw pictures of casinos in Florida playing blackjack, poker and roulette. Also the rest of the country is getting started bit by bit and Las Vegas can’t and shouldn’t stay behind. The financial importance of the world’s largest gambling city is such that behind the scenes tens of millions of dollars have been spent to make Vegas “Corona Proof”. Recently there have been many conversations between the casino bosses, health experts and the Governor’s team and last night Steve Sisolak announced that the resorts, casinos and hotels in Las Vegas may receive guests again from June 4.
A Welcome Back Message from The Bellagio Las Vegas
Immediately after the Governor’s press conference we received a “Welcome back message” from The Bellagio Hotel. Below we have taken a piece of the text written by Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ acting CEO and president.
“As we plan for these openings, the health and safety of 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 casino operator in March unveiled a MGM Resorts Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund with an initial $1 million donation after MGM Resorts had to lay off employees during the novel coronavirus spread. Before they return to work, the Las Vegas gaming industry has offered to test MGM Resorts employees for the COVID-19 virus at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and as additional properties on the Las Vegas Strip reopen.
In the remainder of the mail, the CEO discusses, among other things, the precautions that have been taken to offer guests a safe stay. We have listed the points below:
- Non-invasive thermal temperature scans at all guest and employee entrances (no guest with a temperature of 100.4 or more will be allowed in the resort).
- All employees wearing face coverings
- Complimentary guest face coverings
- Nearly 300 hand sanitizer stations throughout the resort
- A team of cleaning professionals sanitizing guest areas 24-hours a day
Caesars Palace and Flamingo have already announced that they will receive guests again from 4 June. Both resorts belong to the Caesars Entertainment group. As soon as the number of tourists in the city increases, Harrah’s and Linq will reopen as well, although no specific date has been mentioned yet. The Promenade, including the Linq Ferris Observation wheel, will reopen from 4 June. The Venetian, WYNN and the Palazzo will probably also reopen on June 4th. As mentioned earlier during the coronacrisis the online gaming branch gained more popularity so it will be interesting to see how many tourists will visit Las Vegas the upcoming months.