The tourism industry in Las Vegas initially took a heavy hit following COVID restrictions. Despite a 61% decrease from the same period last year, the internationally renowned strip has been gradually making its rebound. Understandably, the Vegas experience isn’t entirely the same.
The Post-COVD Las Vegas Experience
Gamble in Peace and Spend Less on Hotels
Looking at the bright side never killed anyone.
- There are no lines.
- Traffic is finally manageable.
- There is less smoke in casinos
- Parking is a breeze (and free for the most part)
- Hotel prices are lower than usual
Casinos are Trimmed Down
Most casinos reopened on June 4, 2020 after being closed for the first time since JFK’s assassination in 1963.
Tropicana, for example, finally reopened, but standard protocol for casinos is slightly different:
- Gaming floor is limited to no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy.
- Live music, entertainment, convention, and banquet services are suspended.
- No large drawings, tournaments, or special events.
- There are fewer dining options.
- Valet is closed.
Health and Safety Measures are in Full Effect
Based on the mandate by Nevada Governor, Steve Sisolak, everyone in public areas is required to wear a mask covering the face and nose. You can temporarily remove the mask while eating or drinking or when asked by casino staff for identification.
Casino Safety Measures
- Slot machines and table games are thoroughly and regularly cleaned throughout the day.
- Tables are limited to three players at a time and onlookers cannot linger behind them.
- Floor decals and signage to enforce social distancing guidelines in areas where lines typically form.
- Gaming machines have been modified to meet requirements. (In some cases, there is plexiglass between players)
- Hand sanitizer stations are installed on casino floors and are readily available pretty much everywhere.
- Restaurant menus are digital.
All restaurants are at half capacity and many provide digital menus.
Some La Vegas restaurants will never reopen, but new ones are opening their doors for the first time.
Elio began serving Mexican cuisine at Wynn this summer, and Din Tai Fung, opens at ARIA on Oct. 19.
The Wynn Buffet had reopened as a redesigned all-you-can eat experience with servers, but closed Sept. 7 due to lack of demand. Caesars Palace has delayed the reopening of its usually popular Bacchanal Buffet.
New Use for Night Clubs
Since night clubs and pool parties are out of the question, some have re-opened and offer different experiences. Some have become quieter lounges with modified seating, and DJ’s are nonexistent, for the most part.
Live entertainment has been off-limits since March. Cirque du Soleil filed for bankruptcy protection in late June, but plans an eventual comeback. Other long-running productions will not be back, unfortunately. This includes “Le Reve” at Wynn Las Vegas and the Australian vocal quartet Human Nature.
Despite the uncertainty, new construction has begun on an all-new theater at Sahara Las Vegas ahead of the premiere of Channing Tatum’s “Magic Mike Live Las Vegas,” planned for spring 2021.
December dates are listed on the Colosseum at Caesars Palace website for the headlining residency “Reba, Brooks and Dunn: Together in Vegas,” featuring Reba McIntire, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, and Usher has announced a residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace that would start July 2021.
However, all future shows depend on Nevada’s lifting its coronavirus-related restrictions seeing that the state currently bans gatherings of more than 50 people.
Vegas Marriage isn’t Quite the Same
The Graceland Wedding Chapel’s ceremonies require face masks and temperature checks. You can also marry online for $279 and be accompanied by an Elvis impersonator singing “Love Me Tender.”