The news cycle might have mostly moved on, but the Covid-19 pandemic is hardly over. Las Vegas, despite a continuing rise in infections, is still slowly and cautiously reopening, providing more amenities and gambling options to visitors.
Caesars, after seeing a successful reopening weekend at Caesars Palance, the Flamingo and Harrah’s, is now confident enough to also open up gambling operations at the Linq on Friday at 11:00 am.
“We are encouraged by customer interest and visits, strong demand and the implementation, so far, of our enhanced health and safety protocols,” said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio. “This is a new way of operating, and we will continue to evaluate and adjust our procedures to enhance guest and team member comfort and experiences.”
It won’t yet reopen the casino, however. “Our expansion plans will continue to reflect customer demand as well as a focus on properly executing health and safety directives,” Rodio said.
Restaurants and bars will be reopening at Caesars Palace and Harrah’s as well on Friday. And visitors to Caesars will also have the option of betting at the sports and racebook once again.
MGM Resorts also announced The Luxor and The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay Place will reopen on June 25. Following that, Mandalay Bay, Four Seasons and Aria properties will reopen on July 1. “It was exciting and emotional to see the energy in Las Vegas last week as we welcomed back our employees and reopened our doors to guests for the first time in months,” said Bill Hornbuckle, MGM’s acting CEO and president. “Our guests are having a great time and are thrilled to be back in the city they love. We are eager to get more of our employees back to work and enhance the Las Vegas experience with additional resorts.”
Assuming they follow all of the reopening protocols required of them, Nevada gambling operations have been permitted to reopen since June 4. While they are limited to 50% capacity, and the ongoing protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd was a potential deterrent to visitors, resort executives have been unanimously pleased with how this first week has gone.
But there are reasons to still be cautious. Nevada had its highest count of new Covid-19 infections in over two weeks on June 19. “Nevada has flattened the curve, but the virus is still among us,” said state epidemiologist Melissa Peek-Bullock. “That’s why it is important Nevadans continue to safeguard their health by staying home when possible, washing their hands frequently, wearing a face covering in public and staying at least six feet from other people if possible.”