What to expect...

By Alison Fox
May 22, 2020
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Several Las Vegas hotels are rolling the dice and planning their reopening dates even as state officials haven’t given the green light to resume operations at gaming facilities.

The Venetian Resort, which sits on the famous strip, is currently taking reservations for a planned June 1 reopening date, the hotel confirmed on its website. On that day, the resort plans to reopen the casino floor, the pool, restaurants, and the famous Gondola Experience.

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“The health and safety of our guests and Team Members is our top priority, and we continue to adhere to guidance provided by federal, state and local authorities including the Southern Nevada Health District, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and the Nevada Gaming Control Board,” the hotel wrote in a statement.

Las Vegas Strip and surroundings remain quiet in April.
| Credit: Jacob Kepler/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

For its part, Caesars Entertainment Corporation said it will reopen two of its properties — Caesars Palace and the Flamingo Las Vegas — when the time comes, but didn’t specify a date, deferring to “the date and time for reopening specified by the State of Nevada.”

When the doors do open, visitors will be able to stay there, swim in the outdoor pools, and play both slot machines and table games, the company confirmed to Travel + Leisure, while fees for paid and self-parking will be suspended. In addition, the hotel expects retail and dining on the LINQ Promenade and the High Roller Observation Wheel will reopen as well.

All employees will be required to wear masks and events like live entertainment and venues including bars, spas, and buffets will not immediately reopen.

“Reopening Las Vegas in a phased approach will be a significant milestone for Caesars Entertainment as the country continues to emerge from this necessary closure period,” Tony Rodio, the CEO of Caesars Entertainment, said in a statement provided to T+L. “We are excited to welcome guests and our employees back to our properties... We are hopeful that the country’s continued progress in addressing COVID-19 and business conditions will allow us to reopen more of our properties and bring back more of our colleagues as it is appropriate to do so.”

Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino will follow with its reopening plans, the company noted. Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s Las Vegas properties include Caesars, Harrah's, and Bally’s.

Casinos closed their doors last month as COVID-19 spread throughout the country. But as these gaming facilities prepare to welcome guests once again, employees in Sin City are submitting to be tested for coronavirus, The Associated Press reported. The tests will be free for employees with a goal of collecting up to 4,000 test samples per day.

“COVID-19 testing ensures that Culinary Union members are safe when they return to work,” Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the union secretary-treasurer, told the wire service, emphasizing the health and safety of employees and visitors is most important.

Earlier this month, the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved safety requirements that need to be met to reopen, including ensuring all surfaces are cleaned and disinfected, and employees are “adequately trained” on how to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Additionally, casinos will have to increase the frequency of cleaning high-contact surfaces like gaming machines.

Meanwhile, when things do finally return to some new form of normalcy, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is hoping to tempt travelers with a new advertisement released this week, promoting a positive mindset when it comes to the city's new changes.

“The world has changed and Vegas is changing with it,” the ad says. “So yes, things will be a little different when we open again, at least for a while: a new Vegas for the new reality. We’re working to make it more intimate with more space and the excitement you’ve come to expect. So if you ever imagined a Vegas that was just for you, it’s only here. And when it’s ready, you’ll be the first to know.”