Aria, Westgate Among The Next Wave Of Vegas Casinos To Reopen

Written By Marc Meltzer on June 16, 2020Last Updated on June 19, 2020

Several Las Vegas casinos and hotels are preparing to welcome guests again. At least five establishments along or close to the Vegas Strip are set to open between June 18 and July 1.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak permitted Nevada casinos to reopen on June 4, after mandating their closure in mid-March.

Numerous off-strip casinos in Las Vegas commenced operations on June 4, shortly after midnight. The casinos located on the Vegas Strip, however, reopened a few hours later in the day. That being said, not every casino in Las Vegas resumed operations in the days and week following the permitted reopening date. As demand escalates, the casino operators gradually reopen more establishments.

MGM Resorts casino openings

MGM Resorts, after inaugrating Excalibur last week, now intends to open more properties. Luxor and The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay Place are set to reopen on June 25 at 10 a.m., as announced by the company.

MGM Resorts has announced that Aria will open its doors at 10 a.m. on July 1. Similarly, Mandalay Bay, Delano, and Four Seasons (located at Mandalay Bay as well) are scheduled to open on the same day at 11 a.m. However, the official opening date for the third hotel tower, Delano Las Vegas, at Mandalay Bay is yet to be confirmed.

MGM Resorts’ Acting CEO and President, Bill Hornbuckle, expressed his excitement and emotion at witnessing the energy in Las Vegas as they welcomed back employees and reopened their doors to guests after several months. “Our guests are having a fantastic time and are delighted to return to the city they adore. We are looking forward to bringing more of our employees back to work and expanding the Las Vegas experience with more resorts,” Hornbuckle said.

The following Las Vegas casinos, operated by MGM Resorts, are currently open or will be opening soon:

  • Bellagio
  • Grand MGM
  • New York, New York
  • Excalibur
  • June 25 in Luxor
  • Aria (1st of July)
  • July 1, Mandalay Bay and Delano

There’s a possibility that NHL players and staff will utilize Delano, Park MGM, The Mirage, and/or Vdara. As part of Las Vegas serving as a hub city for the NHL Stanley Cup playoff tournament, these casinos and hotels could be employed in some capacity.

Anticipate the announcement of opening dates for the remaining properties following the NHL’s official statement on playoffs occurring in Las Vegas.

Caesars Las Vegas casino openings

Caesars Entertainment is following a similar approach to MGM Resorts by reopening its Las Vegas casinos in phases. The first two properties to reopen were Caesars Palace and Flamingo on June 4. Harrah’s reopened the next day. The Linq promenade and High Roller observation wheel have also partially resumed operations.

Last week, The Linq casino and amenities were unveiled by Caesars, although the hotel and parking garage are still shut. The next Caesars Las Vegas casino slated for opening is Paris Las Vegas, which is set to open its doors on June 18 at 10 a.m.

Regarding the new openings, Caesars CEO Tony Rodio stated:

Customer interest, frequent visits, high demand, and the successful implementation of our improved health and safety protocols so far have all been encouraging for us. We recognize this as a new mode of operation and will persistently assess and tweak our processes to improve the comfort and experiences of our guests and team members.

The following Caesars casinos in Las Vegas are currently open or will be opening soon:

  • Palace of Caesar
  • Flamingo
  • Harrah’s
  • The Linq (only casino and amenities, hotel to be announced)
  • June 18, Paris

The venues and amenities of Caesars are functioning on a limited scale. The company continually updates its Las Vegas reopening page.

Westgate opening June 18

Westgate Las Vegas, located just off the Vegas Strip, is set to reopen at midday on June 18. The reopening of this casino and hotel will be somewhat different from other local casinos. David Siegel, Westgate’s owner, expressed to the Las Vegas Review-Journal his aspiration for the property to be recognized as the safest in Las Vegas.

As with all Las Vegas casinos, employees at Westgate will be donning face masks. To offer a more personal touch, the staff at Westgate will also wear a photograph of themselves smiling, providing a glimpse of their appearance without a mask.

Players will need to wear a face covering for approximately half of the table games at the casino. Some elevators will also require guests to don a face mask before they can ride.

While the Westgate has been closed, Seigel and his team have been busy with upgrades. The Las Vegas SuperBook, for instance, is undergoing a significant visual revamp. The 240-by-20 foot HD video wall is getting an upgrade, and the new screens will be set up in a new configuration that includes a larger ticker at the bottom, making it easier for people to keep track of scores. Not only will these new screens be brighter, but they will also be more crisp and easier on the eyes.

Face coverings not required for guests … yet

In Nevada, it is mandatory for all casino employees to wear a face mask while on duty. However, this rule does not extend to all guests. Although Nevada casinos advise guests to wear a face mask within the casino premises, it is not a requirement for entry.

Guests are permitted to roam around the casinos without wearing a face mask. Based on observations, most casino visitors seem to avoid wearing face coverings while wandering around the premises. Notably, younger guests rarely wear masks during their visits, particularly during the night. In contrast, a higher number of older guests choose to wear masks while visiting a casino.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has not yet mandated that casino guests wear face coverings. Nonetheless, Governor Sisolak and the NGCB continue to monitor COVID-19 cases. During a press conference updating the state of Nevada on the current COVID-19 status, Sisolak stated that the government may reconsider the necessity of mask wearing if hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.

Nevada reopening Phase 2 continues

The Nevada reopening plan moved into Phase 2 on May 29. As part of this stage, casinos were given the green light to resume operations on June 4. However, due to a slight increase in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Sisolak recently announced during a press conference that the state will continue to stay in Phase 2.

Casinos are expected to maintain the current social distancing measures and limited capacity until at least the completion of the second phase. Before the month ends, Sisolak plans to address the state again.

Casinos in Las Vegas are responding to the changes brought about by Phase 2. Nightclubs are now functioning as lounges. Dayclubs are being transformed into poolside clubs that operate on a reservation-only system. In a similar vein, the Wynn buffet will relaunch on June 18, offering a seated all-you-can-eat menu with comparable food choices.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc was raised in the challenging environment of South Bronx. His unusual allegiance to both the Yankees and the Jets frames his often contradictory perspectives. As a freelance writer and social media consultant, he has the demanding task of writing about steak, alcohol, gambling, and Las Vegas – a tough job, but someone has to do it.

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