It’s been almost a year since Las Vegas closed its hotels and casinos because of VIDOC-19. Even after the limited reopening of the tourist town, non-essential facilities were subject to new regulations and restrictions, and business continued to be sluggish.
Although the local tourism industry is keeping its head above water, visitor numbers are at their lowest in nearly 30 years, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. Not surprisingly, politicians, government officials, casino owners and other tourism stakeholders in Las Vegas are eager to get the city’s regular operations back up and running as soon as possible, even if the experience seems a little different now.
Due to the increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines and declining incidence rates, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced earlier this month that the state would slightly reduce health and safety restrictions in March. On and off the Las Vegas Strip, casinos will begin bringing back smaller shows, reopening deals that have been suspended and finding new ways to draw visitors, reports Frommer.
While closed casinos and bars and restaurants are currently limited to 35 percent of licensed capacity – a 25 percent increase from November to March 15 – Nevada’s stimulus package released this month will increase the maximum capacity to 50 percent.
Anticipating an increase in demand as attractions open and capacity increases, MGM Resorts announced last week that 24-hour hotel and casino operations at three of its Strip properties – Mirage, Mandalay Bay and MGM Park – will begin on the 3rd. March will resume. By the end of 2020, each of these stations was closed mid-week due to insufficient demand. But soon, all of MGM’s properties in Las Vegas, including Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand and New York-New York, will once again open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
How are we on Wednesday? … And almost every day. @circalasvegas @stadiumswim https://t.co/vgIVPan6ez
– Vegas (@Vegas) 24. February 2021
Entertainment options in Las Vegas still don’t compare to those before the pandemic, but magicians, actors and athletes are returning to perform for limited audiences. Currently, performances are limited to 100 people or 35% of the venue’s capacity (whichever is lower), but starting on the 15th, the venue will be open to the public. In March, the limits will be increased to 250 or 50% of capacity.
Outdoor pools and outdoor dayclubs, including MGM’s Wet Republic, OMNIA at Caesars Palace and the Liquid Pool Lounge at ARIA, will reopen in March as the earth warms. Capacity restrictions on outdoor meals will be completely lifted, but guests will still have to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
Forbes reports that stricter health and safety measures will be in place indefinitely, including the requirement to wear a mask, maintain social distance, not seek contact, and the requirement to reserve access rather than allow general admission.
For more information, visitlasvegas.com.