Its official, Las Vegas the City of Sin is back in business albeit a truncated version of its former self. June 4th, 2020 will definitely grace the history books and will either be the start of a new Vegas or the beginning of the end for an industry that could not recover from the Coronavirus. We of course hope for the best and look forward to heading back to the most popular dessert “town” in the world.
What has Changed in Vegas since its 2.5-month Hiatus?
The change from being closed to being open will not take a 180 degree turn anytime soon. The theme of Las Vegas for the foreseeable future will be “Social Distancing.” As we mentioned in the previous article regarding the Native American Casinos, separation of players and casino workers will be the number one priority.
This will focus on the floor of the casinos, the restaurants, bars, clubs, and of course the pools. No more giant pool parties or dozens of people partying in the private cabanas. The rooms at many of the Casinos will be available for guests, although the larger Hotel/Casinos will make available only what is needed and what s safe. For example, the Bellagio will only open between 25%-30% of their 4,000 rooms.
What type of Cleaning Regimen will be Instituted?
If you are easily spooked by Hazmat Suits and people running around with disinfectant, then I would suggest you stay at home! All kidding aside, the Casinos will be working overtime to guarantee that all areas, both public and private, are thoroughly cleaned without posing any serious risk to the guests. Hotel Casinos such as the Bellagio, with their 4,000 rooms and 156,000 square feet of the Casino Floor, will need to provide an army of staff working 24/7.
A large crew of cleaners will be swarming both inside and outside areas such as the pool, which will no doubt limit the ability of the guests to cruise the property as before. The cost of labor and material will be a huge expense for the Casino/Hotels, but at this point they do not have much of a choice. How long this will go on is anyone’s guess, but the repercussions of the Virus and shutdown will be lasting.
What will the Vegas experience be after the Reopening?
In 2019 there were approximately 43 million visitors to Las Vegas. That number will most likely not be matched for many years to come. There are many reasons we go to Vegas including the weather, gambling, clubs, hotels, all you can eat buffets, and those inexpensive holiday packages. But Vegas in the end is all about the excitement and sharing the experience with others.
What fun would it to be at a Craps table with 3 people standing 4 feet apart and the Croupier wearing a mask and latex gloves? How about going to a Club that is 25% occupied and everyone wearing masks while social distancing even on the dance floor? This will be the state of Vegas for the foreseeable future which in my opinion defeats the whole purpose of going to Vegas.
The other problem Vegas faces is the concerns of travelers who are second guessing their current and future travel plans. Whatever your thoughts on the severity of the virus, the quarantine has led a lasting impression on most people. Being inundated with news stories during the past 3 months has created a climate of concern and fear of travelling. Even going to your local restaurant will be a source of anxiety and trepidation.
The idea of heading to an airport, checking in, going through security, walking through the airport, and then finally boarding the plane, is the last thing many people want to do. And then to land at another crowed airport in Las Vegas will be anathema to most people.
Long-Term Prospects for Las Vegas
I believe all of us are trying to remain positive on the future of Las Vegas, as well as the country as a whole. Unfortunately, the prospects of a full recovery are predicted in years and not months. Whether a place such as Las Vegas can survive up until then is questionable although there is no doubt that many of the business in Vegas will fail. But for now, let us hope for the best and support this special city as much as possible.