by Steve Kieva
To quote The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, “What a Long Strange Trip it’s been.”
On March 17, 2020, all Las Vegas casinos closed their doors when Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered a temporary shutdown of non-essential businesses, including casinos due to the Corona Virus threat.
Not only was Las Vegas “closed” but most of the U.S. was also closed in some capacity.
Fast forward to about May 26th, Gov. Sisolak announced the casinos could reopen on June 4th but they needed to follow strict guidelines to make sure that visitors as well as all their employees were kept as safe as possible.
Below you will find a list/guide of what many of Las Vegas casinos have implemented to make sure that visitors as well as staff are kept safe and protected during the reopening phase.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Caesars Entertainment Corporation resumed gaming and hospitality operations in Las Vegas at its Caesars Palace and the Flamingo Las Vegas properties on June 4th. The Company also announced that it expects Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and the gaming floor at LINQ Hotel & Casino will be the next properties in Las Vegas to reopen, with timing based on customer demand.
Both Caesars Palace and the Flamingo will offer lodging, dining options and access to their outdoor pools, as well as slot machines and table games. All offerings will operate in a manner consistent with physical distancing guidelines. The Company will be suspending fees for paid self-parking in Las Vegas.
Additionally, the Company anticipates that several retail and dining outlets along the LINQ Promenade, as well as the High Roller Observation Wheel, will 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,” said Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. “We are excited to welcome guests and our employees back to our properties. We are grateful for the efforts of those on the front lines addressing this public health emergency. 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.”
Caesars Palace and the Flamingo will implement the Company’s previously announced, enhanced health and safety protocols, which enhance the Company’s existing plans and practices in these areas. Management at both properties is focused on the well-being of team members, guests and the community, and will work to create an environment with enhanced standards of sanitization and physical distancing practices.
Among the enhanced health and safety protocols are more frequent cleaning and sanitization. Caesars is also implementing a health screening program for all employees to determine which employees will be required to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to work, and thereafter will conduct employee temperature checks before every shift. Team members will be required to wear masks, which will be provided by the Company. Guests will also be provided masks and will be strongly encouraged to wear them throughout their visit.
Further updates on Caesars Entertainment’s response to COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.caesars.com/corporate/coronavirus-guest-information.
Boyd Gaming Corporation resumed operations at nine of its Nevada properties on Thursday, June 4th. These properties include: The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Aliante, Cannery, Sam’s Town, Fremont, California and Jokers Wild.
“We are excited for the opportunity to resume operations in our home state of Nevada,” said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming. “We look forward to having 19 of our 29 properties across the country back in operation, and we are optimistic that we will be able to reopen most of our remaining properties in a timely manner. As we continue to return to business, we will remain diligent in protecting the health and safety of every person who comes through our doors, following strict safety protocols that meet the highest standards set by federal, state and local officials.”
Upon reopening, all of Boyd Gaming’s Nevada properties will operate with limited amenities and capacity restrictions in compliance with state and local requirements. Specific amenities and restrictions include:
Food Outlets: All properties will have select dining options open with varied hours. All buffets will remain closed at this time.
Casino Bars: All properties will have select casino bars open with varied hours.
Gaming: All properties will have slots and video poker available 24/7, following social distancing requirements.
Table games will be available at Aliante, Cannery, the Cal, Fremont, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam’s Town and The Orleans with varied hours. Seating will be limited in accordance with social distancing requirements.
The Orleans will offer poker with select hours. Seating at each table will be limited.
Aliante, Gold Coast, Sam’s Town and Suncoast will offer Bingo with varied hours.
Sports books will be open at Aliante, Cannery, Fremont, Gold Coast, Sam’s Town, Suncoast and The Orleans with varied hours.
Fremont will offer valet services. Valet will be closed at all other properties.
Pools at Aliante and The Orleans will open with varied hours.
Bowling will be available at Gold Coast, Sam’s Town, Suncoast and The Orleans with varied hours.
Gift shops will be open at properties that offer this amenity.
All movie theaters, showrooms, fitness centers and spas will remain closed during the initial reopening phase.
Details on individual amenity, restaurant and gaming openings/closures along with hours of operations can be found on the website for each property.
Additionally, all Boyd Gaming properties will practice “Boyd Clean,” a set of comprehensive protocols aimed at protecting the health and safety of our team members and guests. These protocols include:
Mandatory face coverings and temperature checks for all team members;
Social distancing requirements and capacity restrictions across all customer and team member areas, including casino floors and restaurants;
Enhanced cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch surfaces, including door handles, gaming machines, table games, handrails and elevator buttons;
Increased placement of hand sanitizer dispensers throughout our properties;
Required training for all team members on our safety protocols.
For additional information on the Boyd Clean initiative, visit www.boydgaming.com/boyd-clean.
Wynn Las Vegas
Wynn Las Vegas plans to offer guests a complete Las Vegas experience by opening every amenity and outlet available. Both hotel towers and the casino as well as all restaurants reopened on June 4, followed by the resort’s newest restaurant, Elio, later in the month. Every effort has been made to present Wynn’s complete luxury experience and provide guests with the peace of mind needed to enjoy a fun and relaxing return.
In preparation, the Company has created a comprehensive new Health & Safety Plan that is now considered the gold standard in the hospitality industry.
Wynn will reopen with the full Las Vegas experience guests expect and deserve, with everything conveniently and safely available under one roof, allowing for the perfect getaway. From lounging by pristine pools to lively late-night betting – and most everything in between – the very best of Wynn’s renowned glamour, excitement, and luxury will be available, including:
Both Wynn and Encore hotel towers
Two 24-hour casinos with a variety of table games and slots as well as the Race & Sports Book
The resort’s full portfolio of fine-dining restaurants, lounges, and casual eateries, several with outdoor seating on open verandas and patios
Expansive resort pools with private cabanas
Wynn’s 18-hole championship golf course
Nightly entertainment at the Lake of Dreams
Three retail esplanades
Full-service beauty salons, barber shop, spa treatments and fitness centers
In addition, several new measures in social distancing, touchless technologies, and cleaning protocols have been incorporated throughout the resort in a clear and transparent effort to protect the well-being of all guests. Most notable among the enhancements are:
Non-invasive thermal temperature checks and face coverings provided at all entrances
Automatic hand sanitizer stations, UV Technology, and electrostatic sprayers will be utilized throughout the resort
Sealed guest rooms after meticulous sanitization by Wynn’s professional housekeeping staff
Amenity kits including sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, and face coverings in each guest room
Dedicated team of cleaning professionals sanitizing public guest areas 24 hours a day
Wynn employees are required to wear face coverings at all times, and most importantly, have all been tested for COVID-19 before returning to work.
The Wynn Resorts Health & Safety Plan was created in consultation with leading public health medical professionals from Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities in addition to recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and the Gaming Control Board (GCB). The full plan can be viewed on www.wynnlasvegas.com.
For more information about Wynn Las Vegas please visit www.wynnlasvegas.com
MGM Resorts International reopened the Bellagio, New York-New York, MGM Grand Las Vegas and The Signature, following the closure earlier this year of all of its U.S. properties amidst the coronavirus crisis. At opening, amenities at all properties will be limited. As demand for the destination builds, additional venues within these resorts will open and other MGM Resorts properties on The Strip will reopen.
“Our hearts go out to everyone in the communities where we operate, and around the world, who has been personally impacted during this time of crisis,” said Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ Acting CEO and President. “As we plan for these openings, the health and safety of our guests and employees is at the forefront of all we do. Getting many of our employees back to work and welcoming guests through our doors once again will allow us to do what we do best – entertain. The team is ready and we can’t wait.”
Health & Safety
MGM Resorts recently released its comprehensive “Seven-Point Safety Plan,” a multi-layered set of protocols and procedures designed in conjunction with medical and scientific experts to mitigate the spread of the virus, protect customers and employees and rapidly respond to potential new cases. The full plan can be reviewed at mgmresorts.com. We will continue to evaluate and evolve our safety protocols. Key initiatives include:
Employee screening, temperature checks and COVID-19 specific training
COVID-19 testing offered for employees as they return to work in partnership with the local medical community
Employees will be required to wear masks; Guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks, and in some settings where physical distancing is more difficult and/or barriers do not exist, will be required to do so. Examples of where masks will be required include salons, certain table games where physical barriers are not in place and elevators, if riding with guests outside of their travel group. Masks will be provided, free of charge
A physical distancing policy will be implemented, with floor guides serving as reminders
For areas where physical distancing presents challenges, plexiglass barriers will be installed, or other measures will be used to reduce risks
Standalone handwashing stations designed by MGM Resorts conveniently located on casino floors
Contactless Check-In through the MGM Resorts App will allow hotel guests to go through the check-in process on their personal devices, minimizing interactions
Guestroom Attendants will wear masks and gloves while cleaning each room and will change gloves between guestrooms
In addition to increased and enhanced routine cleaning of guestrooms and public spaces based on CDC guidance, electrostatic sprayers will be utilized in many large public spaces so that disinfectant is applied efficiently
Digital menus will be available to view on personal mobile devices via QR codes in the company’s food and beverage outlets
To minimize groups congregating while they wait, restaurant guests will receive text message notification when their tables are ready
MGM has compiled its own internal team and processes to respond if a guest or employee tests positive for COVID-19. We ask that if a guest tests positive after visiting one of our properties, they alert us through a special email address (email@example.com). We will immediately report any positive test results to the local health department and assist with contact tracing to support the health department investigators.
For a full listing of amenities that will be available at each resort, please visit mgmresorts.com. Complimentary self-parking will be available for guests; valet parking will not be operational at this time.
A glimpse at what guests can expect:
Bellagio’s Conservatory will open with a beautiful new Japanese Spring Garden display called “Japan Journey: Magic of Kansai”. The resort’s iconic fountains will once again come to life. Food & Beverage amenities will include a variety of lounges such as Petrossian Bar, featuring its signature pianist as well as casual and fine-dining restaurants like Prime and Lago. The Mayfair Supper Club, which opened only a few months ago to rave reviews, will also reopen its doors. The lush pool will open with a selection of cabanas available. The Salon and Fitness Center also will be available.
New York-New York
In addition to a variety of bars and dining offerings including the lively Tom’s Urban, New York-New York guests can enjoy the highly popular Big Apple Roller Coaster and Big Apple Arcade, as well as Hershey’s Chocolate World. Just in time for celebrating summer, the pool will open with a selection of cabanas available. The property’s Fitness Center will be available to hotel guests. Many of the venues at the adjacent Park are slated to open, as well.
MGM Grand and The Signature
MGM Grand, known for its dynamic mix of offerings, will open a number of bars and lounges as well as casual and fine-dining venues including Craftsteak and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. A selection of cabanas will be available alongside a portion of the resort’s exciting pool environment. The Salon and Fitness Center will be available to hotel guests. The Signature at MGM Grand also will open with a variety of its amenities available.
Days and hours of operation at all venues will vary. For a full list of offerings, and to make reservations, please visit mgmresorts.com.
Station Casinos announced today that, pursuant to its previously announced phased reopening plan, the Company plans to reopen its Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Santa Fe Station, Boulder Station, Palace Station and Sunset Station properties, as well as all of its Wildfire division properties, on Thursday, June 4 at 12:01 a.m., pending final regulatory approval.
Furthermore, the Company’s Palms Place property will reopen on June 4. Also as previously announced, the Company will assess the performance of those first-to-reopen properties before reopening its Palms, Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson and Fiesta Rancho properties. Lastly, the Company announced today that it is extending regular pay and benefits for all full-time team members through June 3, 2020.
As the Company prepares to reopen, the number one priority has been, and will continue to be, the health and wellbeing of its team members, guests and the entire Las Vegas community. All guests and team members’ will be temperature checked via non-invasive state-of-the-art thermal scanners installed at all resort properties’ entrances.
Each property will feature robust gaming options, food and beverage offerings, meetings and events space and hotel stays beginning June 4.
The following amenities and offerings will be available at each property:
Gaming: Guests at Boulder Station will enjoy slot play, select table games (excluding poker), bingo, and keno, sportsbook wagering.
Hotel Amenities: The hotel will reopen for stay dates beginning June 4.
Food and beverage: Guests can enjoy casino bars and dine-in restaurant experiences such as The Broiler Steak & Seafood, Guadalajara and Grand Café, as well as quick-serve options including Burger King, Subway, Starbucks Coffee, Viva Salsa and Winchell’s.
Recreation: Kids Quest will reopen for guests to enjoy.
Gaming: Green Valley Ranch guests will be able to experience slot play, select table games (excluding poker), bingo, and keno and sports book wagering.
Hotel Amenities: The hotel will reopen for stay dates beginning June 4 and resort amenities include in-room dining, spa and salon, pool, fitness center and complimentary valet.
Food and Beverage Guests can enjoy casino bars, dine-in restaurant experiences such as Borracha Mexican Cantina, Bottiglia Cucina & Enoteca, Grand Café, Hank’s Fine Steaks & Martinis, Pizza Rock, and Tides Seafood & Sushi Bar. Guests will also be able to indulge in quick-serve options including Auntie Annie’s Pretzels, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Fatburger, Perks Coffee Bar, Pool Café, Slice House, and Starbucks Coffee.
Recreation: Kids Quest will open with the resort.
Gaming: Guests at Palace Station can partake in slot play, select table games (excluding poker), bingo, keno and sports book wagering.
Hotel amenities: The hotel will reopen for stay dates beginning June 4, complimentary valet, airport shuttle service and the pool will reopen.
Food and Beverage: Guests can enjoy casino bars and dine-in restaurant experiences such as Boathouse Asian Eatery, Charcoal Room, Brass Fork, Little Tony’s, and The Oyster Bar, as well as quick-serve options including to-go from Little Tony’s and Starbucks Coffee.
Gaming: Red Rock guests will be able to play their favorite machines, select table games (excluding poker), bingo, and keno and also includes outdoor gaming poolside and sports book wagering.
Hotel Amenities: The hotel will reopen for stay dates beginning June 4, complete with in-room dining, pool, spa and salon and complimentary valet.
Food and Beverage: Guests can enjoy casino bars and restaurant experiences include 8 Noodle Bar, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, Grand Café, Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar, Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ, T-Bones Chophouse & Lounge, and Yard House. Guests will also be able to enjoy quick-serve options including Auntie Annie’s Pretzels, Fatburger, Panda Express, Rubio’s, Sandbar Café, Starbucks Coffee, Tropical Smoothie Café, and Villa Pizza. Plus, Lucky Bar.
Recreation: The Red Rock Lanes and Kids Quest will also be open for guests to enjoy.
Gaming: Guests at Santa Fe Station will be able to partake in slot play, select table games (excluding poker), bingo, keno and sports book wagering.
Hotel Amenities: The hotel will reopen for stay dates beginning June 4.
Food and Beverage: Guests can enjoy casino bars, and dine-in restaurant experiences such as Charcoal Room, Grand Café, Leticia’s, and The Oyster Bar, as well as quick-serve options including Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Panda Express, Starbucks Coffee, Villa Pizza, and Wing Stop.
Recreation: Santa Fe Lanes, Kids Quest will reopen.
Gaming: Sunset Station guests will be able to experience slot play, select table games (excluding poker), bingo, keno and sports book wagering.
Hotel Amenities: The hotel will reopen for stay dates beginning June 4.
Food and Beverage: Guests can enjoy casino bars and dine-in restaurant experiences such as Grand Café, Pasta Cucina, The Oyster Bar, and Sonoma Cellar, as well as quick-serve options including Ben & Jerry’s, Fatburger, Panda Express, Subway, Starbucks Coffee and Viva Salsa.
Recreation: Strike Zone Bowling Center and Kids Quest will also be open for guests to enjoy.
Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our guests, our CoStars and the Las Vegas community. As we welcome you back to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, we have made an extensive range of enhancements to contribute to the wellbeing to all of those that visit the resort. While some of these changes may vary the experience and feeling you have become accustomed to in the past, it is with our commitment to your safety and security in mind that we have taken these advanced measures. The below is a summary of the updated standards designed to make your next visit with us a more reassured and protected experience.
Cleaning and Sanitization
Advanced cleaning and sanitization protocols have been implemented resort-wide, all of which meet or exceed the standards set by local, state and federal authorities.
The frequency of cleaning and disinfecting has been increased resort-wide along with additional CoStars deployed throughout the resort to focus on the cleaning and sanitizing of high-touch and high-contact surfaces. These strict protocols also extend to our back-of-house CoStar spaces as well.
CDC and OSHA-approved cleaning and disinfecting protocols are used to clean guest rooms, with particular attention paid to high-touch items. All linen will continue to be washed at high temperature with appropriate cleaning products that eliminate viral and bacterial pathogens.
Hand Hygiene, Masks, and Gloves
Hand washing is one of the most important steps in preventing the spread of viruses. Our CoStars are instructed to wash or sanitize their hands after every physical guest interaction and we ask that our guests do the same.
Hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the resort including at all desks, podiums, counters, elevator lobbies, entrances, convention spaces, and throughout public spaces and the casino. Disinfectant wipes are also available throughout the casino and elevator lobbies to sanitize buttons.
CoStars are required to wear masks at all times and guests have the option to wear masks throughout the resort. Gloves are worn by CoStars in certain positions as required by local health authorities. Our CoStars are trained on the importance of wearing masks, washing and sanitizing their hands after every physical guest interaction, and wearing gloves when appropriate.
For our guest’s convenience, we now provide an in-room amenity kit, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and additional items to make you feel more reassured during your stay.
Physical Distancing and No Contact Services
Guests and CoStars are required to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet away from other groups. This is especially important while standing in queues, using elevators and escalators, and when moving about the resort. As a resort, we have taken the necessary steps to ensure the layouts in our casino, restaurants, public spaces, and meeting rooms and convention spaces are in compliance with physical distancing standards as a means to keep our guests safe while enjoying the resort.
Guests and CoStars may undergo a non-invasive temperature screening upon entering the resort. CoStars and Guests with a temperature exceeding 100.4⁰F (38.0⁰C), showing signs of illness, or exhibiting flu-like symptoms may be required to undergo a secondary screening. Those confirmed to have a temperature over 100.4⁰F (38.0⁰C) may undergo further medical assessment or be advised to seek appropriate medical care.
CoStar Health and Safety
In addition to thorough training on how to implement our new safety, cleaning and sanitization protocols, our team of CoStars have been trained on how to respond swiftly and appropriately to all presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection on property in accordance with all local, state and federal guidelines. CoStars are prepared and ready to provide support to any guest experiencing any health concerns, alongside access to a team of 24-hour medical professionals, should they be needed. Additionally, CoStars are asked to stay home if they do not feel well and are instructed to contact a manager if they notice a coworker or guest with flu like symptoms.
COVID-19 Reporting, Notification, and Room Recovery Protocol
If we are alerted to a case of COVID-19 at the resort, we will work in conjunction with local health authorities to complete all appropriate steps with any impacted guests and CoStars. Additional cleaning and disinfecting measures in all areas that the guest was known to have accessed during their stay will be thoroughly conducted.
In the event a guest has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the guest’s room will be removed from service and undergo enhanced sanitizing and cleaning measures. The room will not be returned to service until it is deemed safe.
While we make every effort to keep the resort safe and sanitary for all of our guests at all times, we also look to our guests to use good judgement in sanitizing frequently, maintaining appropriate social distancing and seeking immediate medical assistance if they suspect they may have COVID-19 or are experiencing flu-like symptoms. The safety and security of our guests, CoStars and the Las Vegas community continues to remain our top priority. We look forward to welcoming you back to the resort soon.
Plaza Hotel & Casino
The iconic Plaza Hotel & Casino located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas reopened to hotel and casino guests on Thursday, June 4 in accordance with all federal, state and local government guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The last three months have been a difficult time for the Plaza, Las Vegas, and our country as a whole,” said Plaza Hotel & Casino CEO Jonathan Jossel. “People are yearning to get back to living their lives, including relaxing by the pool and playing on the casino floor. While we recognize the experience will be different than before, it is the start of bringing back fun and entertainment to people’s lives – now, during these stressful times, when they need it most. So, we are very excited to welcome guests back to the Plaza and bring back the vintage Vegas vibe that our guests deserve and have come to expect.”
As part of the Plaza’s reopening plan submitted to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the property will require all staff to wear masks, have their temperature taken before starting work, enter via a designated location, and observe social distancing. Guests will also be encouraged to wear masks (although not required) and receive an amenity kit at check-in with a complimentary mask for their use.
All hotel and casino guests can now self-park for free, and valet parking has been closed. Curbside check-in has been added to minimize contact, and guests will enter the property through a limited number of doors that will operate automatically or be set open manually. Quick-serve dining outlets, such as Pop Up Pizza and Coffee Bar will also reopen.
Elevators will be limited to four people at a time, and social distancing will be observed in all public spaces, including on the rooftop pool deck and casino floor through the removal of chairs at table games and reconfiguring of slot machines.
The Plaza will utilize enhanced disinfecting protocols for all public touchpoints, including doors, tables, chairs, kiosks, room keys, and gaming equipment. Vending machines, including ice machines, will be turned off until all restrictions have been lifted.
During the closure, the Plaza completed a deep cleaning of the entire property and fully renovated the casino bathrooms. Physical modifications were also made including the installation of plexiglass barrier at the registration desk and numerous touchless hand sanitizer stations for use by staff and guests.
On June 4, the Plaza’s Bingo room, the only one in downtown Las Vegas will again offer six daily bingo sessions. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the Bingo room at the Plaza is uniquely located two floors above the main casino. By parking on the third floor of the Plaza’s self-parking garage, guests have convenient and direct access to the Plaza’s bingo room without having to walk through the casino floor.
To celebrate the reopening, the Plaza is offering a special Old School Fun getaway package offering guests who book by Aug. 31 for a stay before Dec. 29 the lowest available room rates, $25 daily food and beverage credit, $75 daily bingo match play and $10 free slot play as well as complimentary hotel room upgrade and early check-in / late check-out (both based on availability).
For more details on the Plaza’s reopening plans or getaway offers, please visit www.plazahotelcasino.com.
Golden Entertainment, Inc. has announced its “Golden Commitment,” a comprehensive plan that outlines new health and safety protocols and procedures for the company’s hotels, casinos and taverns. The “Golden Commitment” was developed through guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state governments in which we operate, and the Southern Nevada Health District.
The guidelines set by the company’s “Golden Commitment” apply to all of Golden Entertainment’s properties, including: The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod, Arizona Charlie’s Decatur and Arizona Charlie’s Boulder in Las Vegas; and the company’s PT’s Taverns, including PT’s Pub, PT’s Gold, PT’s Ranch, PT’s Brewing Company, Sean Patrick’s, Sierra Gold and SG Bar.
The “Golden Commitment” includes COVID-19 testing for team members; health and safety training; entry point monitoring to ensure a maximum capacity of 50% or less; general health screening, including temperature checks; limiting group sizes; enhanced sanitizing of high contact areas including slot machines, countertops, tabletops, door handles and seat surfaces; check-in kiosks at select hotels cleaned after every use; removal of every other chair on casino slot floors as well as tavern bars; hand sanitizers throughout each property; and hands-free digital menus at all restaurants available via mobile devices.
Additional measures at Golden Entertainment’s casinos include: reduced guest contact with playing cards; more frequent replacement of decks of cards; daily sanitizing of gaming chips; single use drinkware on casino floors; plexiglass barriers placed at cashiers, True Rewards centers, concierge desks and other guest interaction locations; enhanced guest room cleaning protocols; and reduced occupancy reminders at all elevators.
Social distancing guidelines have been developed for each property in accordance with guidance from state governments in which we operate. To ensure social distancing, each property will post signage with social distancing reminders and guidelines and guests will be asked to practice appropriate spacing from other guests.
Guests will also be asked to delay their trips or visits if they have a cough, fever or other symptoms related to COVID-19; as well as delay their visits by 14 days or more if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have come in contact with someone who has tested positive.
The “Golden Commitment” is subject to change based on potential revised guidelines set by state governments where we operate. More information and any updates to the “Golden Commitment” can be found at goldenent.com/commitment.
Emerald Island Casino
“Emerald Island Casino is coming back stronger than ever. We have literally been preparing for reopening since March 17th, the day the entire Nevada gaming community was unexpectedly closed” Tim Brooks, owner of Emerald Island Casino told me.
“We have installed safety glass barriers at our cage, Rewards Center and restaurant cashier stand, undertaken an exhaustive deep cleaning, installed hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipe stations throughout our casino, and have trained our staff in social distancing and how to help to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
“The shutdown also had a silver lining if you will. In the absence of our guests we have been able to undertake and complete deferred maintenance on the casino floor and in our kitchens.”
“As much as it pains me to say the phrase “new normal”, it really sums everything up. We have the “new”. By “new”, I mean we have sourced out and implemented the most advanced and state-of-the-art UVC cleaning system which allows us to focus disinfection treatments on the most high touch areas on our slot machines. We have also purchased hospital grade disinfectant misters to provide wide area sanitation coverage. We have also used this time to upgrade our slot floor and are ready to introduce the newest slot games to our guests.”
“We also have the “normal”. I think this is really the key. When our guests come to back to play, they will be able to relax and enjoy being back to a casino where they have always felt safe and welcomed. We aren’t changing what they have come to love about Emerald Island. We will be offering our restaurant full menu and specials, the same great service and, well, the fun that has made us the Local’s Favorite Since 2003.”
Finally, It’s Okay to Play again!
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
I had the opportunity to ask General Manager Ryan Growney a few questions about the reopening:
What plans are in place to insure safety of both employees and visitors in the casino?
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa will be utilizing thermal cameras to check the temperature hotel guests as they check into the property. There will be hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes distributed all over the casino floor. Half the seats have been physically taken out in the following areas: Table Games, Slots, Sports Book, Race Book, Poker Room, Bingo Room and lounges. Only half the tables and/or booths will be seated in each restaurant. Each evening, every closed area will be cleaned using an electro static spraying device.
The property will be checking the temperature of all employees daily as they report to work, in addition to asking them health screening questions. Employees will also be wearing face coverings. All employees reporting to work attended a training seminar to address our entire reopening plan including PPE usage, chemical training, problem gambling, handwashing, etc.
What plans are in place in the rooms to ensure hotel guests safety?
Guests will receive an amenity bag with mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer. Housekeeping will only be provided every fourth night for the protection of the guest as well as the housekeeping staff. Room Service will be delivered to the door, but the server will not enter the room. After each check out, the room will be thoroughly cleaned and then also sanitized using an electro static spraying device.
What precautions are in place at the restaurant? And what is the status of the buffet?
The restaurants will observe strict social distancing guidelines, including tables being spaced at least six feet apart. Each restaurant will utilize digital menus, accessible via a QR code. There will be hard menus available upon request that will be sanitized after each use.
The Garden Buffet will remain closed until further notice.
El Cortez Hotel & Casino
In compliance with Governor Sisolak’s direction and Nevada’s Road to Recovery plan, El Cortez Hotel & Casino is excited to reopen its doors on June 4 at midnight. With social distancing guidelines in place throughout the property, guests will be reintroduced to the iconic hotel’s array of accommodation options, classic gaming floor, dining destinations and more.
“El Cortez has been a landmark of Downtown and the Las Vegas community since 1941,” said Kenny Epstein, owner. “We miss our extended El Cortez family of employees and guests and we are very excited to welcome them back safely on June 4th.”
Safety and wellness are of utmost importance, and the property has both completed extensive preparation measures and implemented rigorous sanitization procedures and safety protocols to incessantly maintain a safe experience and environment for our guests and employees, including:
An extensive deep cleaning and disinfectant of the entire property including hotel rooms, restrooms, floors, chairs, slot machines, tables, walls, carpets, restaurants, bars, employee designated spaces and all equipment.
Over 3,000 porous casino ceiling tiles were removed and replaced with brand new, non-porous tiles and all casino ceiling vents were cleaned.
All air handler filters were replaced just prior to closing and replaced again two weeks before reopening—with increasingly frequent replacements slated moving forward.
New air handler digital controls have been installed allowing for more efficient air and temperature control, maximizing the air flow throughout the property.
140 slot machines were removed from the floor and the remaining machines were reconfigured to maximize social distance on the slot floor.
Chairs have been removed from table games to limit the number of players and the dice tables have floor markers to show players where to stand to create the most possible distance between players and employees.
Floor stickers to promote social distancing have been placed in all locations where lines form.
Acrylic shields have been installed at the front desk, Club Cortez, the casino cage, Siegel’s 1941, race, sports and live keno and the gift shop.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including gloves and masks have been sourced and purchased in large enough quantities to make them available to all employees and guests.
Large volumes of hand sanitizer have been purchased along with additional dispensers that have been installed throughout the property.
A new employee hand washing station has been created in the receiving hallway across from the security office. This area will be open to all employees on all shifts as a convenient, centrally located area for frequent and thorough hand washing.
Tables and chairs have been removed from Siegel’s, Parlour Bar and Ike’s to create 6’ spacing between guests and to limit occupancy to 50%.
Over 30,000 casino chips were professionally cleaned and disinfected by an outside company. Each chip was then coated with an EPA registered anti-microbial solution that prevents viruses from attaching to the surface.
Signage has been placed throughout the property outlining the CDC guidelines for helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
CDC approved cleaning and disinfecting products have been sourced and purchased in adequate quantities to allow all departments to keep high touch surfaces clean and disinfected.
An industrial electrostatic disinfecting machine has been purchased which allows for ongoing high-volume surface disinfecting.
No touch thermometers have been provided to each department for the daily screening of employees for fever.
A new to-go ordering and pickup area has been created outside Siegel’s to limit the crowd inside at the podium.
Additional Security will be posted in each section of the casino to help enforce social distance and to quickly identify people who are disrupting our valued guests.
The El Cortez’s lengthy and detailed health and safety plan was created with specific guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), the Gaming Control Board (GCB), UNLV’s School of Medicine and others. The plan was submitted to the Gaming Control Board as part of our reopening plan. The key points of the health and safety plan will be explained in the COVID reopening training and in the departmental training that will be provided by our supervisors and managers.
Adam Wiesberg, General Manager at El Cortez Hotel & Casino told this to me:
“The near future of gaming will look different with more space between players, constant cleaning of surfaces, acrylic dividers in certain locations and lots of people wearing face masks. I think much of this will go away when there is a vaccine for this virus so while it is definitely the temporary normal I don’t believe it is the new long term normal. Even with all of these changes, for true gamblers attracted to El Cortez for our great odds, the experience will be much the same. The biggest difference will be felt by the entertainment seeking visitors as shows, concerts and crowds that Las Vegas has become known for will be missing for a while.”
To further reference the property’s safety and health protocols, latest updates, book your stay and more, please visit www.elcortezhotelcasino.com.