MGM feeling confident

Las Vegas has been “reopened” for a week, so it is just about time to reopen it some more. On Tuesday, MGM Resorts International announced that Luxor, The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay Place, ARIA, Mandalay Bay proper, and Four Seasons Las Vegas will be the company’s next properties to welcome back guests.

“It was exciting and emotional to see the energy in Las Vegas last week as we welcomed back our employees and reopened our doors to guests for the first time in months,” said Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ Acting CEO and President, a press release. “Our guests are having a great time and are thrilled to be back in the city they love. We are eager to get more of our employees back to work and enhance the Las Vegas experience with additional resorts.”

Luxor and The Shoppes will open back up on Thursday, June 25 at 10:00am local time. The rest will open the following week, on July 1: ARIA at 10:00am and the Mandalay Bay / Four Seasons combo an hour later.

MGM previously reopened MGM Grand, Bellagio, and New York-New York on June 4, the first day that Nevada casinos could “open for business.” Excalibur will reopen tomorrow, June 11.

Trying to keep people safe

As was the case with the previous reopenings, the “new normal” will be in place at MGM’s properties, with strict health and safety measures implemented. The Nevada Gaming Control Board issued a 10-page document outlining all the requirements, but MGM also highlighted many of the portions it believes are key in Tuesday’s announcement.

All employees are being screened for COVID-19 and given specific training about the virus before they return to work. COVID-19 tests are also available, if thought to be necessary.

Employees are also required to wear masks on the property, though they just “strongly encourage” for guests. In some places where physical distancing or protective barriers are not possible, such as table games, masks are required for guests.

A video posted on Twitter from the Cosmopolitan over the weekend showed almost no guests wearing masks, even at the gaming tables, which was disappointing. A brief video taken by the Las Vegas Review-Journal when Bellagio opened did show most patrons wearing masks when they arrived and all gamblers at the one gaming table in the video wearing face coverings.

MGM installed hand washing stations on the casino floor so that people can clean themselves up immediately after gambling and the restaurants now have digital menus to avoid passing around paper or laminated menus all day.

In the hotels, guestroom attendants, like any other person on staff, must wear masks. They must also wear gloves while servicing rooms and – in a very good policy – change out their gloves for a new pair after every room.

Not that it deserves to be a footnote, but Caesars is also reopening The Linq on Friday, June 12.

If nothing changes by July 1, much of the Las Vegas Strip will be open. Notable exceptions are the Mirage, Paris, Planet Hollywood, and Bally’s. Off the Strip, the Rio, home of the World Series of Poker, still does not have a reopening date.

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