Las Vegas Bars to Close Again Due to COVID-19 Concerns

Governor Steve Sisolak has announced bars, pubs, taverns, distilleries, breweries, and wineries in Las Vegas that don’t serve food must close effective 11:59 p.m. on July 10, 2020.

Because we haven’t been through enough suck, already, apparently.

While these establishments have to close, they can offer curbside pick-up or home delivery where allowed.

The directive mandates “bar tops and bar areas within restaurants and food establishments must also close.”

Talk about putting the “boo” in “booze.”

Seven Nevada counties are affected by the new directive, including Clark County, wherein sit most Las Vegas casinos.

Park MGM bar

Everything is ruined, again.

The Governor’s statement said, “Local health experts and federal partners have advised that if Nevada does not take swift policy action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout our state, we will likely soon be in a precarious condition where hospitals are overwhelmed with patients.”

As has happened fairly frequently during the COVID-19 crisis, the new directive has left many Las Vegas businesses, including casinos, scrambling to understand how their operations will be affected by the directive.

For many taverns (restaurants with bartops with video poker machines), the decision must now be made as to whether remaining open is financially viable at all.

Naturally, we’re most concerned with casino bars and video poker at bars in pubs and taverns. They’re done for the moment.

Vegas bars closing

Can we please move on from “Vegas bars closing” news to “shiny new Vegas bars” news? Thanks.

While such moves are brutal for businesses and their employees, these steps are being taken due to concerns about what’s described as “a continuous upward trend of new daily cases and an upward trend in our confirmed and suspected hospitalizations for COVID-19.”

The fact is many Las Vegas venues aren’t doing a great job of enforcing mandatory mask and social distancing guidelines.

While casinos snapped to attention when it was clear the Governor might shut them down again due to lax enforcement, other businesses still aren’t meeting expectations. Only about half of the bars inspected by officials were found to be in compliance with the mandatory mask directive.

State officials will continue to monitor three main criteria for when bars can reopen: Average number of tests per day, case rate and test positivity.

On the bright side, Nevada’s effective reproduction number has dropped to 1.09.

Longbar

For taking away some of our favorite things, screw you, Mother Nature.

While casino bars may close, there will still be ample hooch flowing. Tip your cocktail server early and often!

In restaurants, you can still drink, of course, you just can’t order it (or sit) at the bar. For now, you’re going to have to hook up online like everyone else.

Everyone has to decide whether this version of Las Vegas is one they can still enjoy. We love video poker, so we’ll just move on to machines on the casino floor and let cocktail servers do their thing. The current rules, like requiring masks everywhere, are annoying, but they don’t really disrupt the fun all that much.

Our heart goes out to all the folks who were just getting back to work, only to be given another kick to the loins by this surreal, confounding pandemic.

Update (7/10/20): We got our hands on an internal document from Station Casinos. The company will pay its employees affected by the bar closures.

Stations Casino bar memo

Some casinos have gotten very good at hitting a moving target.

20 thoughts on “Las Vegas Bars to Close Again Due to COVID-19 Concerns

  1. Mike Alexakis

    The Governor of Nevada has a very tough job, no matter what he does people are going to be very unhappy… And the federal government is more than useless, in normal times the Centers For Disease Control is a reliable source of information and guidelines. Unfortunately it is mired in politics. The United States is being run to appease one conceited man who only cares about himself, all that sacrifice that people suffered through during the lock downs has been frittered away…

    Reply
  2. Archie Wright

    Our Bars venues and entertainment is one our favorites of all times in Vegas this is so boring that families are stressing eachother out if we can just move on in an clean environmental fashion maybe we can function most of the people that come are sick already stay home if youre sick that way the rest can enjoy what were spending and came out for a Good time

    Reply
  3. andybflo

    The Internet, YM… The internet…

    What I’ve learned is that when you give enough monkeys keyboards and time, they don’t generate the complete works of Shakespeare, they generate conspiracy theories.

    I hope the folks in NV get back to entertaining the world soon, safely.

    Now back to my Four Roses and sitting in the hot tub. 😉

    Reply
  4. Peter K Cleary

    Since the restaurants reopened at 50 % capacity and they allowed bars to reopen a week or so later we went out 3x times. We went out to Freemont street the night it reopened, because we were stir crazy. There was little compliance with masks except for employees at any of those places.

    We did not go out much more than once a week after that.

    It is super sad that wearing a mask is political.

    It is also super sad that bars are closed and extremely similar places are not.

    Gov. Sisolak is at the height of his powers when it comes to health and safety. But he still needs to explain why bars are closed and casinos, gyms and pools are not.

    Close them all, or only close non-compliant businesses.

    Reply
  5. Sam M.

    It’s a weird world, for sure. It can’t be fun monitoring comments on a blog and trying to maintain civility.

    Reply
  6. happy hour 101

    You’d think if people could be convinced to wear seat belts and to quit smoking that wearing a mask would be a cinch.

    Reply
    1. Bobbie G.

      Best, most entertaining, comment that I’ve read here for awhile. Seriously, it’s a truly clever social commentary.

      Reply
    2. Brandon Outfall

      Anyone who has even tapped a bumper at even 5 mph knows the obvious safety benefit of seatbelts. Any smoker who has stopped smoking for even a couple days for any reason knows the obvious health benefits of stopping smoking.

      Nevada and other states have been under mask mandates and continued random closures for weeks now and infection and hospitalization rates are soaring. Or are those obviously intertwined facts fact simply a quaint nuance beyond the threshold of brainwashed perception?

      Reply
  7. Steve

    This is probably a stupid question, but were the bars responsible for creating that many cases? And is it just bars that are being mandated?

    Reply
  8. Kate

    Scott, love your stuff. I would love to hear some podcast interviews with tourists who are there now and hear their point of view on the situation there and how they like it/hate it or what they ‘thought it would be like’ as opposed to what it is like. Such as, things they’re used to doing but can’t currently do, or places they would normally go, but can’t, etc. Also, interviews with people who work (in any capacity) at casinos and how they feel things are working out with the changes… Thanks for the consideration and all of your hard work!

    Reply
    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Great idea! May have to give that a go. It would’ve been easier back when people weren’t freaking out about sitting next to each other at bars. “)

      Reply
  9. BST

    I was there last week. It wasn’t all that great of an expierience because of so many places still closed. I knew that going in though , but I had my reservation made already before the virus mess started so I figure I’d make the best of it because I wanted to check it out.
    If you just go to gamble it’s ok. But without shows and a lot of the restaurants I enjoy closed not nearly as fun. The worse thing for me was the 4 per elevator rule. I at least was able to see the progress on Resort World and Circa. 🙂

    Reply
  10. FYMYAWF

    I’m a solo Vegas traveler, and a lush, so this hits my plans harder than most. I’m t-minus 5 weeks from a trip, and I’d love to go, but I can’t imagine going to Vegas without bars. No VP on the bartop. No lounges, no Dorsey, no Electra, no Vesper, none of the other countless bars I frequent every time I go to town. No bartender to talk to. No girls to flirt with at the bar. Perhaps limited views of sports on the over-bar TV’s.

    Plus, 90% of the time I eat at the bar too. It’s just easier and less awkward as a single than doing the table seating thing.

    I know – the Gov’s order is about potentially saving lives. I know my little concerns don’t mean much against that. First world problems. But I live in the first world, and I can’t see a trip w/o bars, especially since almost everything else entertainment-wise is closed too.

    Cancelling a Vegas trip for me is like sitting down for a root canal, but this may be the second time this year I have to do so.

    Reply

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