Las Vegas Casinos Look to Reopen in May

The big question in Las Vegas at the moment is, “When will the casinos open again?”

The other big question is, “Did you know a roulette table could have 10 zeroes and still have better odds than live keno?”

Let’s focus on the first question, though. (See the bottom of this blog post for updates.)

The answer to “When will Las Vegas casinos reopen?” is “Nobody knows for sure.” That answer would make for a very short blog post, so let’s forge ahead.

Las Vegas is having a moment

Understatement of the year.

The coronavirus shutdown in Las Vegas has been brutal, of course. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak shut down casino resorts on March 17, 2020.

Update (5/7/20): The shut down was extended through May 15, but the Governor now says “phase one” of the reopen will start May 9, 2020. Casinos are not part of phase one.

The casinos are looking to a number of sources to determine when they might reopen, including public officials, medical experts and, not surprisingly, each other.

Governor Sisolak said the decision to reopen will “strictly be based on medical decisions, medical guidance and statistics.”

We called May 1 the over/under reopening date early on, and took a poll to see what vibe laypersons are experiencing.

When Las Vegas casinos open

In Vegas, everyone ends up on the poll.

We took the “under,” but the term that’s become ubiquitous lately is “fluid,” meaning nothing is certain, especially during very uncertain times.

No matter how the Vegas reopening timeline unfolds, there won’t be a lot of celebrating as Sin City is going to look like a shadow of its former self. (Although, we’ve been advocating a big Grand Reopening Bash celebration at some point down the road. Memorial Day on May 25 could fit the bill.)

Demand won’t instantly come flooding back, even if concerns about coronavirus subside. That means casino resorts will reopen in a phased approached, based upon demand.

Our vote is for casinos to open first, then hotels, restaurants and bars. There were rolling closures when the resorts closed, so there’s likely to be “rolling openings” as well.

Shows are going to continue to face challenges, as venues where large crowds gather, like theaters, will probably remain closed the longest. This is rough news for independent productions in town, but agonizing news for our beloved Cirque du Soleil, as the company is reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy.

The basics of social distancing will become a part of Las Vegas in the foreseeable future, no matter when casino doors open again.

We’ve heard from several sources resort employees will be called back to their jobs two weeks before the casinos open again, so that will give us all a heads up efforts to reopen are underway in earnest.

A visible change will be the phasing out of a time-honored Vegas tradition, buffets. At least two venues have buffets that won’t be coming back. Closed permanently are the buffets at TI (Corner Market Buffet) and Golden Nugget (The Buffet). The closure of Golden Nugget’s buffet is unrelated to current events, from what we understand.

The Bayside Buffet at Mandalay Bay is also rumored to be closing permanently.

The debate about when Las Vegas resorts should reopen rages on, especially in social media. Due to the shutdown, people have a lot of time to express their opinions on the subject, and opinions run the gamut.

What’s clear is we need to find a way forward, not just in Las Vegas but the country. We are going to have to make some collective decisions, based upon facts, not fear.

Our over/under date of May 1 seems a fair balance of concerns about public health and the reality we can’t implode our economy in an attempt to save every life.

Here’s one of the more thoughtful articles we’ve found grappling with this subject.

Our future is fraught with impossible decisions we’re thrilled we don’t have
to make.

Update (3/29/30): The federal government has extended social distancing guidelines to April 30, 2020. It’s unknown what impact that might have on the planned reopening of Las Vegas casinos. The guidelines, issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are voluntary.

Update (4/1/20): Governor Steve Sisolak has issued a “Stay at Home” directive and extended closures of non-essential businesses (including casinos) to April 30, 2020. Unless something changes, Las Vegas casinos will be reopening May 1, 2020.

Update (4/19/20): Wynn Resorts is the first to release its reopening plan and policies. The company’s document suggests a mid- to late-May reopening for Nevada businesses, with myriad new sanitizing and other policies. Read more.

Update (4/24/20): Caesars Entertainment has changed its reservation system to take bookings from May 15, 2020. Several other casinos have shifted their reopen target dates as well: TI and Circus Circus, as well as Cosmopolitan, are taking reservations for May 15. Boyd Gaming (including Orleans, Gold Coast, Fremont, Main Street, California and others) are also booking May 15. Wynn and Encore have announced May 22. MGM Resorts has informed its reservations team the target date for reopen is June 1, 2020. In other news, Clark County’s wedding license bureau is reopening April 27.

Update (4/30/20): Governor Sisolak has extended Nevada’s stay-at-home order to May 15, 2020.

Update (5/7/20): Governor Sisolak says “phase one” reopening starts May 9, 2020. Businesses permitted to reopen (with restrictions) include restaurants, barber shops, hair and nail salons, retail stores and retail cannabis stores. All businesses are required to have employees wear masks during phase one. Get the latest news about when Las Vegas will be reopening.

141 thoughts on “Las Vegas Casinos Look to Reopen in May

  1. Remembers One Zero

    Their should never be another buffet ever , anywhere. After the dust settles, I’ll bet that the way food is served will change across the board.

      1. Jim

        Fine end all buffets and let’s start eating bats at open markets like China….
        Never end buffets, let’s end the BS…. 60 Million people got Swine flu in this
        country with 10s of thousands of deaths, and Nothing shut down…
        Wake up people or move to a communist country !!!

          1. HornBet

            @KC – I think you may be confused. The Obama administration created a pandemic response team within the NSC. The Trump administration disbanded it in 2018. Please share with us the details about Trump’s pandemic response team.

        1. Badger

          I agree. No virus is good…but the”freak out” factor has gone way overboard. Buffets will be back…and everything else.

    1. Paul

      While I agree that the buffet as we know it may be dead – I don’t think the buffet concept is forever dead. There will be no more “self service” but having a half dozen to a dozen people throughout the buffet – like the meat carver will be the norm.

      I know Ceasars is already making changes and updates to their buffet through the casino shut down – so it will be very interesting to see which direction they are going

          1. Bryan

            You are a joke to support a person who has her best interest and not yours lol on you did you see the food source she owns do you joke

    2. snillster

      Then shut down the shows, the walkways, the restrooms, any place that forms a line. We could go on and on.

      1. Jenn In Las Vegas

        Amen! Snillster is right. Our lives have been upended enough, with more to come, unfortunately. Why, on earth, are people on this site rooting to kill the buffets!? I love the buffets, and they provide a nice comp and draw for the casinos. There is no good reason kill the buffets. Why are folks so negative and defeated? God Bless the buffets!

        1. Reddawnfarie

          Amen. I believe that buffets will open but instead of you getting your food the servers behind the buffet will give you what you choose. This method will keep utensils plates And trays clean and disinfected. The 6 feet distant rule may still apply.

        2. JohnB

          The casinos will do what cruise ships do, in the norovirus environment. That is there will still be buffets, but there will also be servers. Those servers will be the only people who touch the utensils. This method has proven very successful on cruise ships and it will work in casinos. Plain and simple.

        3. Jenn In Las Vegas

          I have written this same thought elsewhere on this blog, and I am sharing it for a 3rd time now:

          I bring my own quickie plastic food-service/food-handling gloves to put on my hand for each trip I make up to the buffet. I have literally done this every time for over 20 years. I love buffets, but I have never been able to imagine touching all the serving ladles and tongs and then going back to my table and, well, you know the rest. Yuck. Washing my hands after each trip is completely impractical, so instead I happily use a new glove on my serving hand each time.

          The buffets need to put a few food-handling/food-service glove dispensers at the buffet. Everybody just grabs one anew for each trip to the food. It just becomes the new normal to use a glove (as common as a napkin). The only issue is where to throw away the glove when you get back to the table. I always stick it under my leg or something, and then put it on my finished plate to be taken away by the server. So that’s a problem to address. You don’t want used lighter-than-air gloves floating around and on the floor. Otherwise, I think it’s a good idea. I would like to hear others’ thoughts, if any, on my proposal.

        4. deborah

          i know really they complain about the stupidest things instead of facing reality that they need to stop all this flying into this country and just maybe this wouldnt of happened at all i mean when are people going to actually realize that this country is to to congested as it is what is it actually going to take to understand there is no reason for thmatter is.They complain about smoking also in casino in a smoking section meanwhile that isnt what killed thousand of people right .m just saying stop complaining about things that people have been doing for decades i mean my father was a smoker when i was a child and smoked in the house with children and all of us turned out fine i mean im just trying to prove a point stop the madness on stuff that doesnt matter get over it and take a look at at reality and thats all the people in this country who shouldnt be here is really what is ruining our country and that what trump is trying to do by protecting it he might not do what everyone wants but who can but at least hes doing what a president should and thats trying to protect us.

    3. jeremiah Baca

      people licking their fingers while eating should change. that’s what napkins are for. manners have a reason, finger licking is more concintrated than sneezing and you carry it longer.

    4. David Wright

      I think you mean self-serve buffets. If there’s a server at each area, that’s probably better than being served in a restaurant. You know the servers in a nice restaurant pull out the chair to seat you, fill multiple water glasses, pick up dirty dishes from one table, then deliver your food to you, etc. all without washing hands or changing gloves. That makes a buffet safer. Only the server should have access to tongs though.

      1. Jenn In Las Vegas

        I bring my own quickie plastic food-service/food-handling gloves to put on my hand for each trip I make up to the buffet. I have literally done this every time for over 20 years. I love buffets, but I have never been able to imagine touching all the serving ladles and tongs and then going back to my table and, well, you know the rest. Yuck. Washing my hands after each trip is completely impractical, so instead I happily use a new glove on my serving hand each time.

        The buffets need to put a few food-handling/food-service glove dispensers at the buffet. Everybody just grabs one anew for each trip to the food. It just becomes the new normal to use a glove (as common as a napkin). The only issue is where to throw away the glove when you get back to the table. I always stick it under my leg or something, and then put it on my finished plate to be taken away by the server. So that’s a problem to address. You don’t want used lighter-than-air gloves floating around and on the floor. Otherwise, I think it’s a good idea. I would like to hear others’ thoughts, if any, on my suggestion.

        1. Alice

          I also like this idea. I have always had a problem with buffets because of the lack of personal hi-gene. We have all been in the restroom where people just walk out with out washing hands

          1. Jenn In Las Vegas

            Thank you, Alice! The gloves are an excellent idea, if I do say so myself.

            True story: At a buffet about a year ago, I watched a guy floss his teeth — all of them — at the table adjacent to me. Next, he didn’t leave a tip for the server upon leaving. Big fat middle aged white guy.

            Trivia: Do you know that it is illegal to consume any buffet food until you have resumed your seat at your table? I don’t recall the exact Nevada law, but I read it somewhere.

            Here’s a kind of funny article about buffet etiquette:

    5. Larry Jamison

      Buffets are fine as long as only one person touches the tongs. Servers place food on your plate no tongs to touch. You have a far better chance of catching covid from locking the door on a public bathroom…maybe we just get rid of doors and locks lol? Also stop gasing up the car cause that pump handle is dripping with Covid! Same with the ATM buttons.

    6. Mad

      Not a fan of buffets, yet I’m a fan of folks making their own decisions.
      If someone is “at-risk groups” or likes to be included in that group, stay away from Las Vegas! for the rest of us, we will take droplet precautions to heart and get back to life

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Incorrect. The virus is what the virus is. We decide when we ramp up again, when all the costs are considered.

      1. brent baumann

        the virus is part of the equation…. we know how the odds get set when we factor in and decide to ramp it up again… I’ve seen a recent twitter poll regarding may 1st.

      2. DerbyCityDoug

        Good news if there is any, is that the people who study and manage infectious disease having been working on a plan on how to re-open the country. It’s a plan that ensures a safe phased approach to minimize spike in recurrence and ensure that Vegas doesn’t open too early and relapse to an outbreak that would force it to close again. Sound reasoned and fact based plan, not just an opinion piece by some jackhole. Everyone should read this.

      3. Will

        So many will have no job or funds to gamble. How does a casino stay open like that. Convensions are history. Companies will not fund trips

  2. Boulder Steve

    I thought for sure that after 30 days everything would reopen. But after every passing day that appears optimistic. May 1 now looks more realistic.

    1. Tony uk

      Please don’t underestimate how many none Americans come to Vegas for the excitement and variety of the buffets. If they stop you will lose a good proportion of visitors. Buffets gambling and entertainment are the three main reasons to visit. Gambling is on the wane the shows seem to be reducing so the buffets shutting could really mortally wound the overseas numbers. Not everyone can afford Ramsey or similar and Denny’s good as it is only has a smallish menu. YOU CAN TAKE MY FREEDOM BUT YOU CANNOT TAKE MY BUFFETS.

        1. Fabian

          The wicked Spoon for 29.— on weekdays is one of the better breakfast options on the strip in my opinion. I for my part love it

      1. John

        Tony, Ive been visiting Vegas for 20 yrs from UK, never once has my motivation been buffets. `i’ve visited them, but its absolutely not areason to travel several thousnad miles!!!

  3. Thomas Lett

    Sounds like they are using the virus as an excuse to eliminate buffets. They aren’t as popular as they once were and aren’t as profitable either.

    1. Adam

      I used to love the buffets in vegas but as they got more expensive I never felt I got my money’s worth from them as I usually could only eat 2 plates of food and always felt slightly sick after.

  4. Funkhouser

    The linked article is interesting, I agree with quote “The ability of our hospitals to continue providing care to a flood of covid-19 patients, while still treating the other patients they normally have, all the while protecting health-care professionals, will be a major factor in reducing bad outcomes for victims of the coronavirus and other illnesses as well.”

    I strongly disagree with the idea “our health-care system is going to be overrun to a great extent no matter what we do.”. That’s a BS throw your hands up opinion based on false cause reasoning. It’s something I would expect in a middle schoolers debate. We know, thru education, efficient planning, and controlled spread we can avoid this, or minimally greatly reduce it in certain areas of country. If you believe in that line of false cause reasoning you might as well stay home from Vegas, because the same argument can be made to quit gambling and stay at home with that logic. Which is you will always lose at gambling, so just there’s nothing you can do”. It’s a BS narrative.

  5. Flu police

    Lots of policing of the blog comments happening these days, I see, dating back to mid-March. When you own the blog, you get to do that, no doubt. But it does make a person wonder if there are any standards to what is permitted, or if it’s purely up to mood and whimsy.

    I’ll always read the comments, but if you eliminated them, I wouldn’t be upset.

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Depends upon the day. If someone insults me, out. If they insult someone else, out. Any name-calling, out. I like the conversation, but it’s my party and happily disinvite rude guests. Mood and whimsy of the blogger are the only standards. Thanks for asking.

  6. Jamie Grant

    Great article. I’m @jamiegrantmusic but I’m trying to practice Twitter distancing. It was getting too crazy. I am reading tweets, just not tweeting for a while. Obviously with today’s (Sunday, March 29) “guidance” from POTUS/Feds, we are looking at May 1 as a minimum. I always thought that, so your “over-under” could be spot on. But they way this thing is expanding exponentially, it’s anyone’s guess. I think most would agree that the timeline won’t shorten. It can only expand. I’ve been a working professional musician in Las Vegas since 1986. What we are experiencing is unprecedented. No-one, from me to the CEO of MGM knows what to expect I don’t think. Thank goodness for the inclusion of 1099 “Gig” workers in the unemployment benefits. That is HUGE. And thank you for the continued great reporting and opining on this situation. Well done!

  7. SUNNY

    I was actually supposed to be flying out to Vegas today . ….Guess what ? Not so much .
    I’m waiting for the casinos to reopen because I love Vegas but I think it will be forever changed .
    The virus is in charge .And when you dance with the bear, you don’t stop until the bear stops dancing .
    This is a very fluid situation . I’m hoping for the best with cautious optimism .

  8. James Prokop

    By astrological calculations, there is very likely going to be a second wave of the Coronavirus outbreak between May 11th and December 27th. Time will tell.

  9. Dennis

    Sure, lets open everything on May 1st and invite everyone from all over the world to come here and turn us into the newest and biggest Coronavirus hot spot. Great idea.

  10. Johninhenerson

    Every day small businesses are going bankrupt in this valley because of the lockdown. Years of hard work and dedication, gone in a flash! Domestic Violence is skyrocketing and civil unrest is looming!
    You cannot tell people to just stay home everything will be fine without consequences! The National Guard is ready to pounce on areas where it gets out of hand, they are out there waiting!
    This town will be Rhyolite, NV the longer its SHUT!
    Better get your U-haul rez now! The housing market is getting ready to IMPLODE, then EXPLODE! Those of us left? Maybe I can buy one of them fancy homes in Queensgate for $25,000 or less real soon!?
    God Help Us All!

  11. Funkhouser

    Hmm..couple of thoughts going thru my head here. Not to be insensitive, but if a business is closing their doors after years of hard work and operation due to a two week shutdown, there is a bigger problem below the surface. Specifically how much working capital they have and management. Kinda like the family that doesn’t have an emergency fund. The government is starting to move quickly to open up access to operating capital to keep businesses operating. Even if Vegas were to open tomorrow, people aren’t going to flock to a place they don’t feel is safe, so re-opening the doors to Vegas is only one part of the equation.
    Will there be causalities to this pandemic both economically and medical, yes. Hopefully if we can get past the acceleration curve of outbreak, things can stabilize and we can move forward faster. That won’t happen if people keep ignoring social distancing guidance and surge infection rates spike up.

  12. Tim D.

    Just as the 99-cent shrimp cocktail, the $1 strawberry shortcakes and the 75-cent three-quarter pound hot dogs have fallen by the wayside, it’s time to scale back the buffets. Very few are offering much of quality for the price of a super-sized No. 8 at McDonald’s, and even the mid-priced buffets are mediocre. It’s amazing how underwhelming a $20 buffet is. I mostly stopped doing buffets years ago because I’d rather pay a fair price for made-to-order than $2 for all I can eat mediocre food. But there are benefits and reasons for them to still exist, so we won’t see them go away.

    I see the pandemic as an overdue market correction in the buffet industry. They won’t be cheaper because of it, they won’t improve their quality because of it. But they’ll thin out the herd and bring better scrutiny to the remaining players in the game.

    And if the end result is that it’s no longer self-service, expect increased prices and/or decreased quality in order for them to survive.

    It’s possible I’ve eaten at my last Vegas buffet. I hope not, otherwise all those buffet lovers are going to be grazing toward the remaining restaurants, where I’m waiting for a table.


      I’ve largely given up on buffets too. Most of the big ones are way too expensive, and if you’re not staying there you’d have to pay to park and then walk a mile through the parking deck to get there. And I’m too old to spend much time standing in line.
      A few months ago staying at an off-strip resort, I had a discount coupon to the breakfast buffet; but there were about 20 people ahead of me. Instead I went to the nearby non-casino-owned restaurant, walked right in, and had a nice breakfast with the leftovers boxed up and a big coffee-to-go for about the same price.
      More recently I had a free buffet coupon at the same place, and the line was much shorter. This time I went in, but held it to one plate and some fruit because I’m trying to watch my weight these days.
      The principle is: at an “All-You-Can-Eat” buffet–don’t.

  13. Val

    I feel horrible for the people who are currently unemployed. I want Vegas to reopen, but only when it is safe to do so. There will need to be more sanitary measures in place for buffets. Bare minimum, someone should require patrons to use hand sanitizer prior to being seated. There needs to be more sneeze guards and restaurant employees should plate more of the food for the customers. Yes I know this will slow the line down and make people unhappy.
    I hope that when it is safe to reopen the casino hotels, that the CEO’S will rethink the rediculous resort fees and parking rates. Give people a reason to come back to Vegas.

    1. Mortimer

      I’m kind of expecting that buffets may be cafeteria style in the future. Employees dish up everything on a clean plate from behind the cafeteria glass. More potato? Sure!

      The challenge will be salad bars and condiment areas. Will we really have Lupe dishing up my salad with a sprinkle of shredded carrot and five cherry tomatoes? Do I really have to ask Pedro for three pats of butter and a tube of sour cream for my potatoes?

  14. Vonnie Owens

    Casino shouldn’t open up until it is safe to do so. A target date may well be May 31st. But that may need to be extended out further. But definitely not before May 31st.

      1. Bill

        I predict it will not happen.
        The dead and dying will be peaking around here in about 2 more weeks.
        That will slow the roll of any May Day opening for sure.
        We are looking at June at the earliest and only if the prayed for summer reprieve actually comes true.
        If not?
        The no one knows when.
        Personally as a local no movies, casinos, shows, restaurants or any other public gatherings until I am vaccinated.
        With my health history this virus is Russian Roulette.
        I have no desire to jump in that Deer Hunter cage with Robert De Niro.

    1. Tannisha lodier

      Yeah then see what happens. We will have a bigger problem then a scientific realesed virus. If its so bad why when I drove by our hidpitals yesterday the parking lots were close to empty. Enough is enough. It’s time to go back to work. Its our constitutional right if we want u o take the chance if getting sick. We live on a dirty world people die in the hundreds daily from flu. They die daily from our own police force killing someone that had a cell phone in there hand and they tell everyone oh he or she had a knife .I mean come on . This is a bunch of bull.

  15. Candace Winters

    I have a trip planned May 16th -20th that I haven’t wanted to cancel, However, if Vegas only opens a limited number casinos, followed by restaurants and stores, then that is not the Vegas experience I’m dying for. I think people want to get back to normal as soon as possible, I do. Therefore I may postpone my trip which in turn would slow recovery, they might want to rethink their plan.

  16. Candace Winters

    That’s not what I meant. How many tourists will spend the time and money to travel to a Vegas with a couple casinos and restaurants open? You might get locals who just want to gamble for a few hours and can go home, but I dont think that will help. I love Vegas and I want it to come back and come back stronger than ever.

    1. Sugarfree Candy

      You wouldn’t want to open casinos and ramp up business for the locals and the SoCal crowd if you don’t have every bell and whistle available to the entire world. Damn right. If you can’t open it all at once, open none of it. Candy said so.

  17. Andrew

    Wow…43 comments and 90% of them are buffet or “i’ve booked my trip” related.

    Most of people here don’t have a slight idea of what all this mean to Las Vegas,seriously. It will be a very,very long time before Las Vegas will ever,if ever go back to normal.

    Resorts will have to totally rethink how to make marketing to their guests. First of all,the last thing I want to do now is cramm myself into a 5000 rooms monster hotel with my loved one,not even in 2 months from now,not even 6 months. Face it,those hotels are like cruise ships.
    When all this will be over consumer will want to find peace with nature and open spaces,not sharing the same AC’s other 2000 folks breathe on the casino floor. If I think about any Las Vegas room now,no matter how fancy that may be,sealed windows and bodily fluids stains are the first things that come to my mind. Hotels for a little while will maybe have to upgrade their websites with a ” COVID – 19 MEASURES ” pop up link where it will be caferully explained what type of cleaning and sanitizing procedures have been adopted to ensure each and every rooms 99.9% is germ free. In the long run,pretty much like what’s happening now,open spaces will become major attractions. But I’m telling you,Vegas right now is pretty much F up. You better hope medias will cover the honest truth about this pandemic and the path of deaths it will leave,that’s the only way people can start to feel safe again.

  18. Tony uk

    Moron covid doesn’t discriminate clean hotel dirty hotel outdoors or parking garage people’s breath spreads the virus. The cleanest room or outdoor resort could be contaminated by a sick person in a heartbeat. Vegas hotels mostly are clean pleasant and above all fun. Everybody catching the virus is the only realistic way forward stop hating Vegas it brings light to a dark tome

  19. David Friedman

    May 1 reopening is insanely optimistic. It will not be safe until late 2021!. Who will want to get on a plane, fly with lots of restrictions to come to a half closed town while news reports are filled with body counts? A premature reopening will spike new cases and start the process over again. There will not be the huge 3rd quarter recovery some are wrongly predicting. Las Vegas will be the last place to recover. Deal with the hard truth, it will help you make better decisions. You can’t enjoy yourself in Las Vegas if you are concerned about dying and killing your loved ones.

    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Set for May 2 at Ellis Island! I floated it in a drunk Tweet one one. Assuming the town’s open again, it will be perfect timing to celebrate.

  20. Jim Feilbach

    Everyone is forgetting how short our Memories are and how quickly we will all forget about this after they figure out how to stop it. The casinos will open and all will be forgotten. Sure, a few won’t go back, but it won’t make a difference. The casinos are big business and they will have a game plan all figured out if not already.

  21. Sondra hassman

    I could tell you, I live in Atlantic City next to the Hard Rock. It’s very strange now with a a largely depopulated boardwalk (just a few strollers, joggers, and bikers – mostly downbeach types) and nothing much open (nothing at all on the boardwalk itself). The poorer locals dominate the inland streets, and while some may at first seem menacing, they are really quite friendly once you get past their urban exterior manner. Pressing ahead, I Would suggest that the casinos should open slowly. At first, no buffets and no pesky children in the building. Also, no f’cockteh “support” animals ever again. There should be some basic dress code to foster a more civil environment. I don’t want to come to a place filled with old men in shorts, tank tops, and flip flops. The pan handlers need to be reeled in along with a general improvement in security. As the situation continues to develop, perhaps the buffets can be brought back if the virus is contained. That’s the hard truth.

  22. HornBet

    Feeling really fortunate that I was able to have a long weekend in Vegas 3 weeks ago (early March). By that time I was already conscious of washing my hands often, keeping my hands off my face, keeping some distance from other people – but most people there were there to party, and it felt like the same as it’s always been. Nobody was there to worry about a virus, people were there to have a good time, myself included.

    I’m hanging on to those memories, I think about them often, and I’m hoping that we’ll all get back to that place that we remember. But I also have a feeling that April will be a very cruel month.

  23. wysiwyg

    It’s amazing how many people are going to stop living their lives out of fear of getting a bad cold.

  24. marty a fuciarelli

    Maybe the casinos will go back to 3 to 2 on A blackjake bringe back some of the big players.

  25. Barry Rubinowitz

    Not a chance of reopening on May 1st. Somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 Americans are going to die in April from covid-19. Do you really think people are going to get on planes to fly to Vegas in early May? Not that getting a flight to Vegas will be easy, as I’m sure that route is getting very little usage at this point.
    There won’t be any convention business, and the state of the economy is far worse than 2008-9, which hit Vegas hard. Not that many people have disposable income to gamble with – they are too busy investing in toilet paper. And theaters and clubs are a huge chunk of Vegas business, without those, you lose the non-gamblers.
    As for the gamblers, reduced in quantity and bankroll by the economy, there are plenty of reasons for them not to show up, even if the rooms and restaurants are mostly available (without restaurants, no one is coming). I play blackjack – I do not want to touch cards someone else has touched. That means all games have to be dealt up, which eliminates poker completely. Even then, we’ll all be handling chips. The dealers may be tested and wearing gloves, but the players aren’t. Of course the slots will have to be sanitized before and after anyone touches the buttons.
    Then we have elevators – I think I’d rather bet my life savings on the Big Wheel than ride up to the 20th floor in a full elevator.
    Because remember, all it will take is one person, employee or guest, testing positive for covid-19 and the town gets shut down again.
    A May 1st reopening is beyond optimistic.

  26. ACE

    you to my friend , but i really think he just ran for president just for shits and giggles , often times i think he got stuck as a president and did not really think he would win at the start. and i think politics are now i game of fame , its just if a pop star ran people would vote on them for popularity rather than doing good for the people . and he being famous and known was the only true reason he was voted in , GOD HELP US if he is voted in again ,

    but yes back to the topic i think it will be months before Las Vegas stands a chance , i would say at least 6 months to a year , and it only going to get locals in a states that people can drive in , as nobody is going to want to fly and risk being in a closed area with strangers .

  27. d klemp

    the buffet will will be changed to best possible convince to the patrons I am sure all have a plan in but not want to revel as comp may follow same standard

  28. kathryn

    I think that there shouldnt be anymore self serve of food or any other services this must include Gas stations. I think we be going back in time and living a full service Gas stations again and full service on everything again.
    I think by doing this will cut down on the spread of any virus specially Corona virus. I also feel that employees that are in customer service will need to be tested for viruses often to help prevent the spread. Also I think that all self serve machine like water, soda food machine should be banned due to the touching on the buttoms that can spread the virus. What I think is this. There should be a deli in most super markets so people can be served not self served. Also I believe there should continue the rule on 6 foot apart from anyone. I think that all seating should mesure 10 feet from table to table this will give the space people will need when there go to seat down than while seating down the measurement between seating will be 6 feet between people seating down from table to table. I also feel that all employees should wear protective gloves a most all the time. I dont think this virus is just going to pick itself up and just go away because people stayed home for a month or two. This virus is carrying Sar It can survive thu the summer. It can take one to two years for it level off. Same was with the Spanish Flu back in year 1918-1920.
    More Comments: All self service should be banned for the protection of the people. God bless

  29. Kathryn

    Added comment: Please excuse the grammer. I was in a rush and didnt use the spell check.
    Additional comment: Prevous Comment on self serve. My text is a bit negative but their is a bright side. More jobs.
    How? Doing away with the self serve will provide so many jobs for Servers everywheres. Now if you are a business owner and you just cant see the bright side to this because its an extra employee or more. of course your business service or products you are selling will need to increase the price by 5%. That is so little of an amount. This way you as a business owner gets your costs back for hire additional employees as servers or service people.

    1. BigDude

      Ridiculous article. If you read the bottom of the article you might notice:
      “Jeff Hwang has positions in Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International. ”

      Ya think maybe’s he short on those? I’m guessing so.

  30. Jenn In Las Vegas

    I love buffets. I love Las Vegas buffets. I love serving myself. For over 20 years, I have put a new quickie plastic food service glove on my right hand each and every time I go up to get food at a buffet (I hold my dish in my left hand). I keep about 7 cheapo gloves in a clean new sandwich bag in my purse for the occasion. I don’t usually make 7 trips, but I definitely want the option. I also for years have wiped down (with indiv-wrapped Wet-Ones wipes that I keep in my purse) salt and pepper shakers, ketchup bottles, hot sauce bottles, etc that I plan to use. Sometimes, I just pick them up with part of a napkin so as not to touch (esp if I’m going to be eating french fries or chicken wings next!). I’ve had these sanitation habits and others since long before the Wubonic Plague. It would be a great solution if the casinos would put food service glove dispensers at the buffet, next to the plates or whatever. Everybody just uses a new glove each time. It just becomes the totally new normal thing to do.

    My next comment is to say that I am virtually certain I had the virus. I got it late Feb into March here in Las Vegas — probably from a casino. It was an interesting ordeal (different from the flu or cold), and, in the end, my body dealt with it and I am fine now. Hopefully we are going to be able to test for antibodies and know that we have had it and are immune, or are at low risk. Those who have had it are the lucky ones who can move about freely — if there’s anywhere to go. I, for one, am a believer in the herd immunity approach. I am all but certain that COVID-19 has been in California for many many months, and that there is considerable herd immunity there already. The issue of visitors coming here from everywhere is indeed a complication, but regardless, Las Vegans will be so much better off if we all just get it and get it over with (in lieu of a would-be vaccine). The current “plan” is merely prolonging the impractical.

    I completely have understood the don’t-overwhelm-the-medical-capabilities concern, but it would appear we increasingly are at much less risk of the medical-support system breaking down as we flatten the curve, supply and resupply, and learn more. We are destroying our society and our world (and our and our children’s economic futures) with the current extreme (though understandable, to a point) risk-averse approach. The current extreme social distancing and shut down approach is unsustainable without causing mass destruction elsewhere. As heartbreaking as this pandemic can be and as serious as it is, what we are doing economically, socially, and psychologically is much worse if it lasts much longer. Preservation at all costs is a fool’s errand.

    We need to open everything back up asap. I feel terrible for the wonderful senior citizens of Las Vegas, lots of whom thoroughly enjoy the casinos. They may feel too concerned to come out again until there is a vaccine (if there ever is a vaccine). All the wonderful families, friends, and couples I remember seeing going to the movies and other casino attractions just need to “roll the dice” and get out there and live again (if the government will let us). It’s a hazard, it’s a risk, it’s a gamble — but the short odds are that the vast majority aren’t going to lose the bet. It is to some extent about personal responsibility, and, BTW, we should not be able to sue the entertainment venues if we freely choose to go out there and enjoy ourselves again. May God Bless Us. I appreciate your site and thanks for letting me post my comment.

  31. BigDude

    The casinos have a bunch of cash, and are highly motivated to re-open. That said, MGM might want the lockdown to continue as they have more cash in hand. Their calculation is that more of their competitors might fall off the longer this continues.

    Assuming they aren’t that craven, early May looks like a good bet. New case increases are around 4-5% daily, with 2800 or so in the state. In 2-3 weeks that should be 1-2% increase in new cases per day.

    Casinos are going to need to provide for guests, like a lot of other venues that serve the public will need to. Casinos have a lot of surfaces and lots of random people that are in close proximity, they are going to need to take steps to prevent outbreaks:
    Hire people to clean surfaces. This means cleaning slots, elevators, bars, handrails, etc. on a frequent basis. Things people touch
    Air purifiers for rooms. This seems extravagant but it’s not. COVID-19 can live in the air for hours, it needs to be cleaned for the next guest.
    UV-C cleaners for rooms. Hospitals have these, casinos need to hire people to UV clean rooms on checkout.
    Masks required for all employees. Goes without saying.
    Masks required for all guests. Provided on entry. Enforced by security. This is important.
    Free hand sanitizer. Let your guests help clean surfaces.
    Enforced social distancing. Every other seat at tables, bars, restaurants, etc. No large groups (clubs, etc.) probably for a few more months.
    COVID-19 tests for all employees on a regular basis.
    Immediate quarantine for employees, guests in separate medical facility.

    This will all end over time as the number of new cases drops.

  32. Concearned

    While Covid-19 is a serious problem, it is not the first nor will it be the last. Therefore to shut down all of the buffets and indoor dining is a bit over drastic. Could there be some improvements, ABSOLUTELY. I could see buffet lines going to the style of the old Furs Cafeteria and the guest touches nothing but what is on their own plate. I would learn to live with that even though I am the guy who loves to drown all my breakfast items with country gravy. But in the bigger picture it would be a lot better for my health and I would still go. The shut down all in all was a pretty good idea and most assuredly saved countless lives and hospital stays. I like everyone else have been devastated from the loss of income and would like to see this whole thing be over with but unfortunately the OLD ways are over for good. The NEW norm will be interesting to watch unfold. I hope that the new norm will be one of a greater appreciation for one another and one that is much less judgmental about how the other guy does things and lives. I also hope to see a greater attempt for places of gathering to be safer and provide for more personal space and not be driven by greed. Case in point would be the size reduction of seating on air planes just to make more money per flight. Like in any situation the more people you pack into an area the more the odds of any negative issue climbs. Maybe just maybe this is a wake up call for everyone to get back to the basics of things and simply do the right thing. May God have mercy on us all.

    1. HornBet

      Great points, and you’ve struck a nice middle-ground vision between keeping what we all love, but looking at it from a deeper perspective. People like you who are open minded and adaptable will weather this the best.

    2. Jenn In Las Vegas

      A couple more inches of airplane seat isn’t going to solve the world’s problems, but I really appreciate the thinking and sentiment of your post, “Concerned.” About buffets, I wrote a comment elsewhere on this blog that explained how I bring my own quickie plastic food service gloves to put on my hand for each trip I make up to the buffet. I have literally done this every time for over 20 years. I love buffets, but I have never been able to imagine touching all the serving ladles and tongs and then going back to my table and, well, you know the rest. Yuck. I either would have to wash my hands or use the glove, so I happily use the glove. The buffets need to put food handling/food service glove dispensers at the buffet. Everybody just grabs one anew for each trip to the food. It just becomes the new normal to use a glove (a common as a napkin). The only issue is where to throw away the glove when you get back to the table. I always stick it under my leg or something, and then put it on my finished plate to be taken away by the server. So that’s a problem to address. You don’t want a bunch of used lighter-than-air gloves floating around and on the floor. Otherwise, I think it’s a good idea. BTW, regarding your comment above, if you want to see greater appreciation and less judgment of one another, restarting the engines with locals supporting locals is a robust purpose that I can get behind. We will triumph and build the goodwill among us. #ILoveLasVegas (I don’t Tweet, but it sounds good to me.) Sisolak has to open things up. There will not be a viable vaccine for a long time, if ever (you realize there is still no HIV vaccine; and there’s always a half-assed flu vaccine that half the people don’t even take). We need to live life. I’ve had the WuFlu — I’m virtually certain. Like me, the vast majority of us will survive. Bless Everybody!

  33. joe

    I think they should just close las vegas for ever , in my opinion it is a total waste of resources , and its doing nothing but sucking the love out of gamblers , close it down and build a normal community without the sin.

    1. Jenn In Las Vegas

      Joe, I think you’re depressed. Do you have anyone you can talk to to help you feel better? Las Vegas is fun. It’s a great place for a convention. There’s so much good about Las Vegas — I don’t want to take the time to list it all here. BTW, do you realize, Joe, that there are *gambling* casinos pretty much everywhere? Seriously, Joe, I think you’re depressed. Please don’t let it get the best of you. This is a rough time; hang in there.

  34. dianna

    People are creatures of habit, they will come back to Vegas and eat buffet and line up and dance in crowded night clubs and bump into each other at pool parties. So no worries here about Vegas. The problem is OBAMA and his people cut cut cut and cut more of the important stuff to give give give give to his lazy non working base of voters. Thank the baby jesus we have TRUMP for 4 more wonderful years

    1. HornBet

      Speaking of Obama, here’s a clip of him endorsing Biden, posted today.
      The last few minutes are the most powerful, so this link starts there:

      How nice to hear his words today, it’s such a stark contrast to what we’ve had to put up these past few years. Intelligent, articulate, truthful, compassionate. All the hallmarks of a true leader.

        1. HornBet

          Sad that that’s your immediate reaction.
          You can keep your “student of history” trope, which you use as cover for trolling on here. In the meantime, we’ll all be moving on towards a better future on January 20th, when Biden begins the long, difficult job of repairing this country, and restoring our standing in the world.

          1. Jenn In Las Vegas

            If I wasn’t a student of history, I wouldn’t have know about the quote from good ol’ Joe. Obama’s standing in the world, like yours, was prostrate. We see you, Hornbet. And once we see it, we can’t un-see it. #WalkAway

          2. HornBet

            And you use such big words, too!
            If you want to continue this conversation, PM me.
            [email protected]
            Let’s allow this comment stream to get back on track to its original topic.

    1. HornBet

      Sad that that’s your immediate reaction.
      You can keep your “student of history” trope, which you use as cover for trolling on here. In the meantime, we’ll all be moving on towards a better future on January 20th, when Biden begins the long, difficult job of repairing this country, and restoring our standing in the world.

  35. JohnB


    Actually, if you were following along it was @Dianna, who brought in politics. But, hey you love the grifter in chief, who gives money to businesses, who don’t need it. That is socialism as well! The rich and big business will suck the life out of America, leaving the rest of us as their slaves.

    The Vegas casinos will have to re-invent their business models. Middle America, who mostly visited Vegas in the past, will be decimated by the slow response of governments to this crisis. There will not be 42 million yearly visitors. It just will not happen.

  36. john w dodge

    We will not have jobs if Biden gets in – be honest – he is not for democracy – no cars just wind?? he can’t even remember his own name??? God help us.

  37. Anne

    Wow, I read almost all the emails.
    I am scared and vulnerable because I over 65.
    I go to Las Vegas once or twice a year.
    I love it, I love the shows, I love the shopping.
    I am not going this year because I love life more.
    If all is well I will joyfully go next year.
    Take care everybody, don’t roll the dice until you know you are going to win.

  38. John

    Personally I am ready to return as soon as the casinos open back up. I’ll wear a mask and be safe . I already had to reschedule a trip for this weekend. I pushed it back to end of May and also booked one for early July in case this one doesn’t work out.

    As a huge fan of Vegas and someone who goes several times a year I am ready as soon as they deem it safe.


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