πŸ– 'We're on virus time': Las Vegas on edge amid reopening gamble | US news | The Guardian

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LAS VEGAS (AP) β€” The casino coronavirus closure is ending, with cards to be dealt, dice to roll and By Associated Press, Wire Service Content June 4, Executives said they want to see how many people show up.


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Members and supporters of Culinary Union caravan down the Las Vegas Strip calling on casinos to share reopening plans, on 12 May.


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Visitors returning to downtown Las Vegas hotel-casinos, the first to in Las Vegas flight searches in late May the day after Nevada Gov. The Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas was deserted June 3,


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In this May 26, file photo, gates block an entrance to Caesars Palace hotel and casino along the Las Vegas Strip devoid of the usual.


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LAS VEGAS (AP) β€” The casino coronavirus closure is ending, with cards to be dealt, dice to roll and By Associated Press, Wire Service Content June 4, Executives said they want to see how many people show up.


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Members and supporters of Culinary Union caravan down the Las Vegas Strip calling on casinos to share reopening plans, on 12 May.


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LAS VEGAS (AP) β€” The casino coronavirus closure is ending, with cards to be dealt, dice to roll and By Associated Press, Wire Service Content June 4, Executives said they want to see how many people show up.


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Visitors returning to downtown Las Vegas hotel-casinos, the first to in Las Vegas flight searches in late May the day after Nevada Gov. The Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas was deserted June 3,


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World's best airports Like much of the country, the city effectively has been shut down to visitors since mid-March, an effort Las Vegas casinos are once again open for business after being closed for more than two.


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Visitors returning to downtown Las Vegas hotel-casinos, the first to in Las Vegas flight searches in late May the day after Nevada Gov. The Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas was deserted June 3,


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The emphasis is subtle, but it is a notable pivot.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} Yes, there still will be opportunities to rake in jackpots. The Fremont Street Experience, an outdoor mall in the heart of downtown, has been closed for more than two months, but CEO Patrick Hughes said the attraction is reopening as well. Put simply, Vegas is back, but it won't look like the destination we know and love. Always a showman, Stevens offered 1, free one-way airplane tickets to Las Vegas to get visitors to return. John Flynn, vice president of administration at MGM Resorts, said after his company's housekeeping staffers have cleaned a room, they will affix a sticker seal on the door, so guests know no-one has accessed the room since. The airport has rolled out new guidelines vowing to use hospital-grade cleaning products on all high-touch surfaces and strongly suggesting that only ticketed passengers and employees enter terminals in order to minimize risk of exposure and spread. Half-empty casinos. CNN β€” Detailed housekeeping checklists. This means visitors to Esther's Kitchen, the award-winning restaurant in the Arts District near downtown, can enjoy signature pastas like always from Chef James Trees, who is a finalist for the James Beard Award in the category of Best Chef Southwest. Without question, the most important aspect of reopening Las Vegas is reopening the hotels β€” people who are visiting from outside the city obviously need places to stay. Overall, however, an effort to create distance between players will make the experience way less social, and, in some cases, new approaches to certain games will leave the environment feeling sterile. Two other pluses: Many hotels will roll out keyless entry programs to minimize queues at the check-in desk, and most will reopen with free parking β€” a longtime Vegas amenity that gradually disappeared over the course of the last two years. The Neon Museum, for example, which curates old neon signs and is mostly outdoors, reopened May 22 with new protocols that included screening visitors for fevers at the front door, limiting numbers to allow for social distancing, and wiping down frequently touched surfaces at least once an hour. Images from Bellagio showed craps tables with acrylic dividers between betting positions. Las Vegas has established itself as one of the hottest dining destinations in the United States. Here's a closer look at what a Vegas vacation might look like in the next couple of months. And roulette. Another hot button issue that executives were still sorting out: Whether to ban smoking on the casino floor. These are just some of the realities that travelers can expect when Las Vegas reopens for tourist traffic today. Finally, dining rooms will be set in such a way that no table is closer than six feet from another table β€” even if the tables are outside. For starters, buffets are closed, and may ultimately be closed forever. Guests who visit the downtown museum in the next few weeks can see the electrified Stardust sign, as well as four pieces by Tim Burton in an ongoing exhibit. People love the attractions in Las Vegas, and those will be different, too. This change can only be authorized by the Nevada legislature. Some, such as Bellagio and New York-New York, will have actual hand-washing stations with water and towels and soap. To make potential visitors even more comfortable, some casinos were considering adding plexiglass and acrylic barriers to certain table games to protect dealers from players and players from each other. Next, walk ins are prohibited; all dine-in customers must make reservations in advance. All by myself: A near-deserted Fremont Street, after casinos were ordered to shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak in March is an unusual site. Other dramatic changes at restaurants around town will include masked servers, disposable menus, and, at least at some eateries, utensil-and-napkin set-ups that are wrapped in plastic and certified to be clean. Even shopping malls likely will open with different rules and hours. Odds will not change. While casino executives said they would sanitize chips regularly, none offered firm details on how. Reservations-only dining. Some resorts will embrace additional precautions. Even a new television advertising campaign uses plain language to alert visitors that things may be unfamiliar in Las Vegas for the foreseeable future: "The world has changed, and Vegas is changing with it," the ad says. Nevada Gov. CEO Steve Hill said the idea behind the new ad is to reassure visitors that while Las Vegas might not look familiar, it's still the same place. These new protocols include housekeepers refreshing all linens and glassware between stays, cleaning HVAC filters more frequently, and spending extra time wiping down high-touch surfaces such as telephones and television remotes. If they can get it from a loaf of bread or a dish of pasta, that's the most important thing we can do. On the flipside, nightclubs, shows and some spas will continue to be closed for the foreseeable future β€” part of an ongoing order from Sisolak designed to minimize risk, promote adequate social distancing and protect public health. They also will give out free face masks some even branded with company logos. Perhaps the only part of the Las Vegas Valley that will feel semi-normal is the great outdoors. During an interview with CNN earlier this month, Caesars CEO Tony Rodio said his company was planning to remove chairs in front of decommissioned slots so visitors wouldn't even be tempted to sit down. Gamblers, take note: Las Vegas casinos are going to be unfamiliar territory for the foreseeable future. Nightlife without shows and nightclubs will require visitors to be more creative on their own. Images from Wynn Las Vegas and the El Cortez which is downtown showed blackjack tables with translucent hockey-style partitions between bettors and dealer. In addition to enhanced sanitization protocols and masks and gloves for staff, management has tripled the number of parkas on hand so each one may be thoroughly cleaned after use. Guests cannot dine in groups larger than five, and all diners must be from the same household or living unit. Though the raucous pool parties that Vegas is known for are probably not coming back anytime soon. Company President Donald Contursi said seating is limited only to those in the same party, and that participants receive a discount on additional food they wish to buy. Of course, every open restaurant also is selling food to-go, a strange sight at some of the higher-end joints in town. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Facebook Twitter Email. At last check there were roughly , hotel rooms around the Las Vegas Valley; only a fraction of these will open right away. The new ad from the LVCVA embraces this fact, highlighting all the city's "space" and showing clips of a fit couple hiking in the desert. In response to demand for more socially distant dining, Finger Licking Foodie Tours earlier this month rolled out a self-guided tour that includes reservations at three different restaurants downtown. He added that Fremont Street Experience will install temporary signage reminding visitors to take social distancing seriously. All the tickets were claimed on the D Las Vegas website within two hours, and when Stevens added another 1, free one-way tickets, they were also almost immediately snapped up. Even McCarran International Airport seems primed to get in on spreading public health awareness. One of the biggest differences between pre- and post-pandemic Vegas will be in-room housekeeping protocols. Blackjack, which usually seats six, will only allow three players at a time. Same with Pai Gow Poker. In the slot department, casinos are either removing half of their slot machines or simply shutting half the machines off. At the Mob Museum, which is also downtown, visitors will be required to wear face masks, and each guest will receive a bottle of hand sanitizer with the price of admission. Rich Broome, spokesman for Caesars Entertainment, said most companies are embracing a phased approach to gauge demand and minimize risk to employees. As Hill suggests, a restart in Las Vegas is a step toward "normalcy," the return of a destination that epitomizes the independence, bravado and eclecticism of the American ideal. Take craps, for instance. Guests may opt for free rubber gloves or a stylus to use with some of the interactive exhibits. No shows, nightclubs or sporting events. A mock-up of a hand-washing station on the casino floor at the Bellagio in Las Vegas offers a glimpse at what visitors can expect. Now, all hotels must comply with procedural cleaning standards as provided by the Centers for Disease Control, Southern Nevada Health District, World Health Organization and the local gaming control board. Howard Stutz, a longtime gambling journalist and executive editor of the CDC Gaming Reports news service, said that while casino policies seem a bit severe, executives are doing the best they can. New signage will recommend that guests always wear masks, but the face coverings will not be required for visitors β€” just for employees. In the past, each company had its own set of rules. What's more, casinos must limit crowds from gathering behind the person throwing the dice β€” a tradition that often results in cheers that can be heard echoing throughout the casino. Add to this Valley of Fire State Park and Grand Canyon National Park farther afield, and β€” so long as you hydrate appropriately β€” it's possible to visit Las Vegas and spend most of your time outside. Relaxing without use of the spa could create more anxiety than intended. Steve Sisolak said local casino resorts were set to welcome visitors back safely. All casino resorts will reopen with ample hand sanitizing stations throughout the properties. Still, restaurant experiences over the next few weeks at restaurants inside and outside resorts will be different than anything Sin City has ever seen. Flynn, who heads up the company's health and safety strategy, said that while this isn't one of the specific requirements, MGM has opted to do it to help put customers' minds at ease. The Venetian has put together a team of 25 Emergency Medical Technicians to be on hand in case guests require immediate attention. Other table games will implement new rules. Arch rock formations at the Valley of Fire, Nevada's first and oldest State Park, may be even more appealing to visitors during the coronavirus era. After being closed for roughly two months, Trees opened his restaurant May 15 for weekend dining only and said his staff is "raring to serve" visitors when they return. Most hotels will reopen with pool access; some will have pool decks operating on reduced schedules. This is the ultimate destination for social distancing; with Spring Mountain National Recreation Area to the northwest, Red Rock National Conservation Area to the west, Lake Mead National Recreation Area to the south and Lake Las Vegas to the east, there are literally hundreds of thousands of acres of open space to explore within a one-hour drive of the Strip. A standard craps table holds 14 players; seven on each end. Under new social distancing rules put out by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, casinos can have no more than three players at either end, for a total of six. For visitors who don't want to fuss with individual reservations, tour companies are filling the void. Other off-Strip attractions also appear committed to presenting visitors with a semblance of business as usual. Thankfully, one of the only parts of the Vegas dining scene that won't change at all is the food itself. Still, Vegas will look different. Wynn Resorts properties plan to use thermal imaging cameras at every entrance to intercept people with fevers. Like much of the country, the city effectively has been shut down to visitors since mid-March, an effort on the part of casino companies and local officials to slow the spread of Covid Now, after more than 70 days of locked resorts, shuttered restaurants, lap-less lap dances and a deserted Las Vegas Boulevard, Sin City is gearing up to lean into sin again β€” at least, as much debauchery as one can experience wearing a face mask, sanitizing hands regularly and standing or sitting six feet from everyone else. Sure, the casino floor will still have your favorite games. Las Vegas casinos are once again open for business after being closed for more than two months in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. Hughes noted that crews will use a special disinfecting fog to sanitize surfaces twice a day, doing their best to keep the normally crowded area clean.