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Vegas grows quieter as casinos, hotels, even Bellagio fountains shut down

The Bellagio Fountains have been a popular Las Vegas landmark since they opened in 1998.
(MGM Resorts)

Casinos, bars and restaurants throughout Nevada have been ordered to close by Gov. Steve Sisolak, who announced Tuesday evening that all “non-essential” businesses must close for 30 days as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Sisolak said the shutdowns must begin by midnight Tuesday. He referenced “gaming machines” and “casinos,” but he did not mention hotels, although resort owners think those also are included and that more hotel shutdowns are inevitable.

Closures include Wynn/Encore, Aria, Bellagio, Delano, Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, New York-New York, Nomad, Park MGM, Signature and Vdara.

On Tuesday afternoon, The Venetian, which includes Palazzo, joined other properties in announcing that they would be closing their Strip resorts at least until April 1.

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Caesars also said Tuesday evening that it would close its properties, including Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s in Las Vegas, but did not specify a date.

The Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas fell silent Monday night after hotel-casinos continued to take precautions amid the coronavirus crisis. The dancing waters and its namesake hotel, along with 15 other resorts, had already announced they were closing or scheduled to close as of Tuesday afternoon.

MGM Resorts turned off the fountains for operational reasons. But it also will deter the typically large crowds on the sidewalk along Las Vegas Boulevard each afternoon and evening. Large gatherings run contrary to social distancing recommendations from public health officials.

MGM Resorts on Sunday announced the closing of Aria, Bellagio, Delano, Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, the Mirage, New York-New York, NoMad, Park MGM, the Signature at MGM Grand and Vdara . They are currently accepting reservations beginning April 2.

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Wynn-Encore said its sister properties would close at 6 p.m. Tuesday for at least two weeks.

The Welcome to Las Vegas sign and its adjoining parking lot are still open. The sign, south of the big resorts on Las Vegas Boulevard, has been a photographic landmark since 1959, when it was erected in the then-undeveloped desert.

Various Vegas hotels in online statements assured potential guests that they were increasing their cleaning efforts, especially in public areas such as casinos and restaurants.

The Viva Vision light show, downtown’s most popular attraction, continues to dazzle guests with its nightly, high-tech displays on a five-block-long canopy that forms part of the Fremont Street Experience. But all concerts at the street’s three stages have been canceled until further notice.

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The Mob Museum inside the city’s former federal building-post office, temporarily shut down Monday, but the Neon Museum, primarily an outdoor attraction just north of downtown, remained open. It closed Wednesday.


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