Las Vegas: What opened and remained closed last weekend
Las Vegas is pushing to reopen more hotels, restaurants, shops and activities as the long Fourth of July weekend approaches. The Strip as well as downtown continued to spring back to life after Fremont Street Experience and the Bellagio’s famed fountains returned.
Bear in mind, stay-at-home orders issued by Los Angeles County and California remain in place during the coronavirus pandemic. Right now residents are asked to delay vacation travel that takes them far from home. However, Southern Californians may plan a future getaway in Vegas and elsewhere.
Shut down in mid-March by coronavirus, Las Vegas’ casinos prepare to reopen. Will crowds flock back?
By the Fourth of July, 21 of the roughly 35 resorts along the Strip will be open and joining in the celebrations.
Before you hit the gaming tables, know this: Visitors are now required to wear face masks at table games that lack protective shields. Many casinos put up Plexiglas panels at the tables because of the coronavirus outbreak. The recent mask order for tables without shields came from the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday evening.
Here are some places set to reopen this week:
- Paris and Westgate hotel-casinos are reopening Thursday as the city regains its big resorts. Paris opens the hotel, casino and pool at 10 a.m. as well as dining options such as Gordon Ramsay Steak and the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, with stunning views of the Fountains of Bellagio across the street.
- The Buffet at Wynn returns on Thursday, but can you still call it a buffet? Diners will still be seated in the same pre-pandemic elegant dining area, but the long steam tables full of food have disappeared. Instead of standing in line, plate in hand, diners will never have to leave their tables to savor dozens of different dishes. They will simply order from a menu featuring photos and descriptions of roughly 90 offerings, including double-cut lamb chops with truffle spinach and crispy onions, Old Bay braised shrimp and scallops with a spicy tomato compote, and steak and lobster in a Béarnaise sauce. Buffet guests simply tell their server what they’d like, and food is delivered direct from the kitchen to the table. It’s still “all you can eat,” but there’s a two-hour time limit. The Buffet, the first to open on the Strip, is open daily. Prices range from $36.99 for a weekday brunch to $65.99 for weekend dinner. Reservations are required.
- The new restaurant Elio at Wynn will open Thursday for a summer preview. Guests can choose contemporary Mexican dishes from executive chef Sarah Thompson. The restaurant will be open starting 5:30 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays.
- Wolfgang Puck’s Spago located lakeside at Bellagio will reopen Friday, serving dinner from 5 to10 p.m. The restaurant will be open Friday to Tuesday.
- The Sahara this week is introducing reservations for its baccarat, blackjack and roulette games. With space at gaming tables limited because of social distancing, guests can book a seat up to 72 hours in advance. Otherwise, they may wind up standing around waiting for a seat to open up.
- Oscar’s Steakhouse, named for Vegas’ former mayor, will reopen Thursday for dinner from Thursday to Sunday. The restaurant, under a glass dome at downtown’s Plaza Hotel & Casino, provides great views of the Fremont Street Experience. In April, Goodman lost his job as Vegas’ official ambassador when his contract was canceled by the visitors authority due to the sagging local economy.
- Topgolf, a popular attraction themed around golf and other sports at MGM Grand, opens its doors at 10 a.m. Thursday.
- The Cosmopolitan’s adults-only Marquee pool returns starting Friday. It will be open 11 a.m. until sunset Fridays to Sundays, with resident DJs and plenty of food and drink. Reservations are required.
Here’s what’s already open:
- Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood: About half of the mile-long mall’s 200 shops, restaurants and attractions have partly reopened with limited hours (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.). The adjoining Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino remains closed.
- Excalibur: It reopened, the fifth of the MGM Resorts properties to open their doors to guests. Inside the castle walls, guests can enjoy gaming, a limited number of bars and restaurants, the pool complex, fitness center and Fun Dungeon Arcade.
- Caesars Palace: The hotel-casino reopened. Now the sprawling Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis, complete with a swim-up gaming area, has reopened too. So, too, has the resort’s race and sports book. The resort’s Restaurant Guy Savoy will return June 24.
- The Linq: The hotel remains closed but the casino will be up and running, as will several bars and restaurants. For dining options, Hash House A Go Go is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Sunday. Influence, the resort’s pool, will start welcoming guests 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The High Roller Ferris wheel at the Linq Promenade is open with a limit of 10 passengers per cabin to allow for social distancing. (Before the mid-March shutdown, it was 40.)
- Big Elvis, a.k.a. Pete Vallee, is the first performer to return to Harrah’s. The act that has been a Vegas stalwart for years returns at 2, 3:30 and 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at Harrah’s Piano Bar — and it’s free. Major headlining shows, for the most part, have been canceled for the near future.
- Kenny Davidsen’s Celebrity Piano Bar: The bar a few blocks east of the Strip along Flamingo Road has relaunched at the Tuscany hotel-casino. In this pandemic era, the lounge has a wall of plexiglass that separates audience members from the stage. Shows start at 8:45 p.m. on Fridays.
More than a dozen casinos on and near the Strip planned to open Thursday. It wasn’t the Vegas of three months ago but for many, it was still satisfying.
Caesars Palace, the Flamingo and Harrah’s Las Vegas have opened as well as (from north to south on the Strip): the Strat, Sahara, Circus Circus, Wynn-Encore, Treasure Island, the Venetian, Harrah’s, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, the Cosmopolitan, MGM Grand, the Signature at MGM Grand and New York-New York.
The Mob Museum in downtown has also reopened, with temperature checks for visitors at the entrance. The museum encourages people to buy timed tickets in advance.
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