Las Vegas is set to light up. MGM Resorts and Caesars International announced plans to reopen many iconic properties on June 4, 2020—months after COVID-19 turned the city dark.
The news comes after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak gave the go-ahead in a state reliant on the travel, hospitality and events industries.
To be sure, there will be differences—valet parking won’t resume as of now—but the casinos and restaurants will be buzzing with activity.
Casinos and resorts opening are a veritable who’s who on the Strip. They include:
- Caesars Palace
- Flamingo Las Vegas
- New York-New York
- MGM Grand Las Vegas
- The Signature
- Wynn Las Vegas
- The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
"Our hearts go out to everyone in the communities where we operate, and around the world, who has been personally impacted during this time of crisis," said Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts' acting CEO and president, in a statement. "As we plan for these openings, the health and safety of our guests and employees is at the forefront of all we do. Getting many of our employees back to work and welcoming guests through our doors once again will allow us to do what we do best—entertain. The team is ready and we can't wait."
No city has arguably been more damaged economically than Las Vegas during the coronavirus outbreak. Caesars was forced to delay the opening of its much-anticipated Caesars Forum—a massive, pillarless convention center—days before its public unveiling.
Among the events cancelled was ASAE’s 2020 Annual Meeting & Exposition, slated for Aug. 8-11 at Mandalay Bay. “As excited as we were to put on a robust, memorable in-person Annual Meeting in Las Vegas this August and to celebrate ASAE’s Centennial with the association community, the public health and safety of our attendees, staff and volunteers and the MGM staff outweighed any other considerations in our collective decision-making process,” says ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE.
The future of IMEX Americas, scheduled for September at Sands Expo at The Venetian, remains in question due to restrictions and quarantine protocols related to international travel.
But planners and companies remain eager to bring events to Las Vegas, which has demonstrated its resilience amid tragedies and challenges far too frequently in recent years.
“We have witnessed the strength of Las Vegas overcoming tragedy and they always rises up,” says Emily Hartstone, manager of events and operations at Magellan Management
Meetings Made Easy owner and founder Mike Ferreira, who has lived in Las Vegas for the past 13 years, agrees. “Once the virus is gone, there is going to be a firesale and everyone is going to want to book Vegas.”