Friday, July 17, 2020 / by Ken Couture
Las Vegas continues to reopen resorts and restaurants but, like California, has rolled back some pandemic rules. To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the governor last week closed bars, breweries and other places without food service in selected areas, including Las Vegas, at least until July 24.
In recent weeks, some resort employees have tested positive for COVID-19, but that apparently hasn’t put off tourists, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The state requires visitors to wear masks in public places, such as casinos, restaurants and other common spaces.
Still, more resorts plan to open. Vdara is the latest, with plans to welcome visitors Thursday.
Also, the resort’s Market Cafe will be open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Vdara Pool & Cabanas, along with the pool bar, will open Fridays through Sundays. On other days, guests may use the pool at nearby Aria. Vdara’s spa remains closed.
Bally’s plans to reopen July 23, as will a variety of its bars and restaurants and the resort’s pool, Blu.
Right now Californians are asked to delay travel that takes them away from home for a vacation. However, Southern Californians may plan a future getaway in Vegas and elsewhere.
These places have recently reopened:
Aria, Delano and Mandalay Bay welcomed guests July 1. At Aria, Catch, Jean Georges Steakhouse and Salt & Ivy are open.
At Mandalay Bay, Shark Reef Aquarium and several bars and restaurants have reopened.
Nobu, the hotel-within-a-hotel at Caesars Palace, reopened July 2.
The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas and the Fly Linq at Linq Promenade started sending visitors soaring on July 2.
Two popular day clubs — Liquid Pool Lounge at Aria and Wet Republic Ultra Pool at MGM Grand — reopened just before the Fourth of July. They’ll be open Thursdays to Sundays, and reservations are required.
Here’s what opened earlier:
Luxor and the adjoining Shoppes at Mandalay Place. At Luxor, the HyperX Esports Arena for high-tech gamers is open, along with a handful of bars and restaurants, including Diablo’s Cantina and Pyramid Cafe.
At the Shoppes, the popular Minus5 Ice Experience provides the chill as Vegas temperatures rise to triple digits. It’s located on a skywalk linking Luxor and Mandalay Bay. Several other bars and restaurants also have reopened.
Paris and Westgate hotel-casinos reopened as the city started to regain its big resorts. Paris opened its hotel, casino and pool 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 returned, but can you still call it a buffet? Diners are still 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 never have to leave their tables to savor dozens of dishes. They 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 Bearnaise sauce. It’s still “all you can eat,” but there’s a two-hour time limit. The Buffet, the first to reopen 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 opened for a summer preview. Guests can choose from contemporary Mexican dishes by executive chef Sarah Thompson. The restaurant is open starting 5:30 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays.
Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, located lakeside at Bellagio, reopened, serving dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. The restaurant will be open Friday to Tuesday.
The Sahara introduced 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, reopened 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.
Topgolf, a popular attraction themed around golf and other sports at MGM Grand, opened its doors too.
The Cosmopolitan’s adults-only Marquee pool is open 11 a.m. until sunset Fridays to Sundays, with resident DJs and plenty of food and drink. Reservations are required.
Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood: About half of the milelong 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: 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. So has the resort’s race and sports book and Restaurant Guy Savoy
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 observation 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.
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 Neon Museum reopened in late May. Even though much of the site is outdoors, the number of visitors is limited at any one time. Visitors are encourage to book timed tickets in advance.
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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