The Mirage looks like it will be the next Las Vegas casino to reopen after being ordered to close in March to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Casinos have continued to reopen in phases after Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak initially allowed them to reopen on June 4.
Bringing more employees back to work is a big deal. Some Nevada casino operators are keeping casinos closed, while others are laying off or furloughing staff members, so this is a step in a positive direction.
What to expect at The Mirage Reopening
MGM Resorts has announced that The Mirage will be reopening on Aug. 27. The iconic property will reopen using MGM Resorts’ Seven-Point Safety Plan. This is the same plan that other properties operated by the company in Las Vegas are using.
Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts CEO and president,stated:
“As we have slowly and thoughtfully reintroduced our properties across the country, we have placed the health and safety of our guests and employees first at all times. Reopening The Mirage allows us to bring many more of our employees back to work, which is critical in the recovery of our community.”
The Mirage is part of a large casino group and guests should expect a similar experience at all of the properties. MGM Resorts revealed its safety plan shortly before reopening its first casinos in June, and will once again use this safety plan for reopening The Mirage.
The safety plan is rather large and thorough. All employees and guests at The Mirage will be required to wear a mask. MGM Resorts will also screen all employees for COVID-19 before returning to work. Employees will undergo regular temperature checks as well.
Table games and slot machines will have proper social distancing. Games like blackjack and craps will use plexiglass barriers between players and dealers as a secondary safety method.
Video poker and slot machines will have safe distancing. In the cases where this isn’t possible, there will be plexiglass separators installed.
Handwashing stations will be available on the casino floor. There will also be sanitizer stations and face coverings available for guests without their own.
Park MGM and NoMad remain closed
Park MGM and NoMad hotel are the only MGM Resorts properties that will remain closed. During the company’s second-quarter earnings call, Hornbuckle said they expect all Las Vegas properties to be open before the year is over.
Hornbuckle had two reasons for reopening properties beyond customer demand.
One example he gave is that the company wants to keep certain brand names in the discussion for Las Vegas. That’s the case for Mandalay Bay, which was the only MGM Resorts property in Las Vegas to have a negative cash flow in the second quarter. Keeping the property open gives potential visitors a reason to talk about the property.
Second, he wants to make sure all properties are profitable from the day they reopen. Park MGM is located in between New York-New York, a value property, and Aria, a luxury property. There isn’t a need for MGM Resorts to open another property in the area.
Additionally, Park Theater and T-Mobile Arena are not open for the time being, and these event-driven venues draw visitors to the casino.
T-Mobile Arena selling tickets for live events
Park MGM could reopen by November. T-Mobile Arena currently has tickets on sale for bull riding (PBR World Final) and college basketball (MGM Resorts Main Event) in November.
The venue isn’t selling all available seats for PBR, and says social distancing will be in place for the basketball event.
Gov. Sisolak will have to change the capacity for public gatherings in order for these events to take place. At the time of this article, only 50 people are allowed to gather in public. Even though T-Mobile Arena has social distancing in place, the venue would like to sell more than 50 tickets.
If there’s progress with the gathering limit, T-Mobile Arena should be able to host live events in November.
MGM Resorts could consider reopening Park MGM once live events start taking place at T-Mobile Arena and/or the Park Theater.