Revised COVID-19 Restrictions Mean The Mirage Is Opening Back Up

Written By Marc Meltzer on February 17, 2021

MGM Resorts will resume 24/7 hotel operations at Mandalay Bay, Park MGM, and The Mirage on March 3. This isn’t much of a surprise as the company tipped this intention during its quarterly earnings call last week.

It will take time before Las Vegas returns to pre-coronavirus visitation but the city is slowly but surely opening a little more. This announcement from MGM Resorts follows Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announcing new capacity restrictions at casinos, restaurants, and bars this week.

There will be another increase in March with another update scheduled for the beginning of May.

Three MGM Resorts hotels returning to normal hours

MGM Resorts is reopening the hotels at Mandalay Bay and Park MGM for full-week service after closing midweek in November. The properties weren’t entirely without hotel options for the past couple of months. Four Seasons and Delano at Mandalay Bay stayed open. Similarly, NoMad Hotel at Park MGM stayed open while the main hotel was closed.

The Mirage also closed for weekends in November. However, the entire property closed on Jan. 4. March will be the first time guests will be able to visit The Mirage in 2021.

A spokesperson for MGM Resorts said this change comes as the company is seeing increased interest in travel to Las Vegas from leisure travelers. Additionally, Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ CEO & President said:

“As we begin to see positive signs around the public’s sentiment about traveling, coupled with important progress on the vaccination front and decreasing COVID-19 case numbers, bringing Mandalay Bay, Park MGM and The Mirage back to full-week operations is an important step for us.”

Visitors aren’t the only people who will benefit from these properties going back to seven-day service. MGM Resorts will also have more people working. Hornbuckle also addressed this.

“We remain optimistic about Las Vegas’ recovery and our ability to bring employees back to work as business volumes allow us to do so.”

MGM Resorts is one of the largest employers in Nevada. This move is a good sign that the company is confident guests will return as Sisolak increases capacity restrictions.

New NV casino capacity limits

Capacity restrictions in Nevada have already changed and will increase again shortly after Mandalay Bay, Park MGM and The Mirage return in March.

This week the legal capacity at casinos, restaurants and bars increased from 25% to 35%. The capacity limitations will increase again on March 15. This time capacity will move from 35% to 50% at casinos, restaurants, and bars.

Sisolak is planning to update the public on whether or not the restrictions will change again on May 1.

The increased capacity is certainly good for business. There’s one restriction being lifted that will benefit visitors. Reservations are no longer required at restaurants. In addition, restaurants may now seat six people at a table instead of four.

These two changes for bars and restaurants proved to be a hindrance for casino guests who may not be keeping tabs on all of the restrictions in Nevada. Guests can now just walk into an eatery whenever the mood hits.

Capacity limits for public gatherings have increased from 50 to 100 people. This will increase again in March.

Beginning March 15, capacity limits will increase for large gatherings such as conventions and live entertainment. Venues that can hold 2,500 people will be able to host 250 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is lower.

A larger venue will be able to host even more guests under the new restrictions. Venues that can have fixed seating for more than 2,500 people may host up to 20% of the number of seats available for the event.

Larger venues have to submit a plan for guests before they can open the doors to the public. The Vegas Golden Knights are submitting a proposal that will allow fans to watch games in person for the first time this season.

Increasing capacity just in time for March Madness betting

The first weekend of March Madness is traditionally one of the busiest weekends of the year in Las Vegas. The capacity limits will increase again just before the first weekend of the NCAA Basketball tournament tips off on Friday, March 19.

The increase in capacity limits will allow more fans to watch the games in sportsbooks, restaurants, and bars. There were fewer Super Bowl watch parties in part because of the previous 50 person capacity limit.

Extending gatherings to 250 people should allow for more March Madness watch parties. Visitors should note that the first weekend of the NCAA Basketball tournament has shifted dates. Instead of being on Thursday through Sunday, the games will take place Friday, March 19 through Monday, March 22.

There will be a limit on seating to watch the games. Anyone visiting Las Vegas for the first weekend of March Madness should make a reservation. The lines to bet in the sportsbook won’t be as crazy as previous years but funding a mobile sports betting app will save some time from standing around waiting to wager on the games.

Photo by AP / Jae C Hong
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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