Vegas hotels start to rebound from pandemic

By Mia Chapman Updated
Vegas hotels start to rebound from pandemic

Vegas’ newest hotel continues to go from strength to strength, a little more than a month since it opened.

Virgin Hotels opened just east of the Las Vegas Strip on March 25 after being renovated and rebranded at the site of the former Hard Rock Hotel, which occupied the site for 25 years.

The venue’s swimming pool is scheduled to open on May 21, with other amenities expected to follow soon.

Todd English’s Olives and Afters Ice Cream is set to open, along with other restaurants and attractions.

The Elia Beach Club is scheduled to open in June.

A Betfred sportsbook is awaiting regulatory approval, with the British operator one of the world’s largest independent bookmakers, with more than 1550 retail outlets.

The Virgin Hotels Las Vegas sportsbook is expected to be in operation by the end of September.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas comes with a 60,000-square metre-foot casino operated by Mohegan Gaming, a 4500-seat live music and entertainment theatre, a five acre pool complex and 12 food and beverage establishments.

Each of the property’s 1054 hotel rooms have been renovated, with Los Angeles hotel designer Studio Collective handling the refresh.

Virgin features 323 executive suites with 700 to 750 square feet each and 79 luxury suites with 900 to 5000 square feet.

“The hotel design is a departure from the ultra-glitz that is overused and overrun in Las Vegas, and instead will be a breath of fresh modern desert cool,” a Virgin spokesperson said.

In addition to these developments at Virgin Hotels, other projects are underway involving hotel casinos in Southern Nevada.

Vegas economy showing signs of improvement

This is occurring as the hobbled Las Vegas economy shows signs of recovering from a severe pandemic-induced slump.

On March 17, 2020, the state’s governor ordered the closure of its real money casinos, which remained shut until June 4.

The most recent airport numbers show an uptick in passenger travel in March.

Also, casinos in the area, including MGM Resorts and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas are conducting job fairs to fill employee vacancies.

More visitors began to enter casinos in May, with the Gaming Control Board permitting Las Vegas casinos to begin operating at 80 per cent capacity on May 1.

The social distancing requirement has been reduced from six feet to three feet, but masks are still required.

The post-pandemic optimism is also being reflected in construction projects on the Strip.

The $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas, the most expensive hotel casino in the area’s history, is slated to open on June 24 at the site of the now demolished Stardust Casino.

Resorts World is the first new hotel casino to open on the Strip since the Cosmopolitan began operating in December 2010.

The Clark County Commission has given developer Jackie Robinson approval to move ahead with a long-delayed hotel and entertainment complex in a vacant 27-acre location at the northeast end of the resort corridor.

Other projects on the Strip include renovations at Sahara Las Vegas and a proposal to build a multi level retail and restaurant complex on two acres at CityCentre.

South of Las Vegas in Henderson, a renovated and rebranded casino, The Pass, was recently opened in the historic Water Street district.

Areas of concern remain though, with conventions and international visitors lacking.

Since 1999, Las Vegas resorts have made more money off conventions and hotel amenities than gambling, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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