LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — After months in the dark, the bright lights of Las Vegas could start to shine once again — even if a bit dimmer — in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“What you’re going to see is a Las Vegas without all the bells and whistles — so not all of the best restaurants are going to be open, not all of the games are going to be open,” Anthony Curtis, a tourism expert, said. “Certainly, for a long time, maybe none of the shows are going to be open.”
Curtis, who runs the site LasVegasAdvisor.com, said several Vegas hotels and casinos are hoping to open sometime between Memorial Day weekend and late June.
The Wynn and Encore properties have stated that they’re aiming to be open May 26, but they need the blessing of the Gaming Control Board and the Nevada governor.
“We’ve got to take care of our citizens, and we’ve got to take care of our tourists,” Curtis said. “We’ve got to make sure the people who come here are not going to get sick so they never come back again.”
The crowds in nightclubs and casinos that Vegas is known for are, for now, a thing of the past. And Curtis said the biggest difference could be on the gaming floor.
“The dealers will have masks, the dealers will have gloves,” Curtis said. “There’s going to be plexiglass in between at certain places — between dealers and players. There’s going to be plexiglass between players and players.”
And that might not be the only difference as at least one Las Vegas startup company has started testing a device to disinfect the air inside casinos.
“What you don’t see is the rubber hose, the hoses that are built into the base of the cable that take this air, process it through a tube which is treated with UVC light,” Darryl Roseblatt, of Smith Rosen Gaming, said.
Curtis also said that people should be prepared for deals — lower prices for rooms, gambling incentives, free parking and, possibly, suspended resort fees — though the atmosphere of Las Vegas will be hard to get back.
“It’s very social here,” he said. “And you want that hustle and bustle, so that’s going to be a big challenge to have that same feeling about Las Vegas.”