Several Nevada Casinos Remain Closed Despite Lifted Restrictions

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Several Nevada casinos remain closed for more than a year and some may never open their doors to visitors despite the state’s full reopening on June 1.

As of June 1, Gov. Steve Sisolak lifted all capacity limits and social distancing requirements in the Silver State. The state casinos had been operating under coronavirus-led restrictions since reopening last summer.

Sisolak had ordered a statewide casino closure following the surge of COVID-19 in March 2020. The Democratic governor allowed the casinos to reopen 11 weeks later in June 2020.

Main Street Station and Eastside Cannery Remain Closed

While no major resorts on the Strip are closed, many off the Strip venues saw closures. Boyd Gaming Corp.’s Main Street Station and Eastside Cannery remain closed. Both off the strip establishments have been shuttered since March 2020 despite Boyd executives’ indication last year that Main Street Station would open sometime later in 2020. Casino executives still hope to reopen later this year.

Though Boyd Gaming’s two properties are shuttered, their Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall is open.

Some Station Casino properties in the Las Vegas Valley – including Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho, and Fiesta Henderson resorts – have been shuttered for more than a year.

The off-strip Palms is also closed for an indefinite period.

Despite Full Reopening Uncertainty Abounds

Others will stay shuttered for another six months to a year, if not more. In June, Texas Station and Fiesta Rancho placed their licenses on hold for the second year, citing the state’s “uncertain economic conditions.”

Other Station Casinos properties, including the off-Strip Palace Station, are open and plan fireworks to celebrate two occasions – Independence Day and Station Casinos’ 45th anniversary – coinciding this summer.

Fiesta Henderson, which remains temporarily closed, received approval from the city authority in May to maintain its nonoperational status until the end of 2021.

Palms, which the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians acquired from Red Rock Resorts, also remains closed.

While Cal-Nev-Ari Casino and Bar open during the day, it’s only because the property operates as a post office. It reopened its bar in April, but the gaming area remains closed.

Northern Nevada Casinos

In Northern Nevada, casinos have fared better from the pandemic than their counterparts in the southern part of the state. However, Northern Nevada also saw casino closures in the wake of the pandemic.

In the northern part of the state, two casinos – Harrah’s Reno and Lakeside Inn and Casino – had closed the operations in the early days of the COVID-19. Both venues remained shuttered for the remaining year.

Caesars Entertainment – the owner of Harrah’s Reno – had announced plans to sell the property in January 2020.

The Lakeside Inn and Casino in Stateline – located at Lake Tahoe near the California-Nevada border – is permanently closed.

Gradual Recovery

Amid these closures, news casinos are opening in the southern part of the Silver State for the first time in years. Circa Resort – the 777-room property – has opened recently in downtown Las Vegas. It is the first resort built from the ground up in that region in as many as 40 years.

However, in mid-March 2021, nearly 13 Nevada casinos were still shuttered. Since then, two have opened.

After more than a year of shutting down, the former Eldorado Casino opened its gates to customers on April 1 as The Pass. The property was closed in March 2020.

Another venue, Say When Casino in tiny McDermitt, resumed operation in mid-April.

The Siegel Slots and Suites apartment complex’s casino will also reopen and rebrand as Dotty’s in the coming months, according to a spokesman.

On the Strip, the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas is scheduled to open June 24. It will be the first new hotel-casino to open on the Strip since the Cosmopolitan began operating in Dec. 2010.

According to Brendan Bussmann of Global Market Advisors in Las Vegas, the critical next step for casinos in the Silver State is the return of meetings and conventions.

Since 1999, Las Vegas Strip casinos have generated more money from conventions and hotel amenities than from gambling.

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