LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Throughout the day, tourists here for the Strip’s reopening have returned to a warm welcome at several of the hotel casinos.
“I’m very happy,” said Greg Casteel, who is visiting from Arizona. “It’s been awhile.”
Bellagio staff applauded and cheered the first guests walking through the doors. It was a big moment as the famous resort reopened.
“We’ve got one night to have some fun. Grand opening again,” said Casteel. “Not often you can come to Vegas and it’s opening.”
Casteel wasn’t going to miss this day.
“We booked, I think, three times, trying to be here for the reopening.”
He and others are ready to roll the dice on a new type of town: a place focusing on health, safety and social distancing.
“Even though it won’t be crowded, that’s alright,” said James Collins, visiting from Virginia. “I enjoy the games.”
MGM Resorts International CEO Bill Hornbuckle noted, “Demand is good. People want to get out, they want to escape, they want to leave their homes.”
MGM continues a phased roll out of properties opening their doors. Hornbuckle admitted it’s a slow return to normalcy but is optimistic about the timeline.
“I’m hoping by end of summer, we have all of our Las Vegas properties reopened,” explained Hornbuckle. “Weekends will be good for awhile. I am still worried about Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.”
Crowds appeared minimal as tourists walk back into the casinos to visit some of the famous attractions, like the Bellagio’s conservatory.
“It’s a little dead, but hopefully, this weekend it will pick up,” said Joel Holladay from Detroit.
Gamblers began to wager chips and play slots, the start of shaking up the Strip from its nearly three-month slumber.