Viva Las Vegas: Brand new resorts find footing, despite grand openings during COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — From The Strip to downtown, there is a lot of excitement in Las Vegas over the newer hotel-casinos.

A couple have opened during the pandemic. Resorts World is next in line.

In less than a month, Resorts World will open its doors for the very first time. The property is really starting to take shape.

With Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and Circa Resort and Casino already off the ground, Las Vegas is entering an exciting new era, despite the pandemic.

The entertainment capital of the world is expanding. Las Vegas is welcoming new resorts, even amid COVID-19.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, formerly the Hard Rock, opened in late March. So, how has business been going so far?

“It’s as expected,” said Richard “Boz” Bosworth, President & CEO of JC Hospitality, the company that owns Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Richard “Boz” Bosworth, President & CEO of JC Hospitality

Bosworth says operations are not quite at pre-pandemic levels just yet, but the future looks promising.

“Our hotel reservations, interestingly enough, now, as we work through this softness and as we see a light at the end of the tunnel with COVID, are now starting to pick up significantly,” Bosworth said.

A short drive to Downtown Las Vegas, it is hard to miss Circa, the first resort to open during the pandemic, back in October. Owner and CEO Derek Stevens says reservations are ramping up, especially now that there are little to no COVID-19 restrictions anymore.

Circa Owner and CEO Derek Stevens

“It’s great to see the demand,” Stevens said. “I’ve never seen eight weeks of booking trends like what we’re seeing here. When you look like going out to June, July, August, through the rest of the year, it’s really been outstanding.”

Up next is Resorts World. Slated to open on June 24, it will be the first new resort completed on the Las Vegas Strip in more than a decade.

“We’re like in the ninth inning of a baseball game and we’re almost there,” said Scott Sibella, President of Resorts World Las Vegas.

Scott Sibella, President of Resorts World Las Vegas

Sibella hopes Resorts World’s state-of-the-art technology and list of impressive residencies will bring a business boom to the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. But with around 5,000 employees still needed at the property right now, it a huge undertaking.

“We’re excited, and again it won’t happen overnight, but business will shift this way in the future, and I think this will be the luxury side of the Strip in the near future,” Sibella said.

8 News Now caught up with a couple visitors to ask what they want to see at the new resorts.

“A cool pool and a nice bar,” said tourist Rachael Loyd.

Tourist Chardonnay Maime added, “A different experience makes people want to come back. So, that’s what I’m looking for.”

The new properties — promising to meet those expectations. And they are thrilled to be doing it together.

“With us and Circa and Resorts World, and to be able to renew that stature within the entertainment industry for the community worldwide, I look forward to that as well,” Bosworth said.

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