Tuesday, June 30, 2020 | 9 a.m.
MGM Resorts is bringing back two of its largest casino resorts in this fifth week of the reopening of the Las Vegas Strip.
The 4,004-room Aria resort is set to reopen at 10 a.m. Wednesday followed by 11 a.m. at Mandalay Bay, which has more than 4,400 hotel rooms, including the attached Delano and Four Seasons hotel properties.
Of course, Strip hotels are restricted to 50 percent capacity of those thousands of rooms, but officials are expecting increased demand for the Fourth of July weekend. Mandalay Bay and Aria join other resurrected MGM properties Luxor, which opened its doors again last week, and Bellagio, MGM Grand and New York-New York, all of which reopened on June 4 when Gov. Steve Sisolak gave Nevada casinos the green light.
Although it didn’t receive the same local publicity as competitor Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts announced its own nationwide mask policy on June 24, the same day Sisolak mandated face coverings for all Nevadans and visitors in any public space across the state. “We hope that our guests will do their part to help the collective efforts to curtail the spread of the virus. Guests who do not wish to comply will be asked to leave the property,” reads the company’s statement. “It is clear that the coronavirus still presents a significant public health threat and masks have proven to be one of the best ways to curtail the spread. We want guests and employees to feel comfortable that we are putting their health and safety first.”
MGM’s previously established health and safety protocols will continue with this week’s opening, including employee screenings and temperature checks, providing free masks to guests, a physical distancing policy with floor guides serving as reminders, plexiglass barriers or other measures installed to reduce risks in certain areas, standalone handwashing stations located on the casino floors and virtual check-in and other web-based protocols designed to reduce lines and crowds.
While the 21-year-old Mandalay Bay is renowned for its comprehensive and diverse offerings in gaming, entertainment, nightlife and dining, limited amenities will be available when the south Strip resort reopens Wednesday. Restaurants and bars including Citizens, Stripsteak, Hazel and the Rhythm & Riffs lounge will be open and the House of Blues will be serving food and drinks and offering live music in its restaurant space. The concert hall will remain closed.
Several stores at the Shoppes at Mandalay Place, the indoor skybridge connecting Mandalay Bay and Luxor, reopened last week along with Luxor. The Mandalay Beach pool complex along with the salon and spa will be opening with limited hours. At Delano, 3940 Coffee & Tea and Delano Beach Club are the only amenities reopening this week.
The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, one of the most popular school group field trip destinations in Southern Nevada, is also set to reopen Wednesday, adding to the family and locals-friendly destinations coming back to the Strip. Others include the Adventuredome indoor theme park at Circus Circus and the Marvel Avengers Station at Treasure Island.
Aria, originally opened in December 2009 as the hub of the CityCenter development, will reopen restaurant and bar options including Bardot Brasserie, Carbone, Catch, Javier’s, Burger Lounge, Alibi and its lobby bar. Aria’s pool, spa and salon also open with limited hours, and the adjacent Shops at Crystals upscale mall has been gradually reopening its stores over the past two weeks. Also nearby, MGM’s casino-free boutique hotel Vdara will remained closed for now, while the Waldorf Astoria, a Hilton property, announced it will reopen on Wednesday, as will its pool, Zen Café and SkyBar.
MGM Resorts has not yet announced reopening dates for its other Las Vegas properties, the Mirage and Park MGM.
Also reopening on the Strip this week is the Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace on Thursday. Its adjacent Nobu restaurant reopened on June 5 along with other offerings at Caesars Palace.