It’s been almost a year since Las Vegas casinos were forced to close. The closures were an effort to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Most properties on the Vegas Strip reopened last June. However, some casinos had to reduce hours or close due to a lack of demand. MGM Resorts will be bringing three Vegas Strip back online for the 24/7 service so many have come to love and expect.

On March 3, MGM Resorts will resume all day and night hotel operations at Mandalay Bay, Park MGM and The Mirage casino-resorts. This change comes as the MGM Resorts is seeing an increase in interest in travel to Las Vegas.

“As we begin to see positive signs around the public’s sentiment about traveling, coupled with important progress on the vaccination front and decreasing COVID-19 case numbers, bringing Mandalay Bay, Park MGM and The Mirage back to full-week operations is an important step for us,” said Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ CEO & President. “We remain optimistic about Las Vegas’ recovery and our ability to bring employees back to work as business volumes allow us to do so.”

Previously, each property had selective mid-week closures related to decreased business travel due to COVID-19. The Mirage has been entirely off-line since January 4. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak recently announced capacity limit changes that likely helped MGM Resorts make this decision.

Casinos, restaurants, and bars can now operate at 35% capacity. That will increase to 50% on March 15. Additionally, public gathering capacity will increase at different venues. Entertainment will be slowly returning to different theaters and arenas with the ability to seat more than 50 people.

Daylight Beach Club at Mandalay Bay opens for the season on March 5. The regular pools at all three properties are already accepting cabana reservations when the properties reopen full-time.

Expect to hear more about shows returning shortly. Additionally, there could be a return to live sports for a limited number of fans.

The Drew/Fontainebleau Sold Again

You may know Fontainebleau as The Drew or Drew Las Vegas. The big ugly blue building on the north end of the Vegas Strip has changed hands multiple times since construction started way back in 2007. Well, the property was sold once again.

Koch Real Estate Investments (an affiliate of Koch Industries, Inc.) recently announced it was buying the still-to-be-completed Las Vegas resort located at 2777 South Las Vegas Boulevard. The deal to buy the property is in partnership with Fontainebleau Development. In other words, Fontainebleau may once again become Fontainebleau.

At the time of this writing, the deal is hot off the presses and details haven’t been revealed yet. One significant point here is whether or not construction can continue on the structure. The construction on this building started 15 years ago. It’s possible the building isn’t structurally sound. It’s difficult to imagine Koch didn’t take this into account before the purchase.

“We believe strongly in the Las Vegas market and see the property as a great opportunity to contribute to the long-term success and positive trajectory of this vibrant and innovative region,” says Jake Francis, President of Koch Real Estate Investments. “We are excited about the partnership and look forward to working together as the project evolves.”

The property is near the Las Vegas Convention Center and Resorts World Las Vegas which is still on schedule to open this summer. We’ve been through new owners of this property enough time to hold off on any excitement about a new casino on the Vegas Strip.

Let’s keep an eye on developments here. Maybe we’ll get a bit more enthusiastic when there’s some work actually happening.

Vegas Today and Tomorrow has a great timeline on the property from the time it was first announced if you’re curious.


Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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