My wife and I spent two nights out last week. One was downtown. The other was on the Strip.
We had a blast. We only gambled one of the nights. We spent the other on more of a resort date night.
Not the same Las Vegas Experience
There are many changes from the normal Las Vegas that potential guests should consider. Those willing to visit already know the risks of traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic and are willing to take them, even with numbers trending upwards. Visitors will be constantly reminded of virus mitigation during the trip. Guests are required to wear a mask or face covering in virtually every indoor area and even some outdoor ones.
The pool is a mask exception if proper distancing is followed. As far as I know, every major hotel’s pool complies. Nobody wants a mask tan.
If you can get past that, you will also need to deal with some closures and other nuisances. You may want to rent a car if you fly. The rideshare industry has not fully recovered. If you arrive without a car or need a ride after drinking, plan on paying cab rates just in case you cannot pick up a driver on a rideshare app.
Few entertainment options
The entertainment options are limited. There is a comedy show featuring local comics downtown at Neonopolis. Attractions are generally available. The High Roller, New York-New York roller coaster and Circus Circus Adventuredome are open. Caesars opens the Eiffel Tower and Linq zipline on July 1. Beyond these, there is virtually no entertainment.
Restaurant closures, especially midweek
Some of the higher end dining options are closed beyond the properties that have yet to reopen. Of the ones open, there is often a dark period during the week because there is not enough business to justify staffing it.
Check a casino’s website to make sure you will find the types of dining you prefer. It can sometimes change without notice.
And now for the good news
If you got through that, I have good news. There are enough places to eat if you only want casual dining and fast food. Most of the restaurants downtown are open normal hours. Many of the dining options, especially fast food, are available at the open properties.
The deals are exceptional. The hotel rates are generally as low or lower than the slowest times of the year, especially on weeknights. Check your offers online if you have a play history at large gaming company. If you do not see offers while logged in, try to reserve a room anyway. You may have discounts or comps you do not otherwise see.
If you have a record of gambling at a smaller casino, or already have a host, send an email or call. Find out what your regular casinos will offer you to visit and take advantage. It is a generous time right now in terms of comps. If you pay for a room, do it through the casino’s website. You may be able to use comps to pay the bill if you give enough action and get a returning offer from the same trip. Ask a host on the way out if this is possible.
The best time to visit Las Vegas is during the week. It is very slow at most properties. You should still be able to find good restaurants. Upgrades are more likely. Social distancing is easy with how empty so many casinos are on weekdays.
You will find the lowest table game minimums in years at most Las Vegas casinos. The higher end Strip properties often have $10 and $15 minimums. All others tend to offer $5 and $10 games. Many of the triple zero roulette and 6:5 blackjack tables are dark. Video poker players will find less demand for their favorite games, leaving more seats at machines with better paytables.
Most table games are only permitted to have three seats for players. Roulette and baccarat may have four. Live poker is five or six, depending on if there are partitions. Craps tables may have a total of six, three at each side of the table.
Visiting Las Vegas during the week will make it easier to find open seats at tables. On weekends, the shorthanded games may fill quickly.