- The Mirage was closed on March 16 as part of the statewide shutdown of the gaming industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- At least 12 major Las Vegas hotel/casino properties remain closed.
- MGM Resorts has not announced reopening plans for the Park MGM.
The Las Vegas tourism and gaming economy took a massive hit from the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying downturn. So far the recovery has been anemic. As of today, 12 major properties remain closed with no opening plans announced. Other properties such as the Penn National owned Tropicana have pushed back originally announced opening dates due to the weak market demand. Some properties are open but just barely getting by such as the Casino Royale on the Las Vegas Strip. The property was recently forced to lay off of 98 employees and there are rumblings that they might not survive.
Not all the news is bad. On Thursday, MGM Resorts reopened the iconic Mirage after a closure of more than five months. The history of the property underscores the damage to the Nevada economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first time The Mirage has been forced to ‘reopen’–the only previous opening came 31 years ago as the property debuted and would go on to redefine the Las Vegas experience. MGM Resports CEO Bill Hornbuckle noted as the property reopened:
“It’s a special place. Mirage is important to us; it’s an amazing brand.”
The bars and restaurants that have reopened at The Mirage are Blizz Frozen Yogurt, Osteria Costa, Pantry, Paradise Cafe, Starbucks, The Still, Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak, Bare Pool Lounge, Center Bar and Ehumbar. Otoro, Diablo’s Cantina, Cravings Buffet, Stack, and California Pizza Kitchen remain closed. As has become the norm, MGM Resorts says that social distancing requirements will prevail throughout and that the ‘at-bar gaming and lounging experience may be limited.” Masks must be worn throughout the property even at the pool:
Nevada requires pool guests to wear face coverings at all times except when walking directly to and from the pool, while in the pool, or while actively eating, drinking, or smoking.
The Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat have reopened but the entertainment offerings remain dark. At the time it closed in March, The Mirage had one of the best entertainment lineups in the city:
When the coronavirus shuttered the Strip in March, the Mirage offered a seemingly unparalleled multitude of shows: The Beatles Love, arguably the most popular Cirque du Soleil production in Las Vegas; the 12-year-old music, comedy and ventriloquism show from America’s Got Talent champion Terry Fator; Boyz II Men’s concert residency, one of the longest-running music residencies on the Strip; rising-star magician Shin Lim’s new show co-starring mentalist Colin Cloud; stalwart singer Matt Goss’ throwback, lounge-style show at 1 Oak nightclub; and the all-star Aces of Comedy stand-up series featuring names like George Lopez, Jay Leno, Tim Allen and Ray Romano.
Two of those shows will not return in the same way. MGM and Fator confirmed that his show was looking for a new room in the spring. If he brings a new show to the Strip soon, it could be at a different, non-MGM property in a room smaller than the 1,300-seat theater he was sharing with Boyz II Men, Lim and the comedy series.
The Park MGM remains closed–the only MGM Resorts property in Las Vegas that hasn’t reopened. CEO Hornbuckle hasn’t given much in the way of specifics about plans for the Park MGM noting that it will be reopened when market conditions justify doing so.