- Nevada’s gaming industry is starting to ramp up after being closed for over two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Most properties have either reopened or are in the planning stages for doing so.
- The Westgate Las Vegas along with the Superbook sportsbook will reopen on June 18.
With most metrics indicating strong early demand for both gaming and hotel rooms as the Nevada gaming industry begins to emerge from the unprecedented 78 day shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic it looks as if life in Las Vegas is at least on the verge of returning to normal. This is true for the broader gaming industry as well as the state’s sportsbook ecosystem which is getting back up and running despite the sparse offerings on the betting board. The sportsbook at Caesars Palare reopened on Friday and next to rejoin the party will be the Westgate Las Vegas along with it’s iconic Superbook sportsbook. The property will reopen at 12:00 noon Pacific Time on June 18.
The Westgate is planning to make an event of it with property-wide promotions, live entertainment and an appearance from their lovable mascot, a West Highland terrier named Sir Winston of Westgate. The appearance of a dog on the premises is reason enough to make an appearance on opening day. The Superbook will reopen at the same time complete with upgraded and brighter video screens that should be a welcome addition to the cavernous but often too dark facility. According to the Westgate Las Vegas website they are also accepting hotel reservations beginning June 18.
As has now become an obligatory part of the reopening process the Westgate is emphasizing their health and safety protocol. The emphasis on health and safety has produced an interesting dynamic in the Las Vegas gaming market. At one end, there’s something of an ‘arms race’ as properties try to outdo one another with steps intended to keep COVID-19 at bay or at least make guests feel safer. At the other end, reports from the ground suggest that several properties have quickly dispensed with their ‘health and safety’ protocols and returned to as much of a state of ‘business as usual’ as they can get away with given the number of Gaming Control agents snooping around. Look for more coverage of this forthcoming.
The Westgate’s strategy includes dedicated amenities for mask wearing patrons. There will be mask mandatory gaming tables as well as elevators accessible only by masked guests. It’ll be interesting to see how this strategy pays off–in theory, it is a good more for safety but based on what has been seen at other properties around town there hasn’t been much of an emphasis on mask wearing among gaming patrons. Westgate owner David Siegel has vowed to make his property “the safest resort in Vegas” which is a marketing catch phrase I never thought I’d hear.
Along with the reopening, the Superbook is getting some upgraded video screens. Back when the property was still the Las Vegas Hilton, the Superbook was infamous for murky and almost unwatchable video screens that stood out like a sore thumb in the otherwise impressive sportsbook. Thanks to the massive improvement in video technology over the past couple of decades that hasn’t been a problem for awhile but the design of the facility is such that it’s hard to get away from the dark and cavernous vibe. The entire HD video layout is being replaced with screens that are 25% than the previous model.
There are also other amenities reopening including most of the retail shops, the food court, the Fortuna coffee annex as well as the Superbook bar and the iBar. The pool is also reopening and the Westgate has announced that International Theater headliner Barry Manilow has moved his Summer dates to the Fall with a tentative return set for September 17. The Westgate Cabaret lineup led by legendary comedian George Wallace has yet to announce a return date pending Nevada’s ‘stage three’ directives for live entertainment.