Las Vegas, Reno and the rest of Nevada’s hotel casinos can begin to operate at full capacity beginning June 1, Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced.
The announcement, reported in the Las Vegas Sun, was long in the making for businesses, especially in Las Vegas. Sin City is one of the leading tourist destinations in the world and has dramatically suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At one point last year, the entire state was shut down for three months until mid-June. But even then capacity limits were in place and hotel casinos were begging to return to full capacity.
Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said the vaccines played a huge role.
“The wide availability and rapid administration of vaccines will allow our valued events industry to reconvene with confidence and in its entirety,” Hill said in a statement. “Las Vegas will continue providing the gold standard for health, wellness and safety precautions for the benefit of its workforce, the community and our visitors.”
Caesars Entertainment also released a statement saying: “We are grateful for Governor Sisolak’s continued, thoughtful leadership and are heartened by his goal to reopen Nevada at 100% capacity by June 1. We strongly encourage all Caesars Entertainment Team Members to get vaccinated and are continuing to provide free and convenient COVD-19 vaccines.”
Sisolak finally relented in the wake of decreasing COVID-19 cases combined with more than three months of successful vaccinations going on.
Nevada is currently at 50% capacity, although some of the resort corridors have featured shoulder-to-shoulder traffic on recent weekends.
“Nevada, we are closer to the end than the beginning,” Sisolak said.
Sisolak also said the state would transition the social distancing mandate to individual counties beginning May 1 because “each county in Nevada is unique and has different factors to consider: rural or urban settings, community transmission rates in the area, and vaccine administration, among a few. This is one of the best measures I can take as your governor to increase flexibility and remove roadblocks for local authorities as they take over authority of mitigation measures.”
Sisolak said the introduction of the vaccines “changed the game,” and led to his decision after months of being conservative and erring on the side of caution.