It remains to be seen what our lives will look like when we return from the shutdown, today we explore the “new normal” in Las Vegas. Many are leery of groups, wary of strangers, and all-around uneasy. Our friends over at JudithTrejo.com asked us to weigh-in on the “new normal” in Las Vegas after the city of Las Vegas reopens. Governor Sisolak has not yet spoken to when Las Vegas will reopen, however, it is only a matter of time. We believe these are some of the certainties we will see when both Las Vegas and many other cities reopen.
Farewell Crowded Dayclubs and Nightclubs
Nightclubs have a long uphill battle coming out of the pandemic. Some nightclubs in Las Vegas see thousands of patrons pass through their doors each night. Post pandemic, people will be less willing to pack shoulder to shoulder on dancefloors, in queues outside nightclubs, and at packed bars waiting for drinks. This discussion is primarily the large-scale nightclubs, not the smaller often local venues, we’re discussing the big ones!
As guests enter nightclubs, at least near term, don’t be surprised to see staff taking the temperature of guests entering the venue. Additionally, expect hosts, managers, cashiers, and all other staff to be wearing masks and in some cases gloves. The need for cleaning staff now is tremendously more important as well as thousands of people touching surfaces will be next to impossible to keep sanitized.
Dayclubs are another beast entirely. Packed with patrons, just like nightclubs, they add the risk of a giant petri dish for patrons to bathe in, splashing around for all to share – the pool. A nightmare scenario.
Unlike a typical hotel resort pool, where volume is lower and it is easier to manage cleanliness and sanitation, dayclub pools often have hundreds of people entering and exiting the water at once. It’s next to impossible to ensure sanitation at this level. One way expected to mitigate the impossible cleaning task will be to limit the number of people in the water at any given moment.
More Spacious Seating in Restaurants
You’ve probably heard this many times in recent days, let’s reiterate: restaurants will never be the same after the pandemic. In addition to the many changes for staff and the seating of patrons, no-contact takeout and delivery are here to stay. Many Las Vegas properties have already stated they will follow guidance from Nevada health authorities as well. Some properties, like Caesar’s, have even hired on-staff epidemiologists. Moreover, restaurant staff will be wearing facemasks and gloves moving forward. Those practices won’t end with the pandemic. Vaccine or not, restaurant staff will be working with facemasks and gloves.
It’s a foregone conclusion that guests will be wary of being close to each other for some time, due to Social Distancing efforts, expect to see interior dining and exterior dining to downsize. There will be far fewer tables on dining floors and patios. In the near term, it might not be impossible for some restaurants to opt to take patrons temperatures as they enter. Restaurants offering takeout will, most likely, continue accepting orders then calling or messaging the patron notifying them when to pick up their food. Mobile payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, etc. will also grow in use as they offer a way to avoid “touch” and high contact areas shared by the restaurant staff and guests.
Dealers and Gaming Staff wearing Masks and Gloves
COVID-19 is a game-changer for casino floors. As we await the reopening of Las Vegas and await the finalization of plans for casinos, be prepared to have your temperature scanned at the door. Expect 30 percent of all slot machines to be powered down or removed from the floor and the removal or idling of every other table game. There have been rumors, nothing confirmed, of dealers potentially working behind glass barriers as well; glass barriers separating slot machines too. Other new measures include, but aren’t limited, to handwashing stations, workers wiping down machines and chairs far more often, and allowing smaller crowds.
Table games in use will have reduced seating. For example, the number of players will be limited per game. Rather than the screaming mob you remember, there may only be two or three players on each side of a Craps table. Some reports have gone as far as to say properties may enlist the use of thermal cameras to check patron temperatures as well. Additionally, the guests will also be required to wear a mask.
What remains to be seen is how can chips safely be swapped back and forth? Perhaps a rack that sanitizes like a Delta Airlines fogger? Perhaps a card shuffler that has built-in sanitation as well to clean the cards? There are still many unknowns.
For those that like gentlemen’s clubs, expect them to be very, very different after Las Vegas reopens. Actually, expect strip clubs to be different everywhere after reopening. There will be a much higher focus on sanitation and both dancers and patrons will be required to wear masks and gloves. Lap Dances will face the music so to speak as, if no contact policies are implemented, they will no longer be allowed.
One method that may be used to mitigate the massive changes to business operations may be “Virtual Strip Clubs”. Patrons will have the ability to go online, pay a fee, then watch live (and recorded) performances. Another method may be the “drive-thru” strip clubs that popped up as the lockdown began. With this method, dancers perform behind glass, similar to a peepshow, and patrons pay by the minute.
Modified, and in some cases, fewer services will now be available in hotels. High-contact services like hotel buffets are sure to be reduced in number or outright banned to prevent transmission. In-Room dining will be the new norm aiding with social distancing and eliminating communal things we touch. Properties may open in May or June, however, guests won’t see normalcy until late September. Like so many other businesses, expect dining staff, room service, butlers, bellhops, and valets to be wearing masks and gloves. Moreover, you may be ordering everything onscreen heeding efforts to eliminate paper and plastic menus.
Check-ins and check-outs will be performed virtually. Before entering the hotel, guests will have their temperatures checked and anyone with a fever will be refused entry. There will be what many are calling enhanced cleanliness as well. A recent method we read states at check-in guests may be given separate bags for used towels, used bedding, and trash. “When towels and bedding need to be cleaned and when garbage needs to be removed, guests must place the bags near the room’s entrance and contact housekeeping, who will then take the bags.” – Fox News Furthermore, hotel rooms will be deep-cleaned 24 hours after guests check out.
A few other cool things the guest will see are the removal of television remotes. TV remotes can be some of the dirtiest items in a hotel room, with enhanced cleanliness, guests will control with their mobile phones. Another enhancement is digital keys, already in use in many hotels. Rather than risk cleanliness, again with a mobile phone, guests will lock and unlock their rooms with their phones. Lastly, temperature scanners like those being installed at Wynn Las Vegas, will be in use to detect guests with a fever to stop their entry.
Some hotels will offer something not seen in the past, takeout from on-property restaurants. A very nice offering as some of the best dining in the world can be found in Las Vegas resorts.
Cullen, M. (2020, April 26). How hotels may change for the post-coronavirus era. Retrieved April 28, 2020, from https://www.foxnews.com/travel/how-hotels-change-post-coronavirus
Public Building, Public Operations
Remember your last trip to the DMV? The lobby certainly had at least 100 people seated, another 20 to 30 in line, and the sparse 10 to 20 people hovering around the entry doors outside. Those days are gone as well. Many of the numerous tasks completed at the DMV will now be completed via channels including online, through the mail, or through kiosk locations throughout the state. Additionally, for transactions that require an office visit, you may need to call ahead for an appointment, which might not be available for two or three months. Currently, most branches of law enforcement are exercising flexibility and discretion when reviewing driver license, identification, and vehicle registration records. Some are going as far as waiving vehicle registration penalties.
Let’s talk about government buildings. With regard to government and federal buildings, the changes being considered are wider corridors with one-way foot traffic, better air filtration, touchless elevator controls, and antimicrobial materials in new construction. For years both the government and the private sector have talked about the “open floorplan” and many went as far as to remove the high-walled cubicles in lieu of short walled, very open cubicles. The Coronavirus will now prompt a resurgence of the high walled cube. Cramming more people into less space will no longer work. Keeping in mind, this is only relevant to employees who must return to desks as thousands of employees will now work remotely.
Higher education hasn’t escaped the pandemic either. Students in Las Vegas and across the country are rethinking on-campus education. Expect colleges and universities to need to regain, if ever, their on-campus student bodies. “Administrators anticipate that students grappling with the financial and psychological impacts of the virus could choose to stay closer to home, go to less expensive schools, take a year off, or not go to college at all. A higher education trade group has predicted a 15 percent drop in enrollment nationwide, amounting to a $23 billion revenue loss.” – Los Angeles Times Colleges County buildings.
Hartocollis, A. (2020, April 15). After Coronavirus, Colleges Worry: Will Students Come Back? Retrieved April 28, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/us/coronavirus-colleges-universities-admissions.html
Large-Scale Events and Large Celebrations
Sorry to rain on the parade, er rain on the music festival, however, it is highly unlikely any music festivals will happen before 2021. Music festivals and concerts are likely to be two of the last types of public gatherings allowed in Las Vegas in the near future. Before these types of large scale events return as normal there must be low community spread in Las Vegas over a period of time, widespread testing, and a vaccine.
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