Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Approved for 100 Percent Casino Capacity

Posted on: May 5, 2021, 03:06h. 

Last updated on: July 7, 2021, 01:00h.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is the latest Southern Nevada hotel-casino granted approval to operate its gaming floor at 100 percent capacity.

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas towers over the west side of the Las Vegas Strip. The resort first opened in December 2010. (Image: Las Vegas Weekly)

The Nevada Gaming Control Board gave the Cosmopolitan the OK on Saturday to open its casino at full capacity. This approval came after the resort demonstrated that 80 percent of its employees have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The Cosmopolitan’s COVID-19 response team verified the vaccination cards, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Cosmopolitan is on the west side of the Las Vegas Strip, just south of the Bellagio.

The Cosmopolitan joins two Wynn Resorts properties on the Strip, Wynn Las Vegas and the adjacent Encore, allowed to open their gaming floors at 100 percent capacity. Wynn and Encore were permitted to open at full capacity because 88 percent of their workforce has been vaccinated.

The resorts operating at full capacity also are permitted to remove plexiglass dividers at gaming tables and slot machines. Masks are still required.

‘Path to Normalcy’

On Saturday, the Gaming Control Board extended the gaming floor capacity limit in Clark County to 80 percent, up from the previous state-mandated 50 percent. Las Vegas is in Clark County.

The board has the authority to increase the capacity if hotel-casinos show “measurable” steps to vaccinate employees.

Casinos in other Nevada counties are operating at 100 percent capacity. These counties include Douglas, Storey, Humboldt, Pershing, Lander, Elko, Eureka, White Pine, Lincoln, and Nye.

Cosmopolitan CEO and President William McBeath said vaccinations are “The only clear path to normalcy.”

It’s pertinent to not only The Cosmopolitan, but to our entire industry in ensuring travel can safely return to the destination,” he said.

When the Cosmopolitan opened in December 2010, the $4.1 billion resort was the most expensive in Las Vegas history. That cost is being eclipsed by the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas. Resorts World is opening on June 24 on the west side of the Strip where the Stardust Casino once stood.

$1M in Bonuses 

The Cosmopolitan offered a total of $1 million in bonuses if 80 percent of the workforce received at least one vaccine dose by May 1. The deadline has been extended to May 8, according to the newspaper. This extension could bump the bonus total to more than $1 million.

An 80 percent vaccination rate means employees get a $250 cash bonus. At 90 percent, the bonus goes to $350. If 100 percent of the workforce is inoculated, the bonus hits $500.

If 85 percent of the workforce is vaccinated by May 8, the resort will enter the names of those who have been inoculated into a raffle for a $10,000 prize. 

Cosmopolitan employees who refuse to be vaccinated must be tested weekly for the coronavirus. The Cosmopolitan has made onsite vaccination clinics available for employees and their families.

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) ordered casinos to close in an effort to curtail infection rates. After 11 weeks, he allowed casinos to reopen June 4. In a tweet this week, the governor praised the Cosmopolitan “for taking a creative approach to incentivize” workforce vaccinations.

The governor has said he wants to the entire state to be at 100 capacity by June 1.