Nevada Casinos Remain Shuttered More Than a Year After Pandemic Began

Posted on: June 17, 2021, 04:24h. 

Last updated on: June 17, 2021, 05:20h.

Some Nevada casinos have not reopened since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel
Taxis wait outside Main Street Station in downtown Las Vegas days before its March 2020 closure. The casino’s website states the resort still has not reopened. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

In Southern Nevada, the casinos that have remained closed for more than a year include one in downtown Las Vegas and others across the Las Vegas Valley, according to a statewide analysis by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. No major resorts on the Strip are closed.

Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) ordered casinos across Nevada to close when COVID-19 cases began to spike in March 2020. He allowed them to reopen 11 weeks later in June.

Boyd Gaming’s Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel in downtown Las Vegas is among those that still have not reopened. Casino executives have said they expect the property to begin operating again this year.

Another Boyd Gaming resort, Eastside Cannery Casino and Hotel, also remains temporarily closed. The property is on the Boulder Highway, just south of Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall. Sam’s Town, also owned by Boyd Gaming, is open.

Some Station Casinos properties in the Las Vegas Valley have been closed for more than a year. These include the Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho, and Fiesta Henderson resorts.

Other Station Casinos properties, including the off-Strip Palace Station, are open and are set to launch fireworks during the first week of July. The fireworks are being staged to celebrate Independence Day and Station Casinos’ 45th anniversary.

The off-Strip Palms, now owned by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, also is closed, with no indication of when it might reopen.

Brendan Bussmann of Global Market Advisors in Las Vegas told the newspaper the critical “next step” for casinos in Las Vegas “is the return of meetings and conventions.”

Since 1999, Las Vegas Strip casinos have made more money from conventions and hotel amenities, such as entertainment and food, than from gambling, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Northern Nevada Closures

In Northern Nevada, casinos have recovered better economically from the pandemic than casinos in the southern part of the state. Tourism officials in Northern Nevada for years have touted the area’s non-gaming attractions, including snow skiing at Lake Tahoe. This diversified approach to marketing helped during the pandemic-related downturn, experts said.

Even so, Northern Nevada experienced casino closures.

At Lake Tahoe, the Lakeside Inn and Casino in Stateline is permanently closed. This property is near the California-Nevada border on the south shore.

Also, work has begun in converting Harrah’s Reno, a longtime resort on Virginia Street, into the Reno City Center. The center is planned as a mixed-use property with apartments, restaurants, and office space, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. In a test program, the construction project’s employees include underemployed and homeless workers.

New Casino Openings 

As these closures occur, new casinos are opening in Southern Nevada for the first time in years. 

The 777-room Circa Resort opened on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas late last year as an adults-only property. Circa is the first resort built from the ground up in that area in 40 years.

On the Strip, the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas is set to open June 24 on the west side of the resort corridor where the Mob-connected Stardust Casino once stood. Resorts World is the first new hotel-casino to open on the Strip since the Cosmopolitan began operating in December 2010.