What’s Reopening in Las Vegas Outside the Poker Rooms?

Planning a trip to Las Vegas for reasons that don’t only involve poker? The adult playground often referred to as “Sin City” is back in business following a rough pandemic year, with many popular local attractions now reopening.

Las Vegas Sign

People are flocking back to Las Vegas. (Image: LA Times)

Last week, Clark County, Nevada announced plans to eliminate all COVID-19 restrictions on June 1. So, in just over a week, the real city that never sleeps (no disrespect to New York City), will be mostly back to its old self. That means no face masks, plexiglass dividers at table games, and the return of shows and buffets.

At present, face masks aren’t required in most casinos, including the big-name brands such as MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment “for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.” We put that in parentheses for a reason, wink wink.

With the county easing pandemic restrictions over the past few weeks, Las Vegas attractions and restaurants are reopening, which is good for the local economy and the morale of its residents. And for the tourists coming to town, it sure makes for a more enjoyable vacation when the top attractions are open.

On May 20, Caesars Palace brought back its award-winning Bacchanal Buffet, perhaps the best buffet in Las Vegas, and maybe anywhere. Don’t just take our word for it. Check out the 10,000-plus Yelp reviews, most of which are positive despite the expensive price of admission ($69.99 for dinner on the weekends). The MGM Grand Buffet, which is a bit of a step down in terms of quality and price compared to the Bacchanal Buffet, will also reopen May 26.

On top of many attractions reopening this month and next, a new major resort casino will open on the Strip. Resorts World, across from Wynn, will open its doors to the public June 24. The state-of-the-art mega-resort will add a new poker room to Las Vegas.

Tourists are returning

With the full reopening of Las Vegas on the horizon, tourists are flocking to town. Southern Californians are traveling northeast in droves to let loose for a memorable weekend.

Concerts are also slowly returning to Las Vegas. This past weekend, the Fremont Street district hosted the first large concert —  with more than 10,000 people in attendance — since the pandemic struck in 2020. Daily live concerts will return to Fremont Street on June 1, offering some of the best free entertainment in Las Vegas. Nightly 1980s and 1990s cover bands will be back, so get those dancing shoes ready.

On the Strip, some big-name performers are already booked for the months of June and July, including Grammy Award-winning pop sensation Bruno Mars, who will be at Park MGM’s Park Theater performing six shows throughout July. Justin Bieber will be at MGM Grand on June 5, Usher begins a residency at Caesars Palace in July, and numerous other award-winning musicians are coming to town throughout the summer.

Many long-time Las Vegas shows are also coming back, including Absinthe at Caesars Palace, Australia’s Thunder From Down Under at Excalibur, Carrot Top at Luxor, David Copperfield at MGM Grand, Fantasy at Luxor, Jabbawockeez at MGM Grand, Penn & Teller at the Rio, and Terry Fator at New York New York. For a full list of shows back in action, check out VisitLasVegas.com.

Las Vegas is a sports town now

Who would have thought five years ago that Las Vegas would ever become one of the top sports towns in the country? The NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights are among the best hockey teams in the league, and with the Stanley Cup Playoffs underway, Vegas is the place to be to wager on — and to attend — a game.

The T-Mobile Arena on the Strip now allows fans in attendance, and you can be one of the lucky ones who get to experience the Knights’ run to the Stanley Cup title over the next two months. It will cost you a pretty penny to get a ticket, but it will be worth it.

Last year, the Oakland Raiders moved to Las Vegas and into the state-of-the-art Allegiant Stadium, which cost taxpayers $2 billion. But fans weren’t allowed in the stands due to COVID-19. This coming fall, however, the Raiders will welcome fans for the first time.

The summer of 2021 in Las Vegas won’t be much different than it is most years, with the exception of having no World Series of Poker in town. The giant poker festival has been moved to the fall this year. Even without the WSOP, there are still many big poker events on the summer schedule, including big series at both the Venetian and the Wynn.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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