Las Vegas casinos will reopen to gamblers on Thursday, June 4, and Derek Stevens, who co-owns three downtown properties, is helping some lucky tourists with free one-way flights to the city. That’s one of a few ways resorts are enticing patrons back through their doors. Casinos have been closed since March 18 because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Derek Stevens Las Vegas casinos reopen
Las Vegas casinos are reopening June 4, and D and Golden Gate co-owner Derek Stevens held a promotion giving away 2,000 free one-way flights to the city. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Stevens, who co-owns the D, Golden Gate, and Circa, announced Wednesday on Twitter that he’s giving away 1,000, one-way flights from several airlines in 24 different US cities. Those flights were snapped up in less than two hours. Stevens added 1,000 more, and they were gone just as quickly.

“We knew there was a high demand for Las Vegas, and to see these flights sell out as quickly as they did is overwhelming and exciting,” Stevens said in a statement. “Whether people decide to visit my casinos or explore other parts of the city, this is a strong indicator of how Las Vegas can quickly be restored to its former glory.”

In addition to the flights, MGM and Caesars properties on the Las Vegas Strip are suspending paid parking for an undetermined amount of time. Guests that stay at The Plaza in downtown will receive an amenity kit that includes a mask. Other casinos are offering room discounts and are temporarily suspending resort fees.

Governor Approves Reopening

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, who was recently tested negative after being exposed to COVID-19, is permitting Las Vegas casinos to reopen June 4. He’s urging the resorts to practice social distancing and to enforce health and safety measures.

Las Vegas Casinos Reopening June 4

Downtown Las Vegas

California The D Golden Gate
El Cortez Golden Nugget The Plaza

Las Vegas Strip

Caesars Palace Flamingo The Cosmopolitan
Bellagio New York-New York MGM Grand
The Signature Sahara The Strat
Wynn Encore

Many of the Las Vegas casinos have already prepared health and safety plans. They are now ready to implement them when their doors reopen. Some of the measures include temperature checks of all employees, partitions at gaming tables, and hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the casino floor. Caesars officials said in a release that they’re taking the safety measures seriously.

“Caesars Palace and the Flamingo will implement the Company’s previously announced, enhanced health and safety protocols, which enhance the Company’s existing plans and practices in these areas,” the statement read. “Management at both properties is focused on the well-being of team members, guests and the community, and will work to create an environment with enhanced standards of sanitization and physical distancing practices.”

Will Safety Measures be Enough?

Sisolak had been under increasing pressure from Las Vegas casinos to allow them to reopen as soon as possible. The governor, however, consistently said he wouldn’t allow them to open prematurely. In a statement on Tuesday, he said COVID-19 cases have been trending downward, and that next Thursday will be a prudent time to reopen Las Vegas casinos.

“It is critical to put the health and safety of employees, residents and visitors first through proactive measures, coupled with the Health and Safety Policies issued by the Gaming Control Board,” Sisolak said. “This is what will help ensure that Nevada can safely reopen its gaming industry on June 4.”

Paul Hobson, senior vice president and general manager of the Sahara, said in a statement he will heed the governor’s advice.

“We remain resolute in ensuring [that] both guests and team members can feel safe when they come to our resort,” Hobson said. “Our guests may notice some of the changes we have made for safety, however, what hasn’t changed is our commitment to delivering the same great, personalized experience they’ve come to expect from us. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back on June 4.”

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