‘Will people come? I think so’; Casinos in Mesquite set to reopen

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday that the casinos and gaming industry in Nevada will begin to reopen starting June 4.

Eureka Casino Resort prepares to welcome guests with safety precautions in place, Mesquite, Nevada, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Eureka Casino Resort, St. George News

With the casinos reopening in the city of Mesquite, which took a hit of about 1,500 jobs, Mayor Al Litman said, the local economy is expected to see a boost.

“Will people come? I think so,” Litman said. “I think we’ll get a lot of local people in; they’ve been chomping at the bit. I know we’ll get people out of St. George that are coming down.”

Litman also said the daily losses for casinos in Mesquite are, “humongous.” While the casinos will be running at half capacity on their floors, which is based off their square footage, they will be offering their golf packages and other deals to get people back in town.

It is expected that casinos won’t be at half capacity immediately after the reopening because there are still some people that will be hesitant to go. Litman also said casinos will be monitoring the number of people in their buildings very closely.

The Eureka hotel and casino outlined their cleaning practices and new procedures in a press release.

Eureka Casino Resort prepares to welcome guests with safety precautions in place, Mesquite, Nevada, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Eureka Casino Resort, St. George News

“Guests are encouraged to practice social distancing by standing at least 6 feet away from other groups not traveling with them,” according to the release. “There will be floor markings to highlight appropriate social distancing in areas such as Gold Club, cashier cage, ATMs, promotional kiosks and dining areas. Plexiglass barriers have been installed at table games, slot machines, cashier cage, hotel front desk and dining host area.”

Guests are also encouraged to wear masks but are not required to do so, and hand sanitizer will be placed at entrances. Masks and gloves will also be available to guests upon request.

They have also brought in a “clean team” which will sanitize and disinfect areas upon request. This team will also be cleaning the hotel and casino overnight.

“We are committed to cleaning every inch of the property throughout each day, using state of the art cleaning equipment and sanitizers designed and certified to kill the COVID virus,” the release said.

Litman harped on the differences between Mesquite and Las Vegas, saying Mesquite should rebound well as a result of fewer restaurants and other amenities within their casinos.

Spazmatics perform at the first of four Casapoolooza concerts for the 2017 season. Casablanca Resort-Casino-Spa in Mesquite, Nevada May 6, 2017 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

“For a large casino in Las Vegas, you might have 15-18 restaurants and they’re trying to decide which ones they should open up and which ones they can make the most profit off of,” Litman said. “In Mesquite, we’ve got the Casablanca with two restaurants, three if you count the buffet, and that’s only open on the weekends as-is. The Eureka hotel with the buffet that was open limited for the last few years, the coffee show and Gregory’s fine dining. We don’t have as many choices so when they open up they should do fairly well. Volume-wise, I think they’ll do alright.”

As for how the city and casinos will bounce back from the pandemic, Litman estimated it will take several years to get back to normal.

“Mesquite won’t be too bad, but, overall, I think it’s going to take several years and I would guess probably several years before the casinos are back in full capacity, assuming nothing goes wrong,” Litman said.

The loss of the casinos has also led to a loss in Nevada’s gaming and room taxes, which has taken a toll on the city of Mesquite. Litman said they have been discussing their budget for the next year and there are already many question marks around it.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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