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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Las Vegas
Posted: July 8, 2020 at 3:45 am
The D Las Vegas Casino CEO Derek Stevens says customers have evolved since his business reopened including people wearing face masks.
A resurgence of new COVID-19 cases is dealing a fresh blow to Las Vegas casinos by driving business away from Sin City and towardregional locations.
Daily new COVID-19 case counts in the U.S. surged to a record high 57,209 last week as several states, including Nevada, saw infections reach a new peak. While daily deaths hold near their lowest levels since March, the uptick in caseshas generated concerns that Las Vegas casinos could reclose their doors or slow reopening plans. Another consequence could be the hesitance of consumers to travel. Such outcomeswould be detrimental to the recovery in destination markets like Las Vegas. The Nevada Gaming Control Board did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment.
We still don't have full supply open yet on the Strip, Barry Jonas, New York-based analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, told FOX Business.
Timelines keep shifting, but our expectation is that it's going to be pushed out further, he added. It's going to be a long time for that destination market to improve, and every uptick in cases around the country is a step backwards.
BIDEN BLUE WAVE TAX HIKES COULD BATTER STOCK MARKET, STRATEGISTS SAY
Stay-at-home orders aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 shuttered Las Vegas casinos for the first time since former President John F. Kennedys assassination in 1963. The shutdowns, which lasted nearly three months resulted in a $4 billion hit to casino revenues and have caused the value of the S&P 500 Casino & Gaming Index, comprised of Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts,to shrink by 41 percent this year to $22.4 billion,according to Dow Jones Market Data.
The reopening, which began in June, has been somewhat of a mixed bag. Weekdays have been slow without group business while weekends are outperforming low expectations, Jonas said, citing sources on the ground.
Anecdotal evidence suggestedthat in the early days of reopening, casinos that were laxer on the enforcement of mask wearing were seeing a stronger bounce back in business.
In the first few days there weren't that many people wearing masks, but I think what you've seen, particularly in the last week and a half, wearing masks obviously is a regulation now in Nevada, but it's not an issue, Derek Stevens, CEO of D Las Vegas Casino, told FOX Business on July 2. People are now figuring out a way to have fun and be safe at the same time.
While customers are figuring out how to enjoy the Las Vegas experience in the age of mask wearing and social distancing, a continued increase in COVID-19 case counts elsewhere could also impact business due to Sin Citys stature as a destination market.
Southern California, which accounted for 19 percent of visitors in 2018, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, has recently seen a big jump in cases, causing California Gov. Gavin Newsome, a Democrat, to consider new lockdowns. Meanwhile, other parts of the country, like Texas and Florida, have paused their reopenings amid a swell of new infections. All of that feeds into virus fears and makes people more hesitant to travel.
While coronavirus concerns have shuttered some regional casinos, Jonas believes the current environment favors locations that are within driving distance from patrons homes, like Penn National Gaming,Monarch Casino & Resort Inc. and Twin River Worldwide Holdings.
These properties will limit the amount of people who could come in and limit the amount of slot machines, table games, Jonas said.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS
But you're really dealing with your VIP players, those 20 percent of players who make up 80 percent of the revenues, he added. They're coming back. They're spending more and they're a little more risk-tolerant."
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Destination Nevada: Exploring the history of Las Vegas organized crime during a tour of The Mob Museum – KLAS – 8 News Now
Posted: at 3:45 am
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) In a city known for world-class entertainment, theres a unique spot where lovers of Mob stories and the era can walk through the history and the crime.
The Mob played a big role in the birth of Las Vegas, said Felicia Lindquist, the Mob Museum.
At the Mob Museum, which is just north of the Strip in downtown Las Vegas, the sound of jazz, old slot machines, vintage suits, and guns give a glimpse into the Mob era and its influence in Las Vegas.
Many families that were big in their cities at home; Kansas City, New York, Detriot, Chicago came to Las Vegas to participate and make money, so Las Vegas was referred to as an open city, Lindquist said.
The museum spans four floors inside the former Post Office and Federal Courthouse downtown. The Kefauver committee met in the courtroom in 1950.
At the Mob Museum, attendees can relive the hearings that exposed organized crime across the country. Pieces of that history are displayed in the museum, including the original bricks with bullet holes in them from the St. Valentines Day Massacre in Chicago, Illinois.
This was a pivotal moment in Mob history where seven men were gunned down in front of a wall that was made to look like a police screen, said Lindquist.
After visitors of the Mob Museum learn about the infamous mobsters, an autopsy table in the crime lab gives another inside look into many of their untimely ends.
The Mob Museum also offers more on the Mobs history during the prohibition time with moonshine made in the museums distillery and served at its underground speakeasy.
We have bartenders who specialize in historic cocktails; each of our cocktails tells a story about prohibition and the mob, Lindquist said.
Later this month, the Mob Museum will host a special program focused on billionaire and former KLAS-TV owner Howard Hughes and the impact he had on Las Vegas.
Its scheduled for July 22nd, which is the same day Channel 8 first went on air back in 1953. Channel 8 was Nevadas first television station.
Hughes owned KLAS-TV in the late 60s and early 70s.
The Howard Hughes event at The Mob Museum is sold out, but those wanting to attend can still be added to a waitlist for tickets or watch the live stream on the Mob Museums website.
National Weather Service: Red Flag Warning for Las Vegas area in effect through 8 pm – KTNV Las Vegas
Posted: at 3:45 am
JULY 7 UPDATE: A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the Las Vegas area through 8 p.m.
ORIGINAL STORY LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- The Las Vegas area will see another Red Flag Warning this week due to high winds and low humidity, according to the National Weather Service.
It is expected to last from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
RELATED: Mahogany Fire tracker, latest information
The NWS reports southwest winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour with gusts to 35 miles per hour during the warning, and five to 10 percent humidity with poor overnight recovery.
The Las Vegas valley will also see triple digits all week long.
A Red Flag Warning simply means combined weather conditions make for prime fire starting and spreading conditions.
As always, but especially during a Red Flag Warning, take extra precaution with cigarette butts, fireworks, barbecue grills, etc. Outdoor fires are not recommended by authorities.
SIMILAR: July 4 fires make busy night for Las Vegas-area firefighters
On June 28, the Mahogany Fire on Mount Charleston was ignited and spread rapidly due to a Red Flag Warning. That fire is currently 2,794 acres and 94% contained.
MAHOGANY FIRE LATEST
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Posted: at 3:45 am
Las Vegas continues to reopen resorts and restaurants with social distancing rules in public places. Aria, Delano, Mandalay Bay and Waldorf Astoria welcomed guests Wednesday, which brings the number of reopened resorts on the Strip to 23.
Still, visitors should know that Las Vegas and the entire state of Nevada are under a mandatory mask policy for everyone, except when in private homes. That means wearing a face covering in casinos, resorts and other public areas. The order followed a sharp rise in the number of people infected with the coronavirus.
In recent days, COVID-19 cases have spiked in Clark County, in which Las Vegas is located. The June 29 report from the Southern Nevada Health District showed 697 new cases and four additional deaths. Those figures brought the countys total to 14,607 cases, with 414 deaths. Clark County has roughly 2.2 million residents.
Also, stay-home orders remain in place in California during the coronavirus pandemic. Right now residents are asked to delay vacation travel that takes them away from home. However, Southern Californians may plan a future getaway in Vegas and elsewhere.
These places have recently reopened:
At Aria, Catch, Jean Georges Steakhouse and Salt & Ivy are open.
At Mandalay Bay, Shark Reef Aquarium and several bars and restaurants have reopened. At Waldorf Astoria, guests can dine at Zen Cafe and enjoy drinks, small bites and amazing views of the Strip from SkyBar on the 23rd floor.
Nobu, the hotel-within-a-hotel at Caesars Palace, reopened July 2.
The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas and the Fly Linq at Linq Promenade will send visitors soaring starting Thursday.
After being closed since mid-March, the Sky Pool at Aria is reopening as the massive resort springs back to life.
Two popular day clubs Liquid Pool Lounge at Aria and Wet Republic Ultra Pool at MGM Grand reopened just before the Fourth of July. Theyll be open Thursdays to Sundays, and reservations are required.
Heres what opened earlier:
Luxor and the adjoining Shoppes at Mandalay Place. At Luxor, the HyperX Esports Arena for high-tech gamers is open, along with a handful of bars and restaurants, including Diablos Cantina and Pyramid Caf.
At the Shoppes, the popular Minus5 Ice Experience provides the chill as Vegas temperatures rise to triple digits. Its located on a skywalk linking Luxor and Mandalay Bay. Several other bars and restaurants also have reopened.
The Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris Las Vegas will reopen Thursday. Diners can watch the Bellagio fountains while they eat.
(Patrick Gray-Kabik Photo Group / Eiffel Tower Restaurant)
Paris and Westgate hotel-casinos reopened as the city regains its big resorts. Paris opened its hotel, casino and pool as well as dining options such as Gordon Ramsay Steak and the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, with stunning views of the Fountains of Bellagio across the street.
The Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas opened, but self-serve steam tables have been removed.
The Buffet at Wynn returned, but can you still call it a buffet? Diners are still seated in the same prepandemic elegant dining area, but the long steam tables full of food have disappeared. Instead of standing in line, plate in hand, diners never have to leave their tables to savor dozens of different dishes. They simply order from a menu featuring photos and descriptions of roughly 90 offerings, including double-cut lamb chops with truffle spinach and crispy onions, Old Bay braised shrimp and scallops with a spicy tomato compote, and steak and lobster in a Barnaise sauce. Its still all you can eat, but theres a two-hour time limit. The Buffet, the first to reopen on the Strip, is open daily. Prices range from $36.99 for a weekday brunch to $65.99 for weekend dinner. Reservations are required.
The new restaurant Elio at Wynn opened for a summer preview. Guests can choose from contemporary Mexican dishes by executive chef Sarah Thompson. The restaurant is open starting 5:30 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays.
Wolfgang Pucks Spago, located lakeside at Bellagio, reopened, serving dinner from 5 to10 p.m. The restaurant will be open Friday to Tuesday.
The Sahara introduced reservations for its baccarat, blackjack and roulette games. With space at gaming tables limited because of social distancing, guests can book a seat up to 72 hours in advance. Otherwise, they may wind up standing around waiting for a seat to open up.
Oscars Steakhouse, named for Vegas former mayor, reopened for dinner from Thursday to Sunday. The restaurant, under a glass dome at downtowns Plaza Hotel & Casino, provides great views of the Fremont Street Experience.
Topgolf, a popular attraction themed around golf and other sports at MGM Grand, opened its doors too.
The Cosmopolitans adults-only Marquee pool is open 11 a.m. until sunset Fridays to Sundays, with resident DJs and plenty of food and drink. Reservations are required.
About half the shops at the Miracle Mile in Las Vegas have reopened.
Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood: About half of the mile-long malls 200 shops, restaurants and attractions have partly reopened with limited hours (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.). The adjoining Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino remains closed.
The Excalibur hotel-casino reopened June 11.
Excalibur: Inside the castle walls, guests can enjoy gaming, a limited number of bars and restaurants, the pool complex, fitness center and Fun Dungeon Arcade.
Caesars Palace: The hotel-casino reopened. Now the sprawling Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis, complete with a swim-up gaming area, has reopened too. So, too, has the resorts race and sports book, and Restaurant Guy Savoy
Celebrity chef Guy Fieri serves a sandwich with a smile at his restaurant at the Linq resort, before the pandemic.
The Linq: The hotel remains closed but the casino will be up and running, as will several bars and restaurants. For dining options, Hash House A Go Go is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and celebrity chef Guy Fieris Vegas Kitchen & Bar is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Sunday. Influence, the resorts pool, will start welcoming guests 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The High Roller Ferris wheel at the Linq Promenade is open with a limit of 10 passengers per cabin to allow for social distancing. (Before the mid-March shutdown, it was 40.)
Big Elvis, a.k.a. Pete Vallee, is the first performer to return to Harrahs. The act that has been a Vegas stalwart for years returns at 2, 3:30 and 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at Harrahs Piano Bar and its free. Major headlining shows, for the most part, have been canceled for the near future.
Kenny Davidsens Celebrity Piano Bar: The bar a few blocks east of the Strip along Flamingo Road has relaunched at the Tuscany hotel-casino. In this pandemic era, the lounge has a wall of plexiglass that separates audience members from the stage. Shows start at 8:45 p.m. on Fridays.
Caesars Palace, the Flamingo and Harrahs Las Vegas have opened as well as (from north to south on the Strip): the Strat, Sahara, Circus Circus, Wynn-Encore, Treasure Island, the Venetian, Harrahs, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, the Cosmopolitan, MGM Grand, the Signature at MGM Grand and New York-New York.
The Neon Museum reopened in late May. Even though much of the site is outdoors, the number of visitors is limited at any one time. Visitors are encourage to book timed tickets in advance.
The Mob Museum in downtown has also reopened, with temperature checks for visitors at the entrance. The museum encourages people to buy timed tickets in advance.
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Posted: at 3:45 am
Despite a sharp uptick of COVID- 19 cases in Nevada, crowds of tourists flocked to the Las Vegas Strip for Fourth of July weekend.
While crowds have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, a good amount of visitors many of whom had driven in from neighboring states were spotted on the Strip Friday.
Los Angeles natives Nicole and Paul Viazcan said a lot has changed in Las Vegas compared to their last visit in January.
Its different, Nicole Viazcan said. My anxiety came when we got here and I saw so many people not wearing masks walking (outside). (But) its either putting your life on hold, or youre going to try to go out and be safe about it. In my purse I have wipes, I have sanitizer, I have Lysol.
Casino operators have been preparing for the holiday crowds for weeks by opening more properties.
MGM Resorts International reopened Aria and Mandalay Bay on Wednesday. The nongaming hotel Waldorf Astoria also reopened Wednesday. Nobu Hotel, the boutique hotel within Caesars Palace, reopened Thursday.
Room rates listed on Hotels.com and company websites hint that demand has increased for the three-day holiday weekend compared with the weekend of June 4, when Nevada casinos first reopened.
A Wednesday search on Hotels.com showed a night at Harrahs Las Vegas started at $349 for Saturday, compared with $75 on June 6. A room at Circus Circus started at $118 Saturday, up from $52 on June 6. MGM Grand rates also went up from $169 to $199.
Slow crowds Friday morning
Large crowds had yet to reach the Strip as of 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Among the few people passing by the Bellagio fountains at that time, Jaylen Torres and her fiance, Abisai Garcia, said they drove in from Salt Lake City that morning for a day trip. The two planned to hit the Linq Hotels High Roller while they were in town.
It seems slow, Garcia said. Businesses arent open as early as they usually are.
Illinois native Nate Johnson said he visits Las Vegas with his wife multiple times a year, but said the city is not near as much fun during the pandemic.
The couple booked the stay at the Bellagio shortly before Gov. Steve Sisolak updated the states mask policy. Johnson said they likely wouldnt have booked the trip if they knew they would need to wear masks in public, and they wont return until the face mask rule is gone.
(There are) a lot more rules, and usually people come to Vegas because there are no rules, he said, adding that gambling isnt as fun with plexiglass and social distancing.
Its definitely not the same Vegas, he said.
Johnson added that hes not concerned about the virus during the weekend trip.
The death rate is going down, he said. As somebody whos a healthy individual with a strong immune system, Im ready to go out and about. I might get sick for a week, but thats my risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 in the U.S. fell from 9 percent during the week ending June 20 to 5.9 percent during to the week ending June 27, the 10th week of a declining percentage of deaths due to the diseases. The percentage is still at the epidemic threshold.
Safety measures easing worries
Crowds at the Bellagio were small but steady Friday morning, with dozens of guests milling around the casino floor.
There was a line outside the elevators that morning to allow for fewer people in each lift, and all staff members were seen wearing masks.
Mask use among guests was mostly consistent, although there were some improperly worn by gamblers at table games, with the masks not covering noses. Another woman had her mask strapped under her chin as she played a slot machine, cigarette in hand.
Out on Las Vegas Boulevard, more people chose to forgo face coverings in the desert heat. There were still a good number including a street performer playing a saxophone, who had cut a hole in his mask who kept theirs on.
Inside the Flamingo around 10:30 a.m., masked employees wiped down chips and sanitizing machines. Most patrons had masks on, but a number could be seen with the face coverings under their noses or pulled down as they smoked.
Paul Viazcan, who booked a room at the Flamingo with his wife for the holiday weekend, said the casinos new health and safety protocols helped ease their anxieties about COVID-19 on their trip.
We knew that safety measures were taken, so were good, and thats whats calming us down, he said. You still have that uncertainty but overall weve felt pretty good.
Nicole Viazcan added that she has already seen one patron kicked out of a Fat Tuesday venue for refusing to wear a mask.
Chip and Monica Collier of Concordia, Missouri, flew in Thursday to celebrate their daughters wedding and booked a room at Harrahs. The two said they have been impressed with casinos new health and safety protocols.
Weve got to mask up, but thats life right now, until we get past this, Chip Collier said. As long as people are smart and stay away from each other, (I feel safe).
Las Vegas local Mayra Arzate, who had planned a staycation at Caesars Palace with friends this weekend, said she has seen casinos follow safety precautions for the most part, but has also witnessed some guests ignoring social distancing rules.
I feel like (the casinos) are trying, but with the crowds I dont think its happening, she said.
So far, so good
Crowds swelled as the day went on.
Wynn Las Vegas had a sizable crowd around 2:30 p.m. on the casino floor with the tables appearing to house more people than the slot machines.
With the exception of those dining at the restaurants, everyone inside the hotel had their masks on properly. Many guests walking around also took advantage of the hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the hotel.
The action and noise died down quickly when hitting the Wynn Plaza Shops. The two stores with the most customers around 2:40 p.m. were Louis Vuitton and Chanel, where a small line formed outside each boutique as stores implemented social distancing measures.
Carmen Castaneda was window shopping at the Plaza Shops after checking into the hotel with her husband. They drove up from Arizona for the night.
I heard about all the precautions theyre taking because of COVID and thought it should be safe so far so good, she said. I havent gone outside, but driving down the street I didnt see people with masks but inside the hotel everyone has masks.
Outside along Las Vegas Boulevard, Los Angeles residents Alex and Rosie Lopez were walking south toward the Wynn. The husband and wife decided to come to Las Vegas for the holiday weekend to get out of the house and just adventure, according to Alex Lopez.
Rosie said shes felt safe so far during their stay. The last time she was in Las Vegas was October and said she actually like(s) it now as there are fewer crowds.
The foot traffic along Las Vegas Boulevard was fairly light in the afternoon heat and about half the pedestrians could be seen wearing masks while others pulled them down under their chin or held them in their hand as they took in the sights.
The crowd inside the Sahara was certainly smaller compared with the one at the Wynn, but nearly all of the guests were focused on gambling with only a handful walking around with drinks in hand.
Whitney Brown and Marcus Battle had just arrived to check in to the hotel, after taking a bus from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The couple said they plan to fly back to L.A. on Sunday.
Were celebrating our anniversary, Brown said. Everything in L.A. is shut down again so were like wheres somewhere we can go and be safe and be in the open air but still have fun.
Brown said she does miss the entertainment offerings in Vegas but said they still managed to plan several activities including a helicopter ride, a visit to the Adventuredome inside Circus Circus and reservations at Wynns buffet and Wicked Spoon.
Im excited, Brown said.
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Posted: at 3:45 am
Las Vegas resident Michael Davis said theres a good chance hell wait for the pandemic to end before he visits local resort pools again.
Davis went to two pools over the past three weeks: one at Caesars Palace, the other at Bellagio. He said the experience wasnt bad, but the new social distancing protocols could be confusing at times.
We had servers (at Caesars Palace) scolding us in the pool to separate, even though we were in one group and had a cabana that fits 10, he said. I guess its OK to be close in the cabana, but in the pool you had to separate?
He also said social distancing rules were often ignored.
Similar crowds have been seen at other Las Vegas resort pools. While some guests said they felt completely safe at resort pools, others say they were turned off by the new protocols.
This was a really interesting experience. Id say it wasnt a great overall experience (for my friends in town), Davis said. It wasnt as good as what I expected it to be.
But others have said they had positive experiences in Las Vegas resort pools. Another local, Ariane Anderson, said she enjoyed her time at Green Valley Ranch pool in early June.
It was very friendly, very welcoming, all staff (were) wearing masks, she said, adding that she saw socially-distanced chairs and customers, as well as frequent cleaning and disinfecting by staff. She was also impressed by the pools QR-code food and drink menu.
I felt completely safe and enjoyed my experience there, she said.
I dont want to return
Phase two of Nevadas reopening plan which was recently extended prohibits nightclubs and day clubs from reopening, but allows pools to operate. In turn, a number of Las Vegas former day clubs have reopened as pools.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, for instance, has opened The Pool Marquee, which had been operating as a club before the pandemic, along with its Boulevard Pool and Chelsea Pool.
The company said the pool is now reservation-only, with no general admission and dedicated socially-distanced seating areas.
But a number of Marquee employees told the Review-Journal that they regularly witness new health and safety guidelines being ignored. They have all been granted anonymity to protect their jobs.
A statement from the Cosmopolitan said guests and employees are required to stand at least six feet away from other groups, but one Marquee worker said guests often avoid social distancing. He added that the cabanas, which are supposed to have 10 people or fewer, often fit up to 15 or 20.
And while the hotel-casino said guests are required to wear a face covering while walking to and from their seats, within the bar areas, and while using the restrooms, workers said those rules are often ignored.
Employees are very uncomfortable, and we dont know what to do. Everyones fed up with it, said one employee. Once (guests) come in the club, its like the virus doesnt exist.
Two other employees backed up his claims.
According to the Cosmopolitan, pool employees are required to wear masks at all times, while guests can remove face coverings while seated at the pool.
The company also said the venue is now considered a pool and not a day club because there is no dance floor, but employees say little else has changed.
Its just a day club without general admission, said one employee.
A statement from the Cosmopolitan said cabanas, daybeds and lounge chairs are spaced to allow for social distancing, and each pool remains at or below 50 percent capacity at all times. Other new protocols include advanced cleaning and sanitizing and installing hand sanitizing stations.
COVID-19 risks at a pool
The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions website says there is no evidence that the virus can spread through the water in pools.
Brian Labus, an assistant professor in epidemiology and biostatistics at UNLV and a member of the medical team advising Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, said the risk of getting COVID-19 from pool water is unlikely, since the chlorine should inactivate the virus.
But there are risks when large crowds congregate inside or around the pools.
The pools not the problem. A crowded pool is a problem, the locker room is a problem, Labus said.
While being outside does reduce transmission, there are potential risks because patrons cant wear masks when swimming.
The key to staying safe while at a pool is social distancing, Labus said.
The more distance we can put between people, the better, he said. If (guests are) all standing on top of each other, thats where the risk comes in.
Pool health and safety policies vary across properties.
A statement from Las Vegas Sands said its pools are monitored with access strictly controlled. The area is also thoroughly sanitized daily.
Lounge chairs have been rearranged to allow for physical distancing, and guests must wear masks when entering the pool deck, receiving service from an employee, at the towel desk, cabana reception desk, pool bar and when walking the pool deck to locate a chair or go to the restroom.
The company has reopened The Venetian Pool Deck and The Palazzo Pool Deck for its resort guests, with availability subject to weather and capacity limits.
The Strat, which has its pool open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily with a 50 percent occupancy limit, said masks are required in the pool area when lounging. Guests dont need to wear a mask while in the water, but must remain six feet apart. Staff including lifeguards, pool managers and security are in charge of monitoring and enforcing the new safety protocols.
We have found that with consistent regulations throughout the Strip, people are more apt to follow these guidelines, said Stephen Thayer, vice president and general manager of the Strat. Our team members have done a fantastic job of consistently reminding our guests that masks are mandatory and we have had very few issues with guests.
Wynn Las Vegas Tower Suites Pool, Resort Pool and Sunset Pool have reopened with a 50 percent occupancy limit, physically distanced seating and more frequent sanitation. Encores Resort Pool and Adult Pool and the Encore Beach Pool have reopened with the same policies. Jacuzzis remain closed.
Face coverings are required for guests not in the water, sitting at a lounge chair or walking to or from the water. Security, pool attendance and supervisors are on hand to remind guests of the new policies, according to spokeswoman Deanna Pettit-Irestone. Complimentary masks are available at pool bars and towel distribution areas.
MGM Resorts Internationals new guidelines say lounge chairs will be placed with 6 feet between groups of guests, and every other cabana will be used, when applicable, to allow physical distancing. The company also does not allow cocktails in its pools, and has internal team remind people in the pool to socially distance, according to spokesman Brian Ahern.
Boyd Gaming Corp. spokesman David Strow referred to the companys updated health and safety protocols, which say pool seating will be configured to allow for at least six feet of separation between groups of guests.
Company spokespeople at Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Station Casinos did not respond to requests for comment.
Station Casinos protocols say pool seating are reconfigured to comply with CDC and state and local requirements and to allow for appropriate distancing.
Caesars safety plan says cabanas and lounge chairs are arranged for social distancing. Seating is cleaned and disinfected between guest use, and hand sanitizer is available throughout the area.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian and Palazzo.
Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz @reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.
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Posted: at 3:45 am
Tuesday, July 7, 2020 | 3:32 p.m.
GARDNERVILLE The Federal Emergency Management Agency quickly approved disaster relief funds Tuesday to help fight a growing northern Nevada wildfire that closed a U.S. highway along the Sierra's eastern front, destroyed at least one home and was threatening hundreds more.
The flames that broke out Monday night in the Pine Nut Mountains were burning out of control across more than 11 square miles (28 square kilometers) in Douglas County southeast of Gardnerville.
Evacuation centers were set up at area motels to help accommodate, if necessary, residents of more than 300 homes that remained threatened, primarily in Pine View Estates and Bodie Flat.
FEMA said as many as 1,000 homes were threatened when it approved the federal disaster relief. Gov. Steve Sisolak requested the funding.
The blaze began as three separate fires that burned together Monday night, blanketing Carson Valley with heavy smoke.
One resident said the initial response by dozens of fire crews was amazing.
The entire valley ... lit up like Christmas last night," Judy Jewkes toldKOLO-TV.
One home and 10 outbuildings have been destroyed, Douglas County officials said. No injuries have been reported. Aerial crews were helping more than 400 firefighters on the ground battle the blaze before winds were expected to pick up Tuesday afternoon.
An evacuation center for area livestock was opened at Douglas County Fairgrounds.
KOLO-TV reported that arson investigators were on scene but the cause of the fire remained under investigation.
U.S. Highway 395 was closed in both directions for about a 16-mile (25-kilometer) stretch from the south end of Gardnerville to the junction with State Route 208 near the California-Nevada border.
Posted: at 3:45 am
Why Las Vegas is the right fit for the Raiders
The 2020 season will be the first time the Raiders call Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium their brand-new home. A franchise with a nationwide fanbase, partly due to the decades of work Al Davis did, after jumping through hoops, they found "The Gambling Capital of the World" to be their best fit.
There are a few reasons why Las Vegas is the right home for the Raiders.
The Raiders' ownership has some roots in Vegas.
While legend and Hall-of-Famer Al Davis owned the Raiders, Las Vegas was one of the cities he loved to visit.
"Al used to love to go to Vegas," said former Raider Matt Millen on Raider Maven's "What It Means to be a Raider" podcast. "For his birthday, he would fly a bunch of people out there; we'd have a great day, we'd all stay together, we'd celebrate his birthday. He'd always loved Las Vegas."
In other words, if Davis were alive, he would have approved the Raiders' move to the Nevada desert.
Whether fans knew it or not, in a way, it made sense that out of all cities the Raiders could have gone to, they chose the one city Davis enjoyed visiting.
The Las Vegas Raiders aren't the only professional sports team that calls the city home.
In 2016, NHL owners accepted an expansion team with the founding of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. When they began to play the following season, they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, losing out to the Washington Capitals in five games.
You can say they had gamblers' luck.
More importantly, though, Las Vegas worked. According to Forbes, T-Mobile Arena, home of the Golden Knights, ran at 103.9 percent of their official capacity during their inaugural season. They averaged 18,042 fans per game.
Forbes also reported a revenue of $180 million, which was the tenth best in the NHL, as well as $53 million in operating income, the fifth-highest among the league's teams.
So, imagine a franchise which has 60 years of history, tapping into a market, let alone a state with no football team.
Yeah, it's a no-brainer that the Raiders chose Las Vegas as their new home.
Las Vegas Fits in With the Raiders Mantra
When Al Davis created the Raiders franchise from the ground up, he did so with purpose. He did so to put a mindset inside of Raider players, personnel, and fans alike.
That's why "Just Win Baby," "Commitment to Excellence," and "Winning is Everything" defines what it means to be a Raider.
That's why Raiders fans all say, "Once a Raider, Always a Raider."
We, as a fanbase, are different. We, as a fanbase, stick out.
So, it makes sense that our new home has a little saying that goes something like this:
"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
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Posted: at 3:45 am
A single pine tree may have saved campers in California after a June 24 earthquake in Owens Valley by stopping a 20-foot diameter boulder from barreling deep into a campground after plunging 700 feet down a mountain.
The boulder passed through an empty campsite and flattened at least one other tree on the way down, said Brian Olson, an engineering geologist with the California Geological Survey who documented the earthquakes aftermath on Twitter. He said the boulder appeared to have passed between two other campsites before it stopped.
It happened in the afternoon (when) most people arent in camp, Olson said. But had anyone been there in that camp, it would have been deadly.
The late-morning earthquake was one of at least three centered near the California-Nevada border that were felt in Las Vegas and other parts of of the Silver State in the past year. The 6.5 magnitude Monte Cristo earthquake on May 15 about 35 miles from Tonopah was felt in both Reno and Las Vegas; a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Ridgecrest, California, shook Las Vegas in July 2019, as did a foreshock the preceding day.
The burst of seismic activity in a state that many residents mistakenly believe is relatively stable, geologically speaking, raised eyebrows and questions each time the earth moved. Where are these earthquakes coming from, many wondered, and why now?
Walker Lane has long history
The answer lies in Walker Lane, a region of seismically active fault lines hugging the border between California and Nevada. Spanning 620 miles from the Mojave Desert to Northern California and about 60 miles wide, the region is home to hundreds of faults responsible for a great deal of earthquake activity in the Southwest.
A less renowned younger neighbor of the San Andreas Fault, Walker Lane has a long history of triggering earthquakes in Nevada, the third-most seismically active state in the country after California and Alaska. The faults in the Walker Lane have been the epicenters of major earthquakes, including last years Ridgecrest earthquake, a series of serious earthquakes in Nevada in 1954 that hit some areas multiple times, and an earthquake in Californias Owens Valley in 1872. The latter, estimated to have been about magnitude 7.8, leveled the town of Lone Pine and killed 27 people.
The June 24 quake that made buildings sway and swimming pools splash in Las Vegas also was located on the Owens Valley Fault System and was estimated at 5.8 magnitude. It also rattled the rebuilt Lone Pine, east of the Sierra Nevada, causing rock slides but little damage.
But things could have been far worse if that well-placed tree hadnt stopped the runaway boulder unleashed by the quake at the Whitney Portal Campground in Californias Inyo National Forest.
Hikers who returned to the camp that day likely found their cars covered in a blanket of dust and saw newly arrived boulders sitting nearby, said Olson, who documented the aftermath that evening as part of his work for the California Geological Survey, which includes determining the source and impact of earthquakes and assessing seismic hazards.
The epicenter of the quake in Owens Valley was 160 miles from that of the Monte Cristo earthquake in May, but the quakes were not related, experts say.
Western North America has seen a series of earthquakes in 2020, covering a wide swath of territory reaching from Mexico to Idaho. But the occurrences are unrelated, and there is no evidence that the frequency of earthquakes is increasing, at least on a time scale relevant to humans.
Rich Koehler, an earthquake geologist with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno, who studies paleoseismology, or the study of prehistoric earthquakes, said the mere fact that earthquakes occur near one another doesnt mean they are related.
Earthquakes are distributed throughout Nevada, and they happen all the time, Koehler said, so one particular earthquake hundreds of miles away from a bigger earthquake is not necessarily related.
An exception is aftershocks. Earthquakes can continue for months or years at or near the epicenter of an earthquake, but they typically decrease in magnitude and frequency over time. Boise, Idaho, is still experiencing aftershocks from a 6.5 magnitude earthquake on March 31, including a 4.5 magnitude quake on June 24.
Forecasting aftershocks is an exercise in probability, Koehler said. Its impossible to predict when earthquakes will happen, including aftershocks. The U.S. Geological Survey releases an aftershock forecast after major earthquakes with the chance of earthquakes by magnitude, but not when they could occur.
A forecast updated on June 30 for the epicenter of the Monte Cristo earthquake predicts a greater than 99 percent chance of earthquakes of magnitude 3 or higher in the next month, with dozens likely to occur near the epicenter. Earthquakes of magnitude 5 or higher are less likely, with two or three occurrences possible; a 6 magnitude or higher aftershock is very unlikely to occur.
Walker Lane briefly gained some notoriety in 2019 as the subject of a theory proposing that instead of the continent splitting along the San Andreas Fault in millions of years, the rupture will actually occur along Walker Lane. In this scenario, most of California would be cast into the Pacific Ocean, leaving Reno as oceanfront property.
The Walker Lane fault system is about 20 million years younger than the San Andreas Fault, but the latter is typically far more active. That is partly because of the fact that the San Andreas is essentially a single major fault, while the Walker Lane is a zone of smaller faults. Over time, experts say, it could evolve into a single fault similar to the San Andreas, as the smaller fault merge over the course of millions of years.
Geologists have a good idea of where earthquakes can happen because they know the geography of fault lines in the West, including Walker Lane, Koehler said.
Fault lines usually have predictable recurrence intervals based on when earthquakes have occurred in the past. But recurrence intervals can range from tens to tens of thousands of years, so predicting when an earthquake will occur on a time scale thats relevant to humans is impossible, let alone predicting that an earthquake will occur on a specific day or year.
Faults in the Walker Lane have recurrence intervals of hundreds to thousands of years, Koehler said. When averaging across all of the faults in Walker Lane, we can expect a major earthquake, above magnitude 6.0, in the zone about once every 20 or 30 years. Fault lines dont care about human schedules or predictions, though; one could go 100 years without a major earthquake or unleash several over a period of months.
Studying earthquakes is more than just an academic pursuit into the history and geology of the Earth. What we do know about earthquakes is crucial to engineering and infrastructure projects. The location of faults and the potential severity of earthquakes can impact plans for projects like pipelines, schools, hospitals, bridges and more.
The 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake, which was actually two earthquakes on July 4 and 5, is a case study in the dangers of not taking seismic hazards into account. The 6.4 magnitude foreshock on July 4 occurred on a fault that wasnt well-understood, according to Olson. The earthquake surprised locals and geologists, who didnt anticipate such a large earthquake in the area, he said. The second quake on July 5 was a magnitude 7.1.
The first rupture intersected with a highway and two pipelines that fed water to the small California city of Trona. The earthquake ruptured the highway and broke both pipelines, leaving the city without water.
Knowing the seismic hazard could have guided the implementation of safer features in the pipeline, Olson said, such as using flexible connections, elevating the pipelines or using more durable construction materials.
Research into the Ridgecrest earthquake is still ongoing, and early findings suggest the surprisingly high magnitudes are the result of ruptures of multiple smaller faults in quick succession, not just the movement of a single larger fault.
Geologists now know that the Ridgecrest faults can trigger a large earthquake and can take that into account when rebuilding and starting new infrastructure projects, Olson said.
The work of understanding earthquakes and mapping new faults is a multidisciplinary effort, he said. From paleogeologists to engineering geologists, from cities to the federal government, scientists work together to form a comprehensive picture of a fault system like Walker Lane.
By adding more faults to the picture, he said, We really start to be able to understand hazard better, and we can begin to understand how to protect the public better.
Marina Philip is a 2020 Mass Media reporting fellow through the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @mureeenuh.
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Posted: at 3:45 am
Andrew Harnik / AP
In this Jan. 17, 2019, file photo Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. At least 10 lawmakers and three congressional caucuses have ties to organizations that received federal coronavirus aid, according to government data released this week. A regional casino company led by the husband of Rep. Susie Lee receivedmoney.
By Matthew Daly and Brian Slodysko, Associated Press
Tuesday, July 7, 2020 | 6:10 p.m.
WASHINGTON At least a dozen lawmakers have ties to organizations that received federal coronavirus aid, according to newly released government data, highlighting how Washington insiders were both author and beneficiary of one of the biggest government programs in U.S. history.
Under pressure from Congress and outside groups, the Trump administration this week disclosed the names of some loan recipients in the $659 billion Paycheck Protection Program, launched in April to help smaller businesses keep Americans employed during the pandemic. Connections to lawmakers, and the organizations that work to influence them, were quickly apparent.
Among businesses that received money was a California hotel partially owned by the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as a shipping business started by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chaos family. Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Car dealerships owned by Republican Reps. Roger Williams of Texas and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, and fast-food franchises owned by Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., received money. So, too, did a law firm owned by the husband of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and the former law firm of Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., which employs his wife.
Money also flowed to a farming and equipment business owned by the family of Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., and a regional casino company led by the husband of Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev.
Members of Congress and their families are not barred from receiving loans under the PPP, and there is no evidence they received special treatment. Loans were granted to Democrats and Republicans alike, something President Donald Trump's campaignwas quick to highlightwhen records showed donors to his campaign coffers were among the earliest beneficiaries.
Hundreds of millions of dollars also flowed to political consultants, opposition research shops, law firms, advocacy organizations and trade associations whose work is based around influencing government and politics.
While voting, lobbying and ultimately benefiting from legislation aren't illegal, advocates say the blurred lines risk eroding public trust in the federal pandemic response as Congressbegins debating yet another round of coronavirus relief.
It certainly looks bad and smells bad, said Aaron Scherb, a spokesperson for Common Cause, a watchdog group that was also approved for a loan through the program.
As of June 30, the Treasury Department program had handed out $521 billion to industries including manufacturing, construction, restaurants and hotels.
Treasury identified just a fraction of the total borrowers Monday, naming only companies that got more than $150,000. Those firms made up less than 15% of the nearly 5 million small companies and organizations that received assistance.
Many of the lawmakers connected to loan awards emphasized they weren't part of the application process.
A spokesperson for Pelosi said her husband, Paul, is a minority investor in the company that owns the El Dorado Hotel in the wine-country town of Sonoma, Calif. Paul Pelosi has a 8.1% stake in the company, valued at $250,000 to $500,000, Pelosis office said.
Mr. Pelosi is a minor, passive investor in this company, said the Democratic speakers spokesperson, Drew Hammill. He was not involved in or even aware of this PPP loan. The firm, EDI Associates, is listed as a recipient of a loan between $350,000 and $1 million.
New York-based Foremost Maritime Co., founded by Chao's parents and run by her sister, was cleared for a loan valued between $350,000 and $1 million. McConnell, a Republican seeking reelection in Kentucky, said Tuesday: Neither my wife, nor I, have anything to do with that business and didnt know anything about it.
The Shaheen & Gordon law firm in Dover, N,H., got a loan of $1 million to $2 million. The firm is owned by Jeanne Shaheens husband, William Shaheen. A title company partially owned by William Shaheen got a $160,000 loan and a half dozen companies he partially owns or another relative owns got loans, below $150,000.
Jeanne Shaheen said she "was not involved in any way in applying for those loans nor do I have anything to do with their businesses, and Congress had no role in processing PPP applications.''
Four car dealerships owned by Kelly received $600,000 to $1.4 million. Mike Kelly Automotive Group, Mike Kelly Automotive LP and Mike Kelly Hyundai and Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac, all near Pittsburgh, received the money. A spokesman for Kelly said he wasn't part of the loan application and isn't involved in the operations of the dealerships, in accordance with ethics rules.
Williams, one of the wealthiest lawmakers with a net worth of over $27 million in 2018, received a loan for his Roger Williams Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership in Weatherford, Texas. Williams is president and CEO of JRW Corp. of Fort Worth, which is listed as receiving a loan of $1 million to $2 million. "Like every other company who accepted a small business loan, our business qualified under law and regulation, and today over 100 of our employees are grateful that we did,'' Williams said in a statement.
At least five car dealerships owned by the husband of Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., also received loans, each ranging from $350,000 to $1 million, the data show.
Other lawmakers, while distancing themselves from the loan process, sought to portray the PPP program as a success story.
Herns Tulsa-based KTAK Corp., a management company for several McDonalds restaurants, received $1 million to $2 million. Hern isn't involved in the day-to-day operations, but "he is happy to share that the family business was able to keep all employees either at their current level of employment or move part-time employees to full time, Herns chief of staff, Cameron Foster, said. Four businesses owned by fellow Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., received at least $800,000.
Full House Resorts, a Las Vegas-based casino company led by Lee's husband, Daniel, got two loans totaling $5.6 million, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said the funds would be used to rehire several hundred employees and prepare to reopen two casinos in Indiana and Colorado.
A spokesperson said Tuesday that Lee did not know about the company's intention to apply for a loan when she and other Nevada lawmakers pushed for a rule change to allow small casinos to receive the loans. She had no influence over the application or any aspect of Full Houses business or decision making, spokesperson Jesus Espinoza said.
Two wineries tied to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and an Iowa farm run by his family received loans worth at least $2 million. The wineries got separate loans worth $1 million to $2 million, and an Iowa dairy farm that is tied to his relatives received $150,000 to $350,000.
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