Fabulous Las Vegas. From it’s bright neon lights, 24/7 bars and gambling, and world famous shows, almost everyone has heard about Vegas.
But the stories you have heard and movies you have seen paint a very different picture than what Las Vegas looked like in July 2020.
My husband and I recently came back from a trip to sin city, and having been to Las Vegas several times already, my experience visiting Las Vegas this time around during the year of Coronavirus and quarantines was quite different.
Following my very own Las Vegas hotel deals guide, my husband and I decided to stay at the Bellagio hotel and casino.
First and foremost, and most obvious is the fact that masks are required and worn by everyone in Las Vegas. Out on the strip, you’ll see some groups of people who choose to not wear a mask, but inside each and every hotel and casino there are notices posted requiring all visitors to wear a mask. Some Casinos on and off the strip even go as far as stopping you at the door, checking your ID, and then taking your temperature. We did not experience this at any of the major hotel and casinos, but upon visiting the Silver Sevens Hotel And Casino we were funneled into a tiny entrance (with no regard for social distancing) and very rudely instructed to produce our ID’s and submit to a temperature check.
Every hotel and casino that we wen’t into had hand sanitizer dispensers positioned everywhere someone might have to touch something. For example an elevator button or a door handle, each had a hand sanitizer dispenser on the other side.
There were also hand washing stations set up on the actual casino floor as well. If you’ve ever been to a county or state fair and used a porta potty and then washed your hands at one of those hand washing stations, these stations on the Las Vegas casino floors were very similar.
While we will leave the politics out of this post regarding masks and forced masked mandates, one cannot simply deny the inconvenience and annoyance of having to wear a mask 24/7 in Las Vegas during one of the hottest summer months, so if you’re planning on taking a trip to sin city during this Coronavirus pandemic, this is something to keep in mind. While my husband and I did the best we could to wash our hands, wear our masks, and respect social distancing guidelines, walking around with a mask on 24/7 really put a damper on some parts of the experience. This however, was of course expected and planned for considering we did plan this trip knowing about the mask mandates and pandemic.
Activities, Shows, And Things To Do In Las Vegas During COVID-19
This section might be a little bit short. If you’re the type of Las Vegas go-er whose primary interest lies in gambling and drinking, then there has been no better time and no cheaper time to go to Las Vegas. (If you can wear a mask on the floor and deal with plexi-gless in front of you, the dealer, and the other players of course). However if you’re more interested in shows, tours, and fun activities, now is not the time to visit Vegas.
Table games and slot machines are aplenty, and while there are of course other patrons gambling on the floor, I have never seen Las Vegas casinos so empty before in my life. The table games have plexi-glass separators between you, the dealer, and other patrons, and slot machines are functioning with respect to social distancing. If you attempted to play next to your friend or partner for example, you would have to skip a machine and play the next one as only every other machine is functioning.
Most shows, concerts, and tours in Las Vegas are closed right now, and even most restaurants on the strip are closed for dine in. The one activity that we were able to do during our stay was the Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay and while it was a great and fun experience, all in all it only took about an hour to complete.
My husband and I both agree, never before in our lives have we ever felt as unsafe as we did while walking the Las Vegas strip at night.
In the past when we had walked up and down the strip, there were families and various groups of friends all enjoying themselves. It felt safe and there was always a police presence. Sure, there were the occasional crazy drunk folks that you’ll find in Vegas, but visiting Las Vegas in July 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic was a very very different experience.
First a foremost, we walked the strip for nearly 2 hours and did not see a single police officer or security guard. Secondly, the strip was filled with shady characters. On multiple occasions we were followed by groups of individuals, and on several more we were intentionally bumped into, as if they were trying to pick pocket us. The amount of crazy drunk and high people seemed to have multiplied by 100 as the strip was filled with people screaming, yelling, fighting, and genuinely just acting out of their minds.
While my husband and I might have been the only sober people on the strip that night, we were young once and still like to have fun. But the vibe on the strip that night was anything but fun. It felt very unsafe and left us glad to be back in our hotel room and off the strip.
Is Las Vegas Worth Visiting In 2020 During The COVID-19 Pandemic?
My answer? It depends. If you can deal with mask mandates and your main interest in Las Vegas lies in gambling and drinking, then yes. Hotel rooms at all the fancy casinos are extremely cheap right now, and there is plenty of space on the casino floor to park yourself and have some fun.
If you’re more interested in walking the strip, seeing the sights, and catching some shows, I’d say hold off and look at booking a trip when Las Vegas truly reopens. All of the major shows are currently cancelled, most activities we looked at doing apart from the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay were closed, and most tours and events we looked at were closed as well. Activity wise, there is genuinely not much to do in Las Vegas right now.
Ready To Gamble, Drink, And Have Some Fun?
If you thought I was kidding, just look at some of these hotel deals going on in Las Vegas right now. Fancy hotels have never been cheaper in Las Vegas, and if you’ve always wanted to experience a luxurious stay in Las Vegas now is the time.