“Reopening Nevada: Mirage Casino brings guests back to Las Vegas Strip - Reno Gazette Journal” plus 1 more

“Reopening Nevada: Mirage Casino brings guests back to Las Vegas Strip - Reno Gazette Journal” plus 1 more

Reopening Nevada: Mirage Casino brings guests back to Las Vegas Strip - Reno Gazette Journal

Posted: 27 Aug 2020 12:00 AM PDT



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LAS VEGAS – Karen Onedo has a tip for anyone trying to enjoy a pandemic vacation drink on The Strip. 

Remember you're wearing a mask.

"I went to take a drink," the 52-year-old pharmaceutical professional said, "and forgot to take the mask off." 


She sat next to her husband, Alex, at a Griffin's Throne slot machine inside The Mirage Thursday, when the 3,044-room MGM Resorts property opened for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut it down five months ago.

"Things have changed a lot," she said. "It's been a lot quieter. I'm a little disappointed there aren't any shows."

Related: Nevada casino winnings down 26% in July

"They need to come back," her husband said of popular Cirque du Soleil productions like "The Beatles LOVE" – a staple at The Mirage. "Vegas can't be the same without the shows." 

The Mirage casino resort, which ushered in the transformation of the Las Vegas Strip when it debuted in 1989, is one of the last of 13 MGM Las Vegas hotels to reopen – just ahead of the long Labor Day holiday weekend.

The reopening of the resort – known as the home of the iconic volcano show and magicians Siegfried & Roy – leave Park MGM and NoMad, a boutique hotel within Park MGM, as the only two MGM hotels still closed.

The first wave opened when Nevada resumed casino gaming on June 4. The first MGM hotels to reopen were Bellagio, New York-New York and MGM Grand.

Report:Las Vegas casinos a likely hotspot for COVID-19 spread

MGM renamed the road from Las Vegas Boulevard to the hotel as Siegfried & Roy Drive in honor of the duo's longtime magic act. The show ended after Roy Horn was attacked onstage by a trained white tiger in 2003.

Horn died May 8 at age 75 of what partner Siegfried Fischbacher said were coronavirus complications.

Tamara Mezzo and her husband Gord Graham visited the Mirage Thursday from Canada, where the couple runs a blog all about Las Vegas

They walked around the resort, streaming video of all they saw: Suited executives clapping to welcome returning visitors, families exploring the long-vacant grounds, gamblers playing blackjack, smashing the buttons of favorite slots.

Despite all the changes, there's something that hasn't changed about Las Vegas. 

"The energy here," Graham said.

More: Station Casinos may not reopen four properties in Las Vegas

"It still feels like Vegas to us," Mezzo said.

Contributing: Dawn Gilberston, USA TODAY, The Associated Press. 

Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here

Read or Share this story: https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2020/08/27/las-vegas-casinos-open-mirage-nevada-coronavirus-shutdown-orders/5648760002/

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