- At last, Las Vegas will have a smoke-free resort casino.
- MGM Resorts International disclosed Monday that Park MGM will reopen as a non-smoking facility.
- It is the last of the MGM Resorts’ properties in the US to reopen after the closure that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.
- Smokers will get areas outside Park MGM to light up or go to the other MGM Resorts on The Strip, such as Aria and New York-New York.
Finally, Las Vegas will have a smoke-free resort-casino. MGM Resorts International broke the news Monday that Park MGM will reopen with non-smoking rules in effect.
The 3,000-room property is one of the last on The Strip to resume operations after the closure of businesses that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.
President and chief operating officer of Park MGM Anton Nikodemus said the facility will reopen on September 30.
Nikodemus added that they were making the property “completely non-smoking because of continued guest requests.” While the facility’s deluxe NoMad hotel will open, the 5,200-capacity Park Theater will remain closed due to a coronavirus ban on crowds.
Nikodemus said that moving to smoke-free was hardly a risk since the team at the company believes there’s a high demand to have such a casino, especially in Las Vegas.
The move by MGM Resorts is a turning point in a city that is popular with tourists smoking even if they can’t do that at home. In the past, smoking and secondhand smoke have ignited lawsuits and fierce political debates.
UNLV history professor Michael Green said that people have traditionally visited Las Vegas to do things that are bad for them.
Green, whose dad was a blackjack dealer for 30 years at the Stardust, Showboat, and other old Las Vegas casinos, also said COVID-19 was forcing people to rethink several things, including smoke-free venues.
California and other neighboring states have stringent smoking bans. In 2006, Nevada voters passed the Clean Indoor Air Act to prohibit smoking in several public places, excluding casinos, strip clubs, bars, taverns, smoke shops, and private residences. They rejected a competing measure that the gambling and tavern industries supported.
While advocates called for a smoking ban when Nevada allowed casinos to reopen on June 4, the Nevada Gaming Control Board declined to attend to the issue.
Nikodemus said that the closure from mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic revived an idea that had been under consideration when the then Monte Carlo hotel and casino floor was revamped, rebranded, and reopened as Park MGM in 2018.
Talking to The Associated Press, he said they have prepared the facility “for a smoke-free resort experience” during this time. He added that they have also replaced carpeting and wall coverings to ensure customers have a fresh experience when visiting the property.
However, Nikodemus said they would provide areas outside Park MGM, and that New York-New York, Aria, and other MGM Resorts in the state still allow for tobacco smoking.
Among MGM Resorts’ 29 properties in the country, Park MGM is scheduled to be the last to reopen. A deluxe 400-room Four Seasons resort is expected to open on September 25.