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Bryan Steffy

Wynn Las Vegas employees welcome guests during the resort’s reopening on June 4.

Freedom has always been a big part of the Las Vegas experience, but it’s not just about letting loose, indulging responsibly and seeing and doing things most people can’t see and do back home. There’s also the freedom to explore the Strip and downtown or visit one of the area’s natural attractions during your trip, the ability to immerse yourself in the comprehensive Vegas no matter your chosen hotel.

It’s always more fun to curate your trip and visit as many entertainment-filled resorts as possible, but it’s hard to predict if guests will be moving from place to place or sticking to their own home base hotel in the coming days and weeks. On Thursday, a dozen major casino complexes reopened on the Strip, with another resuming operations today (Harrah’s) and another returning next week (Excalibur on June 11).

Anxious Vegas visitors could restrict their movements along the tourist corridor to limit their exposure to additional people and places, much like most of the country has done for months during the collective battle against the spread of coronavirus. Or, considering many megaresorts reopened conservatively without their full arsenal of amenities, perhaps they’ll scoot up and down the Strip more than usual in order to expand their experience.

Wynn and Encore took a different approach to reopening. All amenities available under Phase Two of the state’s “Roadmap to Recovery” plan have reopened at the twin luxury resorts, including both hotel towers and casinos, a variety of table games and slot machines, the sports book, a full portfolio of restaurants and lounges, swimming pools, retail shops, salons, spas and Wynn’s 18-hole championship golf course.

“When you come here to Las Vegas you’re really looking for an escape, and you need to select a location … that you feel they’ve spent sufficient time and care and attention to make sure that your safety is always foremost,” said Wynn Las Vegas President Marilyn Spiegel in a video release. “We’re hoping that folks leave our city and go back to wherever they came from and say that’s the Las Vegas I remember, that’s the escape I need and I can’t wait to come back.”

Click to enlarge photo

A Venetian team member sanitizes a gondola.

Spiegel said Wynn and Encore were able to come back to life with so many offerings because the company decided to keep its team of service providers together by paying employees’ complete salaries during the nearly 80-day shutdown of casinos in Nevada.

“The employees are so happy to be back at work focused on what they do the very best: serving our guests,” she said. “We have spent countless days, weeks, months getting ready for this. We have a lot of guidance from the CDC to make sure everyone comes here and feels comfortable, but we have had to blend that with what’s very unique about Wynn and Encore and that is our five-star service.”

Traditional Las Vegas entertainment is hard to find on the Strip today since showrooms, theaters and nightclubs are still not allowed to open, but Wynn has a unique show playing nightly at its Lake of Dreams, best viewed from the restaurant patios at SW Steakhouse and Lakeside or from inside the casino at the Parasol Up and Parasol Down lounge areas.

Wynn’s nearest neighbor may be its nearest competitor in terms of creating a fully formed experience from the moment the doors reopened. The Venetian and Palazzo got back to business Thursday opening two full-service casinos, dozens of restaurants and bars, pools and plenty of luxury shopping options along the expansive Grand Canal Shoppes. The Venetian’s gondola experience, wedding chapel and Madam Tussauds attraction also returned to action.

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