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The 12:01 a.m. opening of Red Rock Resort on Thursday had the feel of a weekday matinee.

The atmosphere was so lively, one had to think everyone slept all day to prepare. You can’t blame them for wanting normalcy.

Station Casinos took the first step toward that when Red Rock opened after a near-three month closure due to COVID-19. Five other properties opened, while four — The Palms, Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson and Fiesta Rancho — will open at a later date.

“During this time period, while our doors were closed, our hearts were open,” said Scott Nelson, vice president and general manager of Red Rock. “We’re proud tonight to open not only those doors again, but continue to deliver that message of our hearts being open.”

There was the occasional cheering at the craps table; Lucky Bar was buzzing with patrons toasting each other with bottles of beer. Grand Café, the 24-hour coffee shop at all Stations properties, was serving guests their likely midnight-oil of steak and eggs.

Entry will certainly be different. Guests and team members will have their temperature taken by state-of-the-art thermal scanners. A Red Rock employee told me cooling stations are set up in the event your body heat is high due to the dog days of summer.

Team members are ready to open the door to avoid guests touching handles.

“Nothing feels better than our guests and team members returning to our property,” said Joe Yalda, vice president of guest experience at Red Rock.

Touch-free hand sanitizing stations are set up around the property. Guests are asked to apply hand sanitizer before and after using the Stations’ kiosks.

At the slots, social distancing is enhanced. Rows of five slots are down to three chairs, while rows of four occupy two. If you’re not winning at one machine, you’ll have to move the chair next door. Patrons wore masks and adhered to the safety measures in place.

Other than that, it felt like Red Rock on a regular day. It’s a step, and that’s all residents can ask for. If this opening was any indication, normality won’t be far away.

“I think you can tell with everyone lining up outside, it’s going to be different,” said southwest Las Vegas resident Trey Durbin. “But it’s not too bad. It’s pretty cool (to be back).

About the Author
Danny Webster

Danny Webster

Danny Webster is an NHL columnist at Gaming Today. He is a graduate of UNLV whose work also appears on, Vegas Hockey Now, and SB Nation.

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