weather icon Clear

LVCVA tasked with making sure visitors know they need to wear masks

Updated June 24, 2020 - 9:12 pm

Now that Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced requirements to wear masks in public settings in the state, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will have the task of delivering the message to prospective visitors.

The LVCVA launched its #VegasSmart social media campaign urging mask use shortly before the June 4 reopening of casinos after being closed 78 days as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill says it will be important to explain that before tourists arrive. Hill received a heads-up before the announcement to make sure the resort community was aware as well.

“We not only need to let them know, but we need to let our customers who are coming to town know as well,” Hill said Wednesday. “We don’t want people showing up and being surprised when they arrive.”

The #VegasSmart took a somewhat lighthearted approach to encouraging mask use. The message may now change somewhat, now that it’s a requirement instead of an option.

“I’ve said pretty often that we’ve got an obligation to keep our employees safe as well as our customers safe, with all the peace of mind that we can, that working in Vegas and coming to Vegas and having fun can be a safe and healthy experience,” Hill said. “This is just a necessary and smart step on behalf of the governor to make sure we can continue to do that.”

Hill said he understands why there is reluctance to wear masks, but he also knows the numbers don’t lie and the percentage of positive tests is on the rise.

“I think we’ve all seen that folks who were cooped up for three months while we made a lot of progress squashing the virus during that period of time came out pretty carefree when they came back to Vegas and we’re seeing our numbers move back up in terms of percent positives with the tests that have been run,” he said. “We know that masks are probably the No. 1 most effective deterrent to spreading the virus so we certainly support what the governor is doing.”

Asked how the LVCVA would appeal to prospective visitors who refuse to wear masks, Hill said, “we’ve done some preliminary research that shows a large majority of visitors would be willing to wear a mask if required.”

Greg Mullen, vice president of CDC Consulting, which has had people attend 80 casino reopenings nationwide, said he’s mostly worried about the enforcement of the new policy.

“If this is what it takes to keep our industry open and continue allowing guests their opportunity for entertainment, then patrons will need to follow these rules,” Mullen said. “With that said, how does a casino truly enforce this rule along with all the other procedures already in place? We have witnessed several other protocols completely ignored and this most likely will follow suit.”

Mullen was critical that action wasn’t taken sooner.

“For Nevada, this appears to be another reactive rather than proactive approach to guest safety,” he said. “From our experiences in other states, the smoke in a casino, mixed with the mask will be the biggest complaint and driving factor for guests to oppose this rule. Employees will continue to be very vocal as we already hear them voice their complaints; however, they now have to deal with this issue their entire shift.”

Hill said the LVCVA approach would likely be through social media and an offshoot of the #VegasSmart campaign that used front-line workers and celebrities to deliver the mask message.

“The general workforce and our celebrities have been really helpful in being a part of those campaigns,” Hill said. “We’ll integrate the mask-wearing into that theme.”

Hill said there was no other conversation about when and how the meetings and convention industry would return to Southern Nevada.

“The conversation this week has been around the masks and what we’ve seen in test results over the past week or so,” Hill said. “In order to continue to keep the city open and take the next steps in reopening, we need to make sure that we’ve got our arms around the health situation in the community, so this step needs to be taken in order to continue to the next steps.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Is Nevada the ‘gold standard’ for casino coronavirus response? - Video
Whenever experts begin comparing gaming jurisdictions, you’re bound to hear the phrase “gold standard” dropped in the conversation. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Resorts World Las Vegas activates 100,000-square-foot LED screen - VIDEO
Resorts World Las Vegas activated its 100,000-square-foot LED screen on its west tower on Independence Day, showing a digital fireworks display. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Station Casinos president dies in watercraft accident - VIDEO
Richard Haskins, president of Red Rock Resorts Inc. and Station Casinos, died Saturday in a watercraft accident in Michigan, according to a statement released by the company. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hockey arena opponents erred in ballot initiative - Video
Opponents of a minor league hockey arena in Henderson collected enough verified signatures to put the disputed project on the November ballot, but then a problem emerged: A procedural error on the petition.
Layoffs at 'The Drew' force staff to sue owner
Rj Business reporter Eli Segall talks about the lawsuit and the future of the unfinished hotel and casino.
Vegas tourists react to mask mandate - VIDEO
Governor Steve Sisolak announced on Wednesday a mandate to wear face masks starting Friday. Down on the Las Vegas Strip tourists reacted on camera to the news. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA #VegasSmart social media campaign brings awareness to wearing a mask - Video
Now that Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced requirements to wear masks in public settings in the state, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will attempt to deliver the message to prospective visitors via their #VegasSmart social media campaign. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's unemployment crisis - Video
Thousands of jobless workers turned to the state for payments after the COVID-19 shutdown in March. DETR has struggled to handle record claims. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars mandates guests to wear masks
Guests at Caesars Entertainment Corp. properties will be required to wear masks while inside its properties, effective immediately.
MGM Grand and Aria are reopening pool clubs - Video
MGM Grand’s Wet Republic Ultra Pool and Aria’s Liquid Pool Lounge plan to open July 2, according to a Wednesday statement from MGM Resorts International and Hakkasan Group. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Survey shows big reluctance to travel with coronavirus ablaze - VIDEO
Would-be travelers are becoming more pessimistic in their outlook about their safety when they travel. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown's Circa resort will begin taking room reservations Wednesday - Video
Circa developer Derek Stevens confirmed that when the property opens on Oct. 28, persons under the age of 21 won’t be allowed. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort will begin taking room reservations - Video
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort will begin taking room reservations on Wednesday. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Culinary union expresses concerns about returning to work - Video
The Culinary union expresses its concerns about returning to work and the safety precautions that casinos are taking to ensure the safety of staff.
Bellagio poker room reopens with approval to host six-handed games - Video
The installation of plexiglass dividers between the players gave the Bellagio an edge over the other poker rooms open in Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Westgate reopens after coronavirus shutdown - Video
Jay Kornegay, vice president of Westgate Sportsbook, talks about the reopening of the casino on Thursday, June 18. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Final beam of Circa resort tower moved into place - Video
A crane whisked the final beam in the construction of downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort property into place Friday morning, June 19, and crews paused momentarily, then continued working to ensure the casino's Oct. 28 opening. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paris Las Vegas reopens - Video
The Paris Las Vegas hotel-casino reopened its doors on June 18 after the statewide shutdown in response to COVID-19. (Mackenzie Behm/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masks required at casino table games in Nevada - Video
The state Gaming Control Board has ordered Nevada casinos to require players and spectators of most casino table and card games to wear protective face coverings.
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa to open in October - Video
Circa resort-casino’s first five floors are set to open Oct. 28, according to CEO and developer Derek Stevens. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas movie theaters set July reopening date - Video
Las Vegas movie theater reopenings will start Regal, the valley’s largest exhibitor, announced Tuesday that it will reopen its theaters starting July 10, albeit in a modified fashion. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Contractors say they’re owed $36M for work done at Drew Las Vegas - Video
Three months after coronavirus turmoil shut off construction of the Drew Las Vegas, contractors have levied claims for more than $36 million in unpaid bills. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Contractors say they’re owed $36M for work done at Drew Las Vegas
Three months after coronavirus turmoil shut off construction of the Drew Las Vegas, contractors have levied claims for more than $36 million in unpaid bills. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Many Las Vegas guests ignoring COVID-19 protocols
Casinos are putting safety first but many Las Vegas guests are not socially distancing.
As Las Vegas casinos reopen, not every employee is convinced it's safe to go back.
As Las Vegas casinos reopen, some employees aren't convinced it's safe to go back.
1.54M Americans filed for unemployment last week - Video
The U.S. Labor Department released the unemployment numbers on Thursday, June 11. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1.54 Million Americans Filed for Unemployment Last Week
1.54 Million Americans Filed for Unemployment Last Week. The U.S. Labor Department released the unemployment numbers on Thursday. The number of jobless claims was just below economists' predictions of 1.55 million claims. 1.897 million Americans applied for unemployment insurance the previous week. More than 44 million Americans have filed jobless claims in the past three months. Continuing claims nearly topped 21 million. The numbers follow the May jobs report, which revealed that more than two million jobs were added to the U.S. economy in May. Initial jobless claims continued the gradual downward trend. But it is still hard to square the claims figures with the much more upbeat news on the labor market from May’s Employment Report, Capital Economics, via Yahoo Finance
Visitors return to Las Vegas
Guests returned to Las Vegas casinos throughout the weekend. Casinos reopened on Thursday after being closed for 78 days because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Sisolak tours casino property after reopening - Video
Gov. Steve Sisolak and Sandra Morgan, chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, participated in a tour of the Wynn Las Vegas hotel-casino where they share their first thoughts on casinos reopening. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Treasure Island reboots operations after coronavirus shutdown - Video
When casinos shut down, not only were tourists unseen on the Las Vegas Strip, but jobs were temporarily lost. Treasure Island took the months off to remodel and fix the property, adjusting the casino for COVID-19 norms. Now that they’re open again, management is slowly hiring back staff as guests return. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gaming boards back Eldorado-Caesars deal

The state Gaming Control Board on Wednesday unanimously backed Reno-based Eldorado Resorts Inc.’s $17.3 billion bid to acquire Caesars Entertainment Corp. and build the world’s largest casino operation.