91°F
weather icon Clear

Las Vegas bar workers frustrated, angry as restrictions return

Updated July 11, 2020 - 1:56 am

Like many in the hospitality industry, COVID-19 has hit Roxanne Gomez particularly hard.

After losing her job at The Golden Tiki in the original shutdown, the single mom still hasn’t been able to collect unemployment. So when the bar reopened, she was excited to return to work — only to be sidelined once again when she contracted the coronavirus. She’s currently symptom-free and eager to get back to providing for her family.

Yet on Thursday, as she awaited the negative test result that could clear her to return to work, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that bars would be reverting to Phase One restrictions, leaving the future of The Golden Tiki, and bars throughout the valley, uncertain of their next steps.

“I’m still left here with no unemployment, no help,” Gomez said Friday of her predicament. “I’m just so frustrated.”

The Golden Tiki has since announced it will remain open, without bar seats, at least through the end of the weekend. But even if that continues until Gomez can return, she knows the lack of gaming will have a big effect on the staff.

“That’s where you make the majority of your (tip) money, with the gamers. So that’s going to affect everyone, any bartender, everywhere.”

Anthony Marco, who describes himself as a “gaming bartender” at Bar Code Burger Bar feels the same way. His bar will continue operating under the Phase One guidelines, but with reduced hours and no gaming.

“It is a big hit, hour-wise (and) money-wise,” Marco says of the changes.

At Jackson’s Bar &Grill, owner Brian Slipock decided to close at 11:59 p.m. on Friday night rather than continue without his gaming revenue.

“We don’t make money on food or beverage,” Slipock explained. “It’s gaming. So it’s not worth it to stay open.”

And while he says he “saw it coming,” he’s frustrated to see bars saddled with new rules, while casinos aren’t.

“We’ve seen the videos of the pools at a number of the casinos: 200, 300 people not distancing, no masks,” he notes.

“I have three employees that work a shift. At my busiest now I’ll have 20, 25 people in here. So by shutting us down and not having 28 people here, it’s not going to make a dent (in cases).”

In Southern Highlands, the Italian restaurant Spaghetty Western, while remaining open, had to shut down its bar. Bartender Scarlett Brock, who is still waiting to receive unemployment payments from the initial shutdown, calls the financial impact of being out of work again “a knock in the face.” Moreover, she says there’s an emotional impact.

“I enjoy working and seeing my customers, a lot of the regulars around here,” Brock says. “So that’s actually taking a toll on my mental health, not being able to be with all of these people on a day-to-day basis.”

Nonetheless, she’s trying to put things in the proper perspective.

“I can’t be mad at any particular person, because no one particular person brought this virus to us. So at this point, I’m angry at the situation.”

Contact Al Mancini at amancini@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter and Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Sahara Las Vegas gets COVID-19 regulatory complaint - VIDEO
Sahara Las Vegas is the first property on the Las Vegas Strip — and the first in Southern Nevada — to receive a regulatory complaint related to coronavirus safety protocols.
CEO unsure if Palms will reopen - VIDEO
Frank Fertitta III, chairman and CEO of Red Rock Resorts, said the company doesn't know if or when the Palms or three other Station Casinos properties will reopen. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Two Las Vegas visitors win mega progressive jackpots - VIDEO
Two visitors to the Las Vegas Strip won mega progressive jackpots on table games Friday - one at Caesars Palace and another at the Flamingo. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
D Las Vegas pulls back on dress code policy - Video
The policy barred people with face and neck tattoos from entering the downtown Las Vegas hotel-casino. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Amazon warehouse safety measures
Safety measures have been set up at the Amazon warehouse in North Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Stadium hits substantial completion milestone
Nine-hundred-and-ninety-three days after the groundbreaking ceremony on Nov. 13 2017 on what was then a 62-acre lot of dirt, the $2 billion Allegiant Stadium, home of the Raiders, now holds its own in the Las Vegas skyline.
Tropicana hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip up for sale - VIDEO
Gaming and Leisure Properties, landlord of the 35-acre Tropicana, is looking to sell the Las Vegas property and rent it back or sell it outright.
Circa Sports bets big on NFL handicapping contests - Video
A little more than six weeks before the NFL’s scheduled season opener, the Circa sportsbook is staring at a potential multimillion-dollar loss. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak: Bars in four counties to stay closed - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak said bars in four counties, including Clark County, will remain closed to help fight COVID-19. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa CEO comments on minor construction flaw
Circa CEO Derek Stevens, who also owns D Las Vegas and Golden Gate, said he had originally planned to fix a misplaced glass panel, but it may be here to stay.
Circa Las Vegas casino gets 1st six-ton exterior sign - Video
The under-construction Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas gets its first exterior sign bearing its name Thursday morning. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wynn Resorts Ltd. to place workers on furlough - VIDEO
Wynn Resorts Ltd. will put workers at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore on furlough, effective this week. This comes after paying its Las Vegas employees throughout the 78-day Nevada casino shutdown. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Switch, Capital Dynamics break ground on developments - Video
The project, Gigawatt 1®, includes the largest behind-the-meter solar plus battery project in the world. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small crew removes scaffolding, shoring from MSG Sphere project - Video
The MSG Sphere at The Venetian has a skeleton crew on the job site to keep watch on the project, but workers recently removed scaffolding and shoring from the site. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Amid the pandemic, Southern Nevadans are falling behind on mortgages - Video
As Nevada’s foreclosure moratorium ends, homeowners must figure out how to pay off any missed mortgage payments. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Casino foot traffic slows as COVID-19 cases rise - VIDEO
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Las Vegas casino foot traffic is starting to slow, according to a J.P. Morgan analyst.
Las Vegas entrepreneur Andrew Fonfa dies at 68 - VIDEO
Andrew Fonfa, a developer of the Lucky Dragon hotel-casino just off the Las Vegas Strip, died at age 68.
Las Vegas casinos modify smoking policies - VIDEO
On June 18, Las Vegas Sands Corp. updated its health and safety plan to ask table game players and spectators to refrain from smoking or vaping.
Tourists compare pre-pandemic Vegas to today's restrictions - VIDEO
We spoke with tourists walking up and down Las Vegas Boulevard about their experience so far amid pandemic restrictions, and how it compares to their last time in pre-pandemic Vegas. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boyd Gaming Corp. has laid off at least 2,500 Nevada employees - Video
On May 22, the casino operator issued letters warning of possible impending layoffs . affecting anywhere between 25 and 60 percent of employees. The company had approximately 10,000 employees in Nevada.
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas gives notice of potential layoffs - VIDEO
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas sent the state notice of potential layoffs at the 3,000-room property on the Las Vegas Strip.
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.
THE LATEST