May 29, 2020 - 12:01 am
Updated May 29, 2020 - 4:56 pm
Families showing up to splash pads at Las Vegas parks on Friday were disappointed to find that the water was still off despite an announcement that the facilities would reopen along with skate parks, volleyball courts and exercise stations.
The official Twitter account for the City of Las Vegas tweeted at 9 a.m. Friday that splash pads were open, along with a link to a list of locations.
But after Twitter users reported arriving at parks with their kids and swim gear in tow only to find the water off, the account clarified that splash pads were reopening throughout the day.
“All of our splash pads will be turned on by the end of the day,” the tweet said. “Our team is working their way through city parks since each one has to manually turned on.”
Splash pads in North Las Vegas are scheduled to reopen Saturday, while those in Summerlin will reopen June 1.
Splash pads in Henderson were also scheduled to reopen Friday, though play structures and basketball courts will remain closed
— Alexandra Appleton
Galleria mall reopens; most of its stores remain closed
Galleria at Sunset Mall in Henderson opened its doors Friday — but with the majority of its stores still shuttered.
Just over a dozen storefronts were open in the two-story mall that features well over 100 stores. Only two outlets in the mall’s food court were open, Great Steak and Kyklos Greek Cafe.
Around 100 customers were walking about the mall, with the majority of them wearing masks or face coverings.
Stores listed social distancing policies on their storefronts. Zumiez draped a plastic wrap around the checkout area and was not allowing more than 12 people in the store at a time.
Hand sanitizer stations were also placed throughout the mall, mainly near the entrances of the building.
Raider Image, the Raiders’ official team store, was among those open in the Galleria mall, with customers able to pick up online orders or place an order with an associate at a table as customers aren’t allowed to fully enter the store. Social distancing markers were laid out in the line area with a football theme stating, “Feel the pocket, keep two yards apart.”
Raider Image had been carrying out curbside pickup during the mall’s closure, with plans calling for customers to be able to browse freely starting next week, according to an employee.
Andre Body, who lives in Sunrise Manor near Henderson, made a pit stop by the Galleria while running errands to purchase some official Las Vegas Raiders gear from the store.
“I was definitely waiting for the mall to open today,” Body said, while wearing a Golden Knights themed mask. “Of course we’ve all been at home and I’m just glad that everything is starting to get back to normal, as least a little bit. My first stop was Raider Image, I’m a huge Raiders fan and I’m glad that they’re coming and I just wanted to get some of their new gear.”
With the majority of shoppers wearing masks and adhering to social distancing and other safety practices, Body said he felt safe being out in a public setting.
“For me I do wear a mask but if I see someone who is not wearing one I’m not going to get too upset,” Body said. “As long as if they sneeze and they cover their mouth and as long as they’re social distancing I’m OK with that. I’m just happy that I got some Raiders stuff.”
— Mick Akers
Worshippers arriving at Masjid Ibrahim for Jummah prayers Friday afternoon encountered a new — and, they hope, only temporary — normal in the form of mosque chairman Athar Haseebullah sitting at the main doors to run down a few ground rules.
Attendance at the mosque, 3788 N. Jones Blvd., was limited to 50. Socially distanced spaces were pre-marked on the prayer room floor. Attendees’ names and phone numbers were recorded.
And, of course, face masks were required. One man called the requirement stupid but put one on and entered anyway. Ten minutes later, he left.
But most were just happy to again join with others in prayer. Sheikh Abdullah prayed at home during the mosque’s shutdown and, he said, “it actually doesn’t matter. God is everywhere,”
Still, he added, returning to the mosque was “really amazing. You feel like you’re reborn again.”
— John Przybys
Closed massage business ‘wants to get back to normal
A man wearing a surgical mask over his mouth but not his nose walked into the open door of Durango Massage, 8550 W. Desert Inn Road. The family-owned business provided him the same refrain they’ve given to the number of potential customers they turned away on Friday: “Sorry, we’ll be open next week.”
Owner Leo Wang could use the business, but he didn’t feel his parlor was ready to reopen Friday, according to Daixiao Sun, a consultant for the parlor and de facto translator.
“The business wants to get back to normal,” she said.
Wang has tried to abide by the governor’s directives since the statewide shutdown began and may await further word from Gov. Steve Sisolak before finally reopening, Sun said.
In the meantime, she said, the business plans to install a barrier at its front desk next week to protect customers and the receptionist. Additionally, it will implement a single-use sheet system for its massage beds and provide masks to customers.
It’s been tough for the business and its employees, Sun said. The government hasn’t yet provided Paycheck Protection Program funding to Durango Massage, and employees are getting ready to come back to work without having any success collecting unemployment benefits, she said.
“Nobody has received anything,” Sun said.
In the same shopping complex at South Durango Drive and West Desert Inn Road, an Anytime Fitness location at 8490 W. Desert Inn Road was open. A “social distancing facility” sign greeted gym members at the door, and an employee in a surgical mask and latex gloves played doorkeeper.
A couple of people were getting in a workout, curling weights and staying far enough apart from each other. Employees declined a formal interview but noted that members were eager to get back in the gym.
The door opened to Red Persimmon Nails, 8470 W. Desert Inn Road, and the unmistakable scent of nail polish overwhelmed even a reporter’s face mask. A man inside declined an interview, saying “Not a good time. We’re pretty busy.”
A handful of people sat at nail stations spaced apart from one another while workers on the other side of a transparent partition painted their nails through a curved barrier opening.
In the parking lot, a discarded black face mask leaned against a chipped red no-parking curb, providing a temporary rest stop for a paper straw wrapper.
— Mike Shoro
Henderson water park patrons ‘back to having fun’
Cowabunga Bay in Henderson opened shortly before 11 a.m. Friday to a long line of families waiting at the gate and ticket office.
Shane Huish, one of the park’s owners, said it was a good crowd for the park’s opening day, given it was only open to season pass holders.
“They’re back to having fun,” Huish said.
The park, which typically opens in March, is operating at 50 percent capacity. Employees were wearing masks, and hand sanitizer stations dot the park. Crews are also increasing cleaning efforts, including sanitizing life jackets after each use. Staff has been practicing the new protocols over the past two weeks, Huish said.
Outside, however, few people standing in line wore masks, and social distancing was mostly forgotten.
Once patrons got in, they dispersed to various parts of the park and largely stayed apart from their neighbors. Signage at the park encourages social distancing.
Longtime visitors Rich Toffolla and Tara Marquardt and their 7-year-old daughter, Aviana, were among the first to walk through Cowabunga Bay’s gates.
“It’s great to be back!” Aviana said as she entered the park.
And as for Marquardt, she was just ready to get out of the house.
Cat Moeller, who visited with her family, said she thought being outside and coming in contact with chlorine would be safer than being inside.
“I’m happy that we’re back on track,” she said.
The park reopens to the general public on Monday.
Customers belly up to the bar, seated far apart
The few customers who strolled into the PT’s Gold bar at Cactus Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South before noon on Friday greeted employees like they were at a family reunion.
Richard Colquitt ordered a beer and bumped elbows with a male employee wearing a mask before settling onto a stool set far apart from others at the bar. The 57-year-old marveled at how different Las Vegas felt during the more than two months of closures.
“It’s going to be nice to see us normal again,” said Colquitt, who lives near the PT’s and decided to grab a drink when he drove by and saw it had reopened.
The bar was one of the few PT’s locations that reopened at 10 a.m. on Friday. Golden Entertainment, which operates PT’s, will open 36 additional bars Thursday at 12:01 a.m., according to a press release.
Like Colquitt, Gary Krupp said he had been going to the PT’s Gold at 10520 Las Vegas Boulevard South since it opened a little over a year ago. Krupp was the first customer on Friday, and he sat at the bar drinking an iced tea and chatting with a bartender.
He said the shut down and closures felt “depressing,” and he wanted to go to the bar on Friday to catch up with employees he’s friends with.
— Katelyn Newberg
Skateboarders get back in action
Despite the near 100-degree heat Friday, enthusiasts of all ages took to Anthem Hills skatepark to get their kicks in after several weeks of the park being shuttered.
About two-dozen skateboarders and scooter riders were attempting various tricks around the large concrete park Friday morning.
“It’s honestly great, it gives me something to do again,” said Royal Mckee, a Summerlin resident who made the trek to Henderson with a group of friends. “It’s been hard to get exercise in with skateparks and gyms closed. It’s great to be back out here, I’ve definitely missed it a ton.”
As the skaters and scooter riders did their thing, an elderly couple walking their dog passed by and cheered them on, saying it was great to see life back at the skatepark.
Mckee said it’s a relief for him and his friend to ride at a skatepark without the fear of law enforcement kicking them out. During the closures, he and his friends hopped fences at some area skateparks and took advantage of an empty Las Vegas Strip to skate there as well as at area businesses and schools.
“We’ve been skating a little bit, yeah we were hopping gates,” he said. “So, it’s so nice to be allowed to do it again. It was crazy to skate the Strip. I never thought we’d be able to do that.”
Already having skated Hidden Falls skatepark near Horizon Drive and Horizon Ridge Parkway earlier in the morning, Mckee said they might check out one more park on a mini skatepark tour in honor of the openings and his friend’s 21st birthday.
“We might go to Morrell (Park skatepark) later, but it’s getting pretty hot, so we’ll see,” Mckee said.
— Mick Akers
Henderson apologizes for miscommunication on playground, hoops
After initially stating playgrounds and basketball courts would be able to reopen as Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan begins, city of Henderson officials announced Friday that is not the case.
In a tweet from the city’s verified account they alerted residents that playgrounds and basketball courts are not going to be opening Friday as planned.
“Henderson families, late yesterday we learned we will not be allowed to open playgrounds or basketball courts as hoped,” the tweet said. “This decision was made after receiving additional directives from the governor’s office. We know how disappointing this is and we sincerely apologize.”
Residents responded to the Twitter message with disappointment, questioning the reasoning of opening some establishments but not youth-oriented areas.
“Realize it’s not you guys,” Twitter user Jarrod Klein responded. “But it’s very frustrating that there’s a date to drink and gamble but not one to have kids play. Seems out of order to me.”
The city said other park features such as splash pads where children don’t have to touch the same surfaces and don’t need to be sanitized were reopening Friday.
— Mick Akers
Working out at gym ‘so nice’
Working out at home during the COVID-19 pandemic just wasn’t the same for Las Vegan Carole Hedge.
So, on Friday morning, Hedge was one of the first people at The Gym Las Vegas, 7165 S. Buffalo Drive, for her first actual gym workout in more than two months.
“Being able to come back and see everyone, it is so nice to come here and start the day right,” Hedge said.
Owner Rob Martinez said it was great to be back open and to welcome in his regular customers early Friday.
“It is an exciting day,” Martinez said. “My clients are ready to get back going.”
Martinez said the gym is implementing comprehensive social distancing and cleaning practices, adding “we’ve eliminated anything that is going to put a lot of people in a small amount of space.”
— Glenn Puit
2-month wait for gym
Desiree Ford was at the front door of CrossFit Apollo in northwest Las Vegas before the sun came up Friday, ready to get back to fitness.
She’d waited more than two months for the gym at 6535 N. Buffalo Drive to reopen, and at 5:15 a.m., it finally happened.
“We are just excited, supporting each other as a community, kinda getting back to what the new normal is going to look like,” Ford said. Friday was a big day as well for gym co-owner Chad Cole. He said the gym has implemented extensive cleaning and safety measures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including extensive cleaning, social distancing and shorter classes. He said the business struggled through the loss of revenue. He believes the lifting of restrictions on Nevada small businesses and the reopening was long overdue.
“The last month or so it has been a battle against our local government to allow us to reopen again” Cole said.
— Glenn Puit
State gives guidance for Phase Two
Nevada has published the official guidance for the state’s Phase Two reopening plan that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday under a directive that was set to expire June 30.
A statement from the governor’s office reiterates that trends on cases, hospitalizations and other infection metrics will be monitored for two to three weeks after Phase Two starts.
“Should the data trends continue to remain positive, the governor maintains the ability to enter Phase 3 of reopening prior to the June 30, 2020 expiration set forth in the latest directive,” the statement read.
Businesses and facilities getting the conditional go-ahead to reopen as of Friday include bars; gyms and other health and fitness facilities; spas, massage therapy and aesthetic service providers; tattoo and piercing shops; pools; movie theaters, bowling alleys and arcades; state parks; and sports, concert or theater venues without audiences. Socially distanced church gatherings of up to 50 people are also permitted.
Remaining closed: live audience events; brothels, strip clubs and other adult entertainment establishments; and nightclubs.
The governor’s office also posted detailed industry-specific guidance.
— Bill Dentzer