The Park MGM casino reopened on Wednesday for the first time in months after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic with features designed to keep guests safe.
The casino, the last of MGM Resorts International's properties to reopen, welcomed back guests with pandemic protocols in place, such as handwashing stations and plexiglass dividers between players and dealers, according to local TV station KSNV. And, more notably, it will be the only smoke-free casino on the Strip.
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The expansive property includes the upscale NoMad Las Vegas hotel, and the 5,200-seat Park Theater, which remains closed due to a COVID-19 ban on crowds.
Prior to welcoming back guests on Sept. 30, Anton Nikodemus, president of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas Portfolio, said the company "identified an opportunity to be responsive to recurring guest demand for a fully non-smoking casino resort on The Strip."
Smoking and secondhand smoke have in the past sparked lawsuits and intense political debate.
However, Nikodemus said being closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic revived an idea that had been considered when the former Monte Carlo hotel and casino floor was renovated, rebranded and reopened as Park MGM in 2018.
“During this time we’ve been able to really prepare the property for a smoke-free resort experience,” he said.
The move is hardly a gamble according to Nikodemus, who said the company believes "there is a high level of pent-up demand to have a non-smoking casino, especially here in Las Vegas.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.