Lights out — Las Vegas Strip goes dark for at least 30 days

Mar 19, 2020

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The lights on the Las Vegas Strip have gone dark before, but it’s usually only for a few minutes in recognition of the passing of a president, a key figure in Las Vegas history or a movement such as Earth Day. But the current COVID-19-related shutdown has turned off the lights of the bright, feisty, dynamic Las Vegas Strip in a way that we’ve never seen before — both literally and figuratively.

Effective March 17, Nevada governor Steve Sisolak ordered all nonessential businesses in Nevada to close by midnight on Tuesday for 30 days — this includes the world-famous casinos and gaming operations.

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So what does that mean? For now, MGM Resorts (Bellagio, Aria, MGM Grand, NoMad, etc.), Caesars (Caesars, Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s, etc.), Wynn and most other major casinos are closed and currently taking reservations for travel dates beginning April 17, though, of course, that’s subject to change.

But it’s not just the casino doors that are shuttered (also, literally), but it’s also the iconic, big, bold, blinking lights themselves that are, for now, also switched to the off position.

The shows are all dark. And the fountains. And while unconfirmed, our money would bet that the volcanoes are also silently awaiting the return of slightly tipsy, kind of rowdy visitors that while perhaps annoying even just two weeks ago, are now sorely missed on the largely silent Strip.

While the Strip sits and waits, we’ll brush up on how to maximize the casino loyalty programs, have our strategies to skip the lines ready (for once the crowds return), map out some day trips from Las Vegas and even learn which status matches may score you an even more rewarding trip for when the lights of Las Vegas do come back on.

For more on travel and the coronavirus outbreak, see:

Featured image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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