We are introducing our news round ups. In roundups, we will be discussing any topics regarding Las Vegas travel and weddings from the previous month. This could include things that have happened or anything that may affect the future of our city. You can generally expect any news that will affect you during your planning and actual event to be covered.

We have some interesting news from October 2020. Most events being the direct effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is not all bad news!

More Covid-19 Restrictions were lifted

Governor Sisolak lifted some restrictions on gatherings saying that positive cases had fallen due to mask usage and social distancing.

Covid-19 groups and gatherings updates

On October 1st gatherings allowed a new limit of 250 people, or 50 percent venue capacity, whichever is less. The new event cap is in addition to anyone working. I expect micro weddings and elopements to continue to reign as king, but this should be a relief for upcoming 2021 couples.

Any venue that has a larger seating capacity of 2500 or more are allowed 10% to be filled as long as they are broken up into groups of 250 or less.

This also ushers in an opportunity for small conventions and trade shows of 1000 people or less to return to the city.

The state also has the option to approve even larger groups if applicable. This is great news for the events industry, assuming all the proper measures are taken to ensure employee safety.

There have been a ton of changes in the Wedding Market

The wedding industry has seen some good and some bad as a result of this pandemic. The sad part is seeing the closures that are beginning to take place.

The oldest running chapel in Vegas demolished

The most surprising news has been the demolition of Wee Kirk o’the Heather Wedding Chapel at the beginning of October. It is a notable Chapel full of history in Las Vegas as it was the oldest continually running wedding chapel, having opened in 1940. On top of the countless weddings that took place within its walls, it hosted many celebrity weddings and was featured in some movies over the years such as “Paper Hearts” “Intolerable Cruelty” and “Fools Rush In”.

The chapel was closed in April and purchased by a cooperation in Chicago, the family who used to own it were surprised and unaware it would be demolished on six months later. The demolition permit had not yet been approved at the time of the building was torn down.

It is very sad to see a piece of history disappear after 70 years of operation. I actually went to high school two blocks away so it was a building I saw daily for many years. But it is well known in Las Vegas that history does not last. It is the sad truth but locals are all too familiar with the notion that new brings in the crowds. History is not commonly preserved here.

Maybe some good news is that with the loss of such a historical site. The Nevada Preservation Foundation is in the process of trying to get a protective order to review historic buildings and take their history into consideration before demolishing them.

The old building would not have been salvageable, as it is made of Adobe and would have crumbled had they tried to move it. But The Neon Museum is currently working to take the sign, so you may see this bit of history in the boneyard someday soon.

Bliss Chapel opened at the beginning of October

The newest wedding chapel in Las Vegas opened it’s doors at the beginning of October after months of construction and some delays from Covid.

Near downtown Las Vegas, Bliss Wedding Chapel is a gorgeous and bright full-services chapel. They offering the venue, officiant, attire rentals, floral, photography, video, and transportation all in one location.

They also offer their ceremonies in a number of languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Korean, Italian, and Japanese.

If the chapel isn’t your perfect location, they also offer off property destination weddings. Such as the Grand Canyon, Valley of Fire, High Roller, and Nelson’s Ghost Town.

Vegas Wedding Renovates THE Chapel

Speaking of new, Vegas Weddings has also stepped up with a beautiful renovation of THE Wedding Chapel.

Wide shot of the chapel at Vegas Weddings, looking down the center of the aisle toward the front of the chapel before the renovations.
Before the renovation of THE Chapel at Vegas Weddings

They did a few simple changes, but the chapel definitely benefits from the modern touches and the lighter walls which brightens the space making it look even more grand then before.

Wide shot of the chapel at Vegas Weddings, looking down the center of the aisle toward the front of the chapel after the renovations.
After the 2020 renovation of THE Chapel at Vegas Weddings

What do you think of the renovations done? Do you prefer the classic dark woods or the modern bright and airy?

Watabe USA closes the Las Vegas branch

As the international market continues to stay home, by choice or through government orders, we are seeing many businesses with international clientele start to shutter. Watabe USA, a section of Watabe Weddings which is the largest wedding company in Japan, has closed it’s Las Vegas branch after 22 years of service.

The travel restrictions from Japan have left business at zero. The Covid-19 restrictions coming less than a year after their office burned down during the Park at 3900 office complex fire in 2019. The company had a fully built out salon with many attire options for couples to rent and was a full service shop for Japanese couples. A series of unfortunate events has lead to the decision to discontinue services in Vegas.

I know that this one is a small portion of the wedding industry and very niche as they specialize in a foreign market but I personally worked as a contracted photographer for this company until it’s closure. It is very sad to see the closure and my work relationship with such kind and hard working people come to an end. I felt it was only right to mention Watabe as it will be truly missed. But maybe one day they will rise from the ashes.

Casinos old and new are opening their doors

More hotels reopened with changes after Covid closures

The Cromwell and Park MGM both opened their doors again in October, after closing their doors along side all the other properties along Las Vegas boulevard on March 18th.

Park MGM reopened on October 1st, officially marking the reopening of ALL 9 MGM properties in Las Vegas. The property has made one distinct policy change very different from any other on the boulevard. They are now a no smoking property.

Casinos on the Strip are surprisingly clean and the air quality is very clear considering the amount of smokers at properties. But this will be the first casino offering truly clean air to its guests. Designated areas outside the property will be available for smokers.

“We started to see a significant demand for a nonsmoking casino,” said Anton Nikodemus, president of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas, to the Review Journal.

Time’s have really changed since Silver City, who closed in 1999, attempted to make their casino a “non smoking” casino in 1992 but eventually reverted the decision. Park MGM has received positive feedback about the choice which is not surprising as cigarette smoking declines. According to the CDC in 2018, smoking reached an all-time low of 13.7% which is two-thirds less in 50 years.

Would the non-smoking policy encourage or discourage you in any way to visit Park MGM?

The Cromwell, who was the only Strip property still closed, reopened October 29th with it’s own changes. The property announced it is opening as an adults-only property. This rivals the same decision made prior to the opening of the newest property in town, Circa.

The decision may not make much of a difference to the crowd at The Cromwell as there was nothing to do for anyone under 21 prior to it’s temporary closing. Even the pool was already adults only as it was more commonly hosting Drai’s Day Club then a casual swimming spot. This really just affirms it’s no kids allowed reputation, which may be good as it gets publicity as the home of the reality show “LOVE ISLAND”.

GIADA, the restaurant named after the chef, will be the only spot welcoming guests of all ages.

The newest Casino in Vegas is now open to the public

Circa opens oct 28 rooms open Dec 28 in time for NYE

Cira Resort & Casino partially opened on October 28th on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.

Their motto? Live like there’s no tomorrow.

Their approach is to combine the best of yesterday, with the energy of today, and all the possibilities of tomorrow. Which is very fitting as the first property to be built from scratch since 1980. The last property built from the ground up on Fremont opened as The Sundance Hotel. It reopened as the Fitzgeralds, and in 2012 was remodeled to The D.

Circa is the first 21+ resort, which does include all dining, entertainment, and hotel areas. Circa has many things to do, eat, and see, including the infamous Vegas Vickie. But the most buzzed about feature is their Stadium Swim, six year round heated pools with a 40-foot screen to watch sports on. Make sure you reserve your cabanas ahead of time since access will be limited.

The hotel, which boasts a lucky 777 rooms, will be opening on December 28th. Just in time for a New Years.

Shows are beginning to reopen

All shows have been shuttered for nearly 8 months. Shows and conventions have been some of the biggest industries hit the hardest due to showroom sizes and social distancing concerns.

Behind the crowd at a concert with the trio OKGO playing instruments on the stage and the band projected on a screen above them.
OKGO performing in 2010 at New York New York | Photo by Mayhew Photo

With group size restrictions raised and with new safety protocols, a number of shows have been announced to reopen. This is great news for couples looking for more entertainment options while in town.

To start off, Caesars Palace is welcoming its guests to see ABSINTHE, starting October 28th.

MGM Entertainment announced numerous shows will begin to reopen on November 8th

The shows returning include:

Some changes to performances include limited capacity and some shows will be moved to larger venues which will help in regulating social distancing requirements. The venue changes allow for the state mandate that requires at least 25 feet between the stage and the closest audience member. They are encouraging digital sales of tickets to limit physical interactions, employees will regularly be cleaning between shows, and since the mask mandate are still in place, guests will be required to wear them when attending.

Free parking wasn’t going to last forever

Caesars Entertainment will start charging for parking again starting October 30 with some changes to it’s policy. They are now allowing free self parking for Nevada residents with a valid ID, registered hotel guests, and Caesars Reward memberships with Platinum and above. 

Parking will be charged at the following location:

  • Caesars Palace
  • Paris Las Vegas
  • Bally’s Las Vegas
  • Flamingo
  • The LINQ
  • Harrah’s

There will still be a 60 minute grace period before parking rates apply. Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood, which for some reason has always been an outlier in the paid parking takeover, will remain free to all guests. Parking prices will vary depending on peak and off-peak visiting times. 

Even though parking fees are making a return for guests, Caesars Entertainment will at least be trying to use the fees for good in the Vegas valley. They will be donating all parking fees to charitable organizations through the end of quarter 1 of 2021.

“With this updated self-parking policy, we intend to take care of our best customers – locals, hotel guests and loyal Caesars Reward members – and provide them with ease and better access to our Las Vegas properties as they continue to stay and play with us,” Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, said to Fox 5 News.

For additional and the most current information on Caesars parking rate go to their official website by clicking here.

That does it for this months news roundup. These are the stories we felt were most heavy hitting or interesting. Is there anything interesting that we didn’t cover? Leave it in the comments below!