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West Coast vs. East Coast : Hospitality in Casinos Post Covid-19

Living through these uncertain and trying times as a person in the service industry, I’ve had time to focus my attention on how restaurants and casinos on the West Coast have reopened. As I watch first hand, some of the largest gaming companies in the world reopen, I can only hope that the East Coast will mirror some of these affective strategies that are put into place. Since the West Coast is phases ahead of New Jersey, my home, I feel like it’s been my duty to help my friends and colleagues back home by suggesting some amazing ideas I’ve seen here in Las Vegas.

In my opinion, in order to succeed in times like these, it must be your absolute priority to make the guest feel safe. That comes with some creativity and uniqueness on how to really accomplish that, because hand sanitizers stations only, just don’t cut it. As things began to reopen, I was so intrigued to check out local businesses in the area. Something that really got my attention was face shields in restaurants instead of masks. This was such a nice touch because now you could still see the servers face, yet also felt a sense of safety as they were taking care of you. Restaurants also started to implement temperature checks prior to you walking inside. I personally like this touch, because now you have the comfort of knowing that the staff and guests of the restaurant you’re in don’t a fever or any other sickness.

As casinos began to open, I made sure to venture into all of them and see what protocols they put in place. What I can say is, I’m very impressed with the way Las Vegas has responded to Covid-19. Casinos have security guards stationed at the entrance, to make sure every guest goes through thermal scanning before entering the building. They have also hired additional EVS people who are stationed at heavily touched places. For example, there is one person who stands by the escalator and consistently just wipes and sanitizes it all day and night. Some casinos have even hired outside sanitizing companies to walk through the casino floor with sanitizing back packs and clean the slot machines from top to bottom. Casinos also put up flexy glass dividers to separate guests. In slot stations, chairs have been removed for social distancing and in table games, we see less people at a table. For example, a game like blackjack only allows three people now instead of six. Hand washing stations have been built and installed on the casino floor, aside from just sanitizing stations to make it very accessible for guests and employees to wash their hands consistently. Lounges in casinos are conforming to social distancing guidelines by putting in place live music and DJ’s to fulfill the nightclub aspect that a lot of our younger generation is really missing through all of this.

Vegas is really paving the way, not just for Atlantic City, but for the Country. I hope to see the East Coast utilize many of the procedures that are working out here. What I know is that our industry, with creativity, hard work, and uniqueness will definitely bounce back from this stronger than ever.

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With casino’s national teams being located in Las Vegas it’s hard for AC casinos not to follow national guidelines on how to handle hospitality during COVID-19. With Caesars Ent., El Dorado, and MGM they will have national policies and procedures that all their properties will abide by. Atlantic City isn’t “behind” they’re implementing what that national teams have decided.

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