Did you get a chance to drive down the Strip during the early stages of the pandemic? If you did, you probably suffered from that haunting feeling that Las Vegas had undergone a sea change (and a sea change is hard to pull off in the middle of the desert): No traffic, no people, no activity whatsoever.
Even though the gloom is starting to lift and the resorts have reopened, there’s no doubt that the times are a-changin’. Lackluster visitation, the lack of live entertainment, the virtual elimination of the sacrosanct buffet…it’s a different world now. What better way to recognize these new realities than by acknowledging that our casino signs should be a-changin’, too.
Let’s try to reimagine some of those signs for a brave new Vegas world:
CASINO PARKING GARAGE SIGN:
Free parking, just show your mask
Free parking. Now that’s a good sign.
FRONT ENTRANCE SIGN:
Enter at your own risk
Not exactly welcoming, but casinos never had greeters at the door anyway.
Don’t don’t blow on the dice
Old habits die hard (sorry for the word play), and even compliant craps players will, by habit, try to blow on the dice with their masks on. Time for a rolling-the-dice machine? Face Shield for players?
JACKPOT WINNER SIGN:
Your choice: win a million dollars or a bottle of hand sanitizer.
We know 100 percent of the winners would take the million bucks, but nothing says casinos care like hand sanitizer.
Do not return your crayon
Crayons are cheap and easy to replace. All casinos employees have to do is just hand them out with gloves on. Better than that, request people to BYOC (Bring Your Own Crayon).
It’s either a sit-down meal or to-go. Blunt and to the point.
Maybe some day
Technically, you could open a showroom, but the entertainer would have to be comfortable performing before audience cut-outs borrowed from the Dodgers.
Open today, maybe not tomorrow
This one’s tricky on a number of levels. Are you having food with that drink?; peanuts only?; are you drinking here or taking it to some other part of the casino? Do you know what day of the week it is?
DAY CLUB SIGN:
Yes, we know masks don’t look good with bikinis, but we all have to sacrifice.
This is the right kind of superficial message for partygoers who have made the ultimate concession of partying at a distance
CONVENTION AREA SIGN:
Masked Balls only
Enough said, don’t call Ed.
Choose your corner
Not sure how you social distance here. Suggestions?
These are some ideas for sign changes that reflect our new reality. The question is whether any casinos will use them. One thing we know for sure is that Las Vegas always adapts to changes, good and bad. And it’s comforting to know that Las Vegas will never, despite everything, sign off.