New Virgin Hotels Las Vegas resort opens amid wave of optimism, NCAA tournament betting

LAS VEGAS — Opening a new casino resort during a pandemic isn’t ideal, but Virgin Hotels Las Vegas may have found a sweet spot with the timing of its launch.

After delaying its opening twice, the off-Strip property opened Thursday.

Industry watchers say Las Vegas casino operators still face pandemic-related challenges, but the operating environment today is much better than where Las Vegas stood just weeks ago.

“The prospects for summer look increasingly positive — with vaccination levels increasing and plenty of pent-up demand from people looking to put the pandemic behind them,” Jonathan Day, an associate professor of hospitality and tourism management at Purdue University, told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s a sign of optimism in the recovery that Virgin is committed to opening.”

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas initially planned to open in the fall after a $200 million renovation of the former Hard Rock Hotel. Plans were pushed back to January and delayed once again before Thursday’s opening date was announced.

Now Las Vegas is starting to show significant signs of recovery.

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