Social distancing at MGM properties includes Bellagio’s Conservatory Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · June 2, 2020 at 6:26 am Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden wasn’t built with social distancing in mind. The airy 14,000-square-foot-space, located just off the Strip resort’s lobby, is often packed shoulder-to-shoulder with visitors looking for just the right angle from which to take the perfect selfie or group photo in front of the many decorative floral displays that change with the seasons. MGM Resorts International officials were determined that reopening Bellagio under enhanced health and safety protocols following a 78-day shutdown due to COVID-19 wasn’t going to take away from the Conservatory experience. When Bellagio reopens Thursday, guests looking to view “Japan Journey: Magic of Kansai,” will find a new traffic pattern that has one entry point and one exit into the garden, which itself now has stanchions to keep people walking in the same direction and physical distancing guidelines that include floor decals aimed at keeping people the required six feet apart. A spacing advisory decal on the floor of the Bellagio Conservatory “We’ve set up a plan where you will see every part of the room and get some great pictures to post on social media or put into the family album,” Jerry Bowlen, executive director of horticulture at Bellagio, said Monday. MGM Resorts displayed numerous health and safety enhancements at Bellagio as directed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, including reduced seating at table games and changes to physical distancing on the slot machine floor, where games are now spaced apart and nearly half of the machines are off. The company also displayed other features outlined in MGM’s seven-point safety plan, which will be utilized at Bellagio and MGM’s more than two dozen other properties in eight states. “The model you see is a standardized approach at all our properties, because we have to take health and safety seriously,” said John Flynn, the MGM Resorts vice president overseeing the company’s health and safety strategy. Every other blackjack, baccarat and craps table at the resort has now had plexiglass barriers installed to separate the players. Hand sanitizer dispensers were on every table game, and handwashing stations and kiosks are located throughout the properties. “We want to make handwashing a first-and-foremost thought among our customers and employees,” Flynn said. Currently, Bellagio plans to reopen with five restaurants, all with increased physical distancing of tables, a contactless menu –viewed either through a mobile app or a disposable menu – and virtual check-in. A mini baccarat table with Plexiglas barriers installed to separate the players. The changes at Bellagio, MGM’s flagship Las Vegas Strip resort, are being mirrored at MGM Grand Las Vegas and New York-New York, the two other Strip hotel-casinos the company is opening Thursday. Flynn said two additional MGM Strip properties are currently being retrofitted under the health and safety plan, but didn’t offer further specifics. “We need to see how the reopening goes forward. We’re taking a slow and methodical approach,” Flynn said. Bellagio and other MGM properties nationwide will utilize contactless check-in, which enables guests to complete the check-in process entirely through the MGM Resorts mobile app, including payment, ID verification, and a digital room key. On Monday, MGM Resorts reopened Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi, the state’s largest casino resort. Last week, MGM resumed operations at the Gold Strike in Tunica, Mississippi. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.