Palms staff ready to reopen resort’s doors after 2-year closure

Palms staff ready to reopen resort’s doors after 2-year closure

Workers were putting the finishing touches on updates to the Palms and new employees were finishing their training Monday in preparation for the off-Strip resort’s grand reopening this week.

After being closed for more than two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palms — one of the last of the city’s major properties to reopen — will open the doors to the public at 9 p.m. Wednesday, just in time to welcome crowds expected to be in Las Vegas later this week for the three-day NFL draft.

The Palms is opening under new ownership. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and its San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority, one of the biggest tribal casino operators in Southern California, will open the first Southern Nevada resort completely owned by a Native American tribe.

The tribe acquired the 766-room, 20-year-old Palms from Red Rock Resorts subsidiary Station Casinos Inc., in May for $650 million. It was licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission in December to operate the casino.

Having undergone more than a $600 million renovation in 2019, the Palms returns with a diverse mix of bars and restaurants, featuring the return of Scotch 80 Prime and Mabel’s BBQ by Chef Michael Symon.

Casual dining options will include Send Noodles and the debut of Serrano Vista Cafe, a sister property to a similarly named restaurant at the tribe’s Yaamava’ Resort in Highland, California.

The tribe began taking hotel reservations earlier this month and will host its first guests Thursday, the night Las Vegas is expected to be filled with visitors attending NFL draft festivities, which run through Saturday night.

A fireworks celebration is set for opening night. Members of the tribe also will have a ceremonial observance prior to the doors opening.

Palms officials say more than half of the 900 workers hired to operate the resort worked at the property before it was shut down March 17, 2020.

On Monday, the property’s renovated 94,065-square-foot casino had dealer groups going over details of table-game play and dozens of upgraded slot machines had blank screens in advance of being switched on Wednesday night.

Restaurant staff were going over their last training meetings before accommodating the public.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.