Palms reopens today after two-year closure becoming first tribe-owned casino in Las Vegas

The wait is over: the iconic Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas is reopening today, April 27, after more than two years in the dark. New owner San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority —the business arm of the California-based San Manuel Band of Mission Indians— will be opening the property’s doors to guests at 9 pm

The venue, which is about two decades old, opened in 2001, under the ownership of the Maloof family, primarily overseen by George Maloof, who purchased the site in 1997. Given it is an off-Strip property, it was traditionally seen as more of a Las Vegas locals casino, but the resort has been able to cater to tourists and a diverse clientele, including celebrities and young adults.

The San Manuel tribe first acquired the off-Strip resort from Red Rock Resorts last year for $650 million. While most other venues in the state returned to business after nearly 90 days of mandated closure, Palms has remained in the dark since March 2020 – but today that changes.

The reopening, which San Manuel describes as “a new chapter in Palms history,” will be celebrated with “a fireworks extravaganza.” The resort is now fully prepared to begin welcoming guests again, benefitting from a $690 million renovation of the property that Red Rock Resorts launched in 2019: not much needed to be updated.

“They spent a lot of money on this hotel,” Brandon Beach, director of hotel operations for Palms, told Las Vegas Sun. “The majority of the stuff we’ve had to do is electronic updates. A lot of what we’ve done is just re-contracting with all the different vendors. From an aesthetic perspective, this place was turnkey. It’s like walking into a home that’s perfectly furnished.”

The venue is set to impress those visiting it for the first time, and those who know it from before its extended closure will find comfort in knowing the resort’s most exciting offerings are still in place. Among them is a diverse mix of bars and restaurants, including the return of popular outlets such as acclaimed Scotch 80 Prime and Mabel’s BBQ by Chef Michael Symon.

Other dining options include the AYCE Buffet and casual options such as Send noodles. Additionally, the tribe is set to introduce the California-themed Serrano Vista Caféan American gastro-pub, similar to a restaurant the tribe has at its Yaamava’ Resort in Highland, California.

The venue also features an expansive resort pool area featuring a multi-level, sprawling 73,000-square-foot space offering two luxurious main pools and 39 unique cabanas, most with their own private pool. The space also features oversized daybeds and poolside lounge chairs throughout.

The iconic Ghostbar, once a hot spot for celebrities, and the Pearl Theater, a small concert venue, are expected to reopen this summer. In the meantime, guests may find other amenities, including a revamped sportsbook operated by William Hillset to feature five betting stations and six kiosks.

For those seeking specifics, The venue has shared the full list of signature restaurants returning after the two-year hiatus: Mabel’s BBQ by Chef Michael Symon; Scotch 80 Prime; Tim Ho Wan; Send Noodles; AYCE Buffet; Serrano Vista Cafe; Palms Pizza; Pool Cafe. But those interested in gaming will also find a complete range of offerings.

In terms of gaming space, the casino will now feature a refreshed casino floor, with new machines, and a new slot and table game layout “pods” of slots that allow guests to chat while playing alongside friends as opposed to rows of machines. The resort will also be introducing its new rewards program, Club Serrano, which is also in place at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino.

Guests will be able to stay at one of the resort’s 766 rooms and suites, which will begin accepting guests Thursday morning, with booking now available. These include “fantasy” suites that feature a basketball court, bowling lanes and other entertainment amenities, which are still part of the property.

Other experiences offered by the venue include a 14-screen movie theaters area, which has been “completely redone,” With new reclining seats, a remodeled lobby and refreshed wall murals, to reopen next month.

Returning guests might find familiar faces at the resort: about half of the 1,400-person workforce at the Palms, according to officials, are returning employees. The tribe had success with people seeking to return to work, although some positions are still open.

Members of the tribe will officially begin the opening process with a special private ceremony this afternoon. And Once the property opens its doors, the resort will be making history by becoming the first casino in Las Vegas to be 100% owned by a Native American tribe.

“It’s an honor and special experience to be working for the tribe’s Gaming Hospitality Authority and tribe where hospitality is at the pillar of what they do,” longtime Vegas gaming executive Cynthia Kiser MurpheyPalms general manager, told Nevada Independent. “So number one, the goal is to operate with true authentic hospitality and make sure this is a successful experience.”

Cynthia Kiser Murphey, general manager

The property expects big crowds from Thursday’s NFL Draft. “I think it’s the perfect time to re-unveil and reopen our property during what’s hopefully going to be one of the busiest times for Las Vegas,” Raul Daniels, vice president of event sales and catering for the Palms, told Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Before the property opens, representatives of William Hill will cut a ribbon to start that company’s operation of the revamped sportsbook. At 9 pm, the slot machines and table games will be activated, with the traditional first roll of the dice expected to occur just after opening, while fireworks are expected at around 10:45. And like that, Palms will be back in Vegas.

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