Gov. Steve Sisolak’s directive this week regarding the maximum crowd size allowed under anti-COVID-19 guidelines may have increased that number fivefold, but many local business owners say it will only have little or no effect on their current functioning. .
“Not at all,” said Kevin Mills, owner and senior manager of the Omelet House.
“We’re still navigating changes that may come from updated restrictions, but on the face of it, we don’t think it’s going to be all that helpful for small local restaurants,” Elizabeth Blau, restaurant developer and owner of Honey Salt, Buddy V’s Ristorante and the soon to be renamed Andiron Steak & Sea said through a spokeswoman.
The directive increased crowd maximums from 50 to 250, or half the facility’s capacity – whichever is smaller.
“For us, it really won’t make a difference,” said Metro Pizza co-owner John Arena. “You would have to be at 500 places to make 250.”
And few restaurants, in southern Nevada or the rest of the country, meet that threshold. The huge Hofbrauhaus restaurant and brasserie on Paradise Road can, disregarding social distancing, handle parties of 1,000 people standing or 700 seated, and Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace can accommodate 600 people (none have reopened since the start of the pandemic), but most restaurants in their best days can accommodate far fewer people.
Spokespersons for South Point, whose Garden Buffet is open under a modified business model, and MGM Resorts International said on Thursday there were no plans to increase seating at any of their restaurants. .
But the change may affect some private events.
“When we increase capacity, it’s going to help restaurants that have that capacity for larger events like weddings and birthdays, things like that,” said Alexandria Dazlich, director of government affairs for the Nevada Restaurant Association.
Matt Silverman, who operates seven local restaurants and bars (Hexx, Cabo Wabo Cantina, Beer Park, Chayo, Alexxa’s Bar, Big Chicken and Chateau Nightclub), said while there would be no effect on day-to-day operations, there might be on private events.
“We’re hoping there will be requests for weddings and other events over 50 people that we can take when and if people call,” Silverman said. He added that the Château nightclub can now host events for up to 250 people.
“It’s helpful,” he said.
Ryan Doherty, founder of Corner Bar Management, said through a spokeswoman the change would not affect his spots, which are generally smaller and include Commonwealth, The Laundry Room, Park on Fremont and Lucky Day. to downtown and Oddwood to Area15.
But elsewhere, there was encouraging news for music fans.
“It definitely means we’re going to bring entertainment back as soon as possible,” said Brad Goldberg, senior vice president of marketing for Golden Entertainment. “I’ve spoken to all of the different show producers we work with, and they’re all excited to get back up and running, in a socially distant and responsible way that adheres to the state’s updated mandates.”
Goldberg added that capacity constraints make more sense for some shows, depending on operating costs; that is, a comedy show can be profitable with no more than 250 spectators, but not a show with high production costs.