Following a three-month hiatus during the coronavirus crisis, the MGM National Harbor casino located just outside of D.C. will reopen to the public on Monday, June 29.
Last month, Vegas-based casino giant MGM International released a detailed, 19-page reopening report that includes the game plan for its nearly four-year-old property in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The Prince George’s County resort announced its reopening plan today.
Restaurants will space seats and bar stools six feet apart and no longer hand out physical menus. Diners will scroll through options on mobile devices using a QR code and receive text message notifications when their tables are ready.
The casino will include two fine-dining options to start: Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse and Asian-themed Ginger, located in the central atrium filled with cherry blossom decor. A replacement for Fish, José Andrés’s seafood restaurant that closed in January, is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, a PR rep tells Eater. Other eating options reopening at the end of the month include the food hall at National Market and grab-and-go sweets shop Bellagio Patisserie. Bars going live include Blossom Felt Bar & Lounge on the casino floor and the Lobby Bar.
Prince George’s County has allowed indoor seating since June 15. Maryland reported 404 new COVID-19 cases and 18 more deaths Tuesday, ending two days of decline in the state. With 18,080 cases through Tuesday, Prince George’s County represents the hardest hit region in Maryland, reporting nearly 4,000 more cases than the closest area, Montgomery County. According to the Washington Post, D.C. has seen more deaths per 100,000 people than Maryland.
The entire casino will operate at half capacity, per Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s orders. Employees and guests will be required to wear masks in public areas. Face coverings will also be provided for free.
The 160,000-square-foot casino floor will open for gambling, with temperature checks via a thermal scanner upon entry. Social distancing measures will include disabling every other slot machine and installing plexiglass barriers to shield many of the table games. Poker will not be available in the first phase of reopening.
Frederick, Maryland, native Bryan Voltaggio, one of the celebrity chef brothers behind the upscale steakhouse, just landed in the national spotlight as a finalist on the recently-wrapped season of Top Chef All Stars: LA. The brothers are also behind Chesapeake Bay-focused eatery Estuary at D.C.’s Conrad Hotel, which remains closed for now.
Days and hours of operation at all venues will vary. Free self-parking will be available for guests, and valet is not an option for now.