Power won't be fully restored to Rio for days

LAS VEGAS - For the second day in a row, the Masquerade tower at the Rio Hotel is dark.

Crews are facing some challenges restoring electricity to the entire structure after two separate water-related incidents caused power outages.

The top half of the Masquerade tower will remain closed to the public through New Year's Eve weekend, possibly even longer.

However, the lower half could reopen allowing some hotel guests back in this evening.

"We were inside the room. The power went out in our room," said Art Abiva, visiting from Stockton, California.

He is among the many Rio hotel guests impacted by two rounds of power outages this week.

"Then we went back and they told us that we cannot go in," he said.

Friday afternoon, crews conducted a test in the lower half of the Masquerade tower, hoping to get the green light from county inspectors and reopen 500 of the 900 rooms.

"First it means you bring the power back up to determine whether or not that will hold and then you begin to work with the county officials to make sure that as you bring the power back up it's safe to continue before they issue an order to say 'yes, its safe to bring guests back in,'" said Richard Broome, Caesars Entertainment.

The remaining 400 rooms above the 20th floor will remain closed because some of the electrical areas are still wet.

"All of this is being done with the first priority being safety of our guests and our staff so that's why we're not testing on the upper floors because of the moisture situation," Broome said.

Guests who have been affected are being moved to other Caesars Entertainment properties on the Strip. The casino giant is also working with its competitors to accommodate customers.

"We're coming to New Year's Eve, one of the busiest times of the year for the Strip, so yes, we were operating near capacity," Broome said.

New Year's Eve festivities at the Voo Doo lounge and the restaurants on the top floor of the tower have been canceled.

The fireworks command center has also been relocated to the parking garage.

"It happens, emergencies," Abiva said.

  

the casino floor and the restaurants on the main level inside the masquerade tower have not been affected.
no word on the financial impact.
 


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