The Las Vegas landscape has changed in dramatic ways since the COVID lockdown dessimated our businesses last year. Governor Sisolak has lifted many of the restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic, but will Vegas bounce back or bust?
Before the pandemic of 2020 many there were a reported 1million jobs still available for an historic employment record nationally. President Trump had made good on his promise to be the world’s best Jobs President. Many of the Left poo pooed his boast but true to Trump form the nation enjoyed a season of nearly full employment, records in the Black, Hispanic, Asian and Women jobs filled. Then the pandemic hit the world.
Here in Las Vegas, though we on average still lag behind the nation when it comes to wages, were coming out of a record year. McCarran airport reported record numbers of visitors to the city. Our Vegas Golden Knights, the nations premeir professional hockey team set attendance and gate receipt records. No one would have ever thought a sysmic health shift would knock us off our game, but it did.
The summer and winter of and now Spring of 2021 have proven to be more than many business owners could bear. A full 50% of businesses in Las Vegas have shuttered their doors. Reports from the Black Business Chamber of Las Vegas were its membership was crippled to the tune of 60%. Comparable numbers were reported among the cities other Chambers.
Since the Governor made his last announcement that the state would begin to reopen beginning in May things have begun to once again shift. Visitors to the Silver State have begun to rise from their cold winters nap. Major casinos like Caesars, Stations and the Circa, downtowns first ground up hotel casino in over a decade were packed.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) made an official statement, “If you have been fully vaccinated, the wearing of masks was no longer mandatory”. Even President Biden who traditionally is seen with three masks on, was maskless in a Garden Room presser. The occassion was so momentous and perplexing simulataneously, reporters from CNN and MSNBC were visibly caught scratching their heads. “What just happened, did they just say we didn’t have to wear our masks?”
Out at the Circa Hotel and Casino, the pit floor was more than 40% full, the Sports Time Pool, a lavish 3 story pool, sportsbar, the scene was that of a Florida Spring Break. You would never have imagined the nation was just coming out of a plague of global proportions.
Time will tell how long the freedoms and openness will last. It has only been a few days since the announcement of the national lockdown was announced. Las Vegas is another story. As the “Entertainment Capital of the World” we are the barometer by which the world judges just how back we are, but if this week is any indication, I wouldn’t bet against Vegas being back.