Las Vegas is finally starting to claw back to ‘normal’ after the unexpected and unprecedented Covid-19 disastrous impact
By Buck Wargo, US correspondent for SiGMA News.
As from today, the US gaming Capital is releasing further its restrictions setting the stage for the recovery of the tourism and conventions business in 2021 as coronavirus vaccination rates increase across the country.
- Casinos can now increase their capacity on gaming floors from 35% to 50% and can begin hosting meetings and events in greater numbers.
- The limit of 50 people has been raised to 250 with the ability to have 50% capacity.
- These limits were put in place last Autumn due to a rise in the pandemic.
Las Vegas properties, eager to get back on their feet as quickly as possible, have already announced their plans to increase their operations.
Caesars Entertainment announced that Planet Hollywood and the Linq Hotel on the Strip will now be open seven days a week instead of weekends only.
The Palazzo, which closed its hotel during the week for nine months, resumed a seven-day-a-week operation.
MGM Resorts International also reopened Mandalay Bay and ParkMGM hotel towers on a full week basis and fully reopened the casino floor at the Mirage.
Last year, Las Vegas casinos were completely shut for two and a half months due to the pandemic, and after their controlled reopening business never really picked up.
Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association said that “the announcement to expand capacity at large gatherings is a huge step forward for the speed of Las Vegas’ recovery.”
Temperature screenings a requirement at many casino entrances is also being faced out.
Plans for the return to ‘normality’ also started being announced.
Cirque du Soleil officials said they plan to bring back their shows this summer. Other shows and entertainment are returning, and the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL started allowing fans in T-Mobile Arena this month.
Last week, the Life is Beautiful music and arts festival set for September and headlined by Billie Eilish and Green Day sold out in a few hours.
Las Vegas was hit hard by the pandemic with monthly visits down up to 60 per cent on pre-pandemic figures. Hotel occupancy was severely hit while revenue from gaming received a sever battering.
However, there are clear signs of a recovery on the horizon.
Vehicle traffic between California and Nevada over the last month was higher than it was in the same period in 2020 before the pandemic and airlines are increasing flights.
As infection rates decrease and more people are getting the vaccination, there is hope among Las Vegas authorities that the worst is over and that a better future beckons.
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