Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas is on its way to slow recovery. While the levels of air and land traffic are yet to increase, it may be the local gamblers in Las Vegas that can help the operators keep afloat.
The Pandemic’s Impact on the Gambling Capital of the World
Nevada is one of the many U.S. states impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The shutdown introduced in March in an effort to reduce the spread of the respiratory disease lasted for 78 days and impacted the hotel and casino industry. Consequently, throughout the summer, furloughs and layoffs were announced, although the operators were allowed to reopen on June 4.
In light of the reduced air and land traffic, it might be up to the local clients to help Las Vegas on its way to recovering from the devastating blow by the pandemic. Furthermore, while the Strip resorts revenue suffered in September, this is not the case for Boulder Strip operators.
In an interview for Las Vegas Sun on Monday this week, Tim Brooks, co-owner of the Emerald Island in downtown Henderson revealed that many local clients are visiting the casino floor. He pointed out that for the moment local casinos are keeping afloat. However, according to Brooks, considering that a big number of the casino floor guests work on the Strip, a “ripple-down effect” may be observed. “As the Strip goes, so go small casinos like us,” stressed Brooks.
The Number of Las Vegas Visitors Slowly Increases
Focusing on the number of visitors in Las Vegas, there is still a lot of room for improvement so that the gambling capital can complete its recovery. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) report, the number of visitors in Las Vegas plummeted by 70.5% in June. In July, the number of visitors reached 1,438,000, which marked a small increase when compared to June. However, a year-on-year comparison shows a decrease of 61% in the number of visitors for the month of July.
Gradually increasing, the number of visitors in Las Vegas reached 1.5 million in August. In September, this number jumped to 1.7 million visitors, according to the LVCVA. Undoubtedly this number was boosted because of the additional resorts which have reopened as well as the return of more amenities.
Looking at the latest report by the LVCVA, we see that in October, 1,856,900 people visited Las Vegas. This marked a 9% increase when compared to September. Although each month shows a gradual increase, it’s important to mention that the number of visitors may also be impacted by additional COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada or neighboring states.
In fact, last week, new COVID-19 restrictions were rolled in neighboring California. Considering that California is right next to Nevada, it is likely that the drive-to business which was boosting the Strip’s revenues was already impacted because of the new restrictions.