Las Vegas wins jackpot thanks to tourism revival efforts
Who knew those crazy masons and finishers and trainers and traders and craftsmen would lead the recovery of the world’s greatest tourist destination?
Who knew this week’s World of Concrete Convention would spark the resumption of Las Vegas as the first major event to take place in over a year in the country, let alone in the state of Nevada?
In fashion now
But they are there, in force.
And tourists too.
And so are the big names or, at the very least, they’re coming – Carrie Underwood, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan are among the performers set to reside later this year at the new Resorts World hotel and casino.
Now, based on previous World of Concrete conventions, some 60,000 people intrigued by the building blocks descend on Sin City.
Las Vegas is back!
Advertising campaigns, TV shows and movies lead us to believe that it is cool and trendy to say “Let’s go to Vegas for the weekend!” Of course it does, but Las Vegas relies heavily on conventions rather than just a whim, hence the emphasis on the importance of World of Concrete.
Las Vegas casinos went to 100% capacity on June 1, opening up the entire city without having to pursue social distancing on the gambling hall, although many properties still require face masks and social distancing in the casinos. restaurants and swimming pool.
Vegas being Vegas, the city is certainly not dipping its toe into the bottom of the wave in terms of events. Casinos on the Strip are planning a variety of July 4th fireworks that could kick off the largest gathering of people in the country since the pandemic first struck 16 months ago.
Kate Wik of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said the public pent-up demand to visit Las Vegas “is right.”
It would be a far cry from a year ago, when the whole city closed for almost three full months before reopening on a limited basis. According to Casino.org and the Wall Street Journal, at one point last year, Las Vegas had an unemployment rate of 34.2%, the highest in the country for any metropolitan area of over one million. inhabitants. As recently as April, Las Vegas had the second highest unemployment rate, behind Los Angeles.
However, with the recent nationwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and stimulus checks, southern Nevada’s economy has started to rebound. It’s still a long way from 2019 levels, but for consecutive months this spring, Las Vegas has seen more than two million visitors.
And it actually surprised a lot of people how quickly this is happening.
“I went to the (Golden) Knights (hockey) game on Sunday, their first game of the playoffs… the city was buzzing,” Josh Swissman, Partner of The Strategy Organization told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It almost looked like a pre-pandemic time. “
“I see it even when I try to go out for dinner on a Saturday night,” said Debi Nutton, gaming coach and consultant who currently advises Resorts World Las Vegas. “I tried going to the Green Valley Ranch. Each restaurant was full; you couldn’t enter.
In March, Nevada casinos reported $ 1 billion in gambling winnings and 2.23 million visitors came to Las Vegas. The two were the highest totals since February 2020. It was the best month for Nevada casinos in eight years.
“I’m pretty optimistic about the summer, which is generally a lull in the year for the company,” said Swissman. “I think summer is going to be a big volume season for us in Vegas this year.”
This is not too much given the pent-up demand for travel, or what many call “revenge travel”.
“We continue to see an increase in leisure visits with each passing month since vaccines became widely available in the United States,” the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said in a written statement. “With pent-up travel demand and even greater pent-up demand for the unparalleled Las Vegas experience, we expect the number of visits to continue to grow. “
There is even optimism about the return of international air travel. Las Vegas is a huge destination for travelers from all over the world, especially from Asia.
McCarran International Airport Aviation Director Rosemary Vassiliadis recently testified before a Senate subcommittee that the United States must do more to lift restrictions and restart international flights.
“At our peak in 2019, Las Vegas had non-stop service to and from 11 different countries around the world. Now that number has dropped to one: Mexico, ”Vassiliadis said. “In the first four months of 2021, our international volume amounted to less than 80,000 passengers. However, there is hope on the horizon. Almost every week, I or members of my team hear representatives of international airlines express their interest in resuming flights to Las Vegas quickly. “
And everyone can thank the World of Concrete Convention.
Amanda Belarmino, assistant professor at the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, called the first convention “an important step in our recovery. “
She said a successful recovery must include conventions, but also said: “Equally important will be our ability to provide a high level of service that will signal to all travelers that we are open for business and ready to serve.”
Other conventions are coming behind World of Concrete, but if Vegas gets the kind of attendance that the ever-popular Consumer Electronics Show (CES) gets when it returns to town in January 2022, it will truly be back.