As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19, states and cities are easing restrictions. And now Las Vegas is joining their ranks.
Starting June 1st, the Las Vegas Strip and the surrounding area will be fully reopened to vaccinated visitors. That means those who wish to dine in local restaurants or dance in the city’s nightclubs will have full access to these amenities and capacity restrictions will not apply.
This step comes after the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people will be able to take off their masks not only outdoors but indoors as well. Most Las Vegas casinos were already at full capacity prior to this announcement, but this shift is opening up tourism even more.
Local businesses will benefit from this
The coronavirus pandemic has hit hotels, restaurants, and small businesses that are heavily reliant on tourists – including Las Vegas. Casinos actually had notable success last year.
Overall, Nevada’s gaming industry revenue fell to $ 18.3 billion in 2020, a 25.2% decrease from $ 24.5 billion in 2019. In addition, only 2.4% of the available rooms in casinos were occupied in April 2020, a significant decrease from April 2019 when 87.2% of the rooms were booked.
Casino revenues from food and drink sales also decreased. Across Nevada, food sales revenue decreased 25.8% and beverage sales revenue decreased 28.7% in 2020 year over year.
Now that Las Vegas is fully opening up to vaccinated people, hotel occupancy could increase significantly on both the Strip and the surrounding area. Food and drink sales are also likely to increase, especially if restaurants can greet guests at full capacity. And the more people motivated to travel to Las Vegas, the more pedestrian traffic local businesses will enjoy.
Will other tourist areas follow suit?
It is clear that there is a lot to be won when Las Vegas opens fully, and there is a good chance more tourist spots will follow in the coming weeks or months. For example, New York City has already announced that it will fully reopen in July. Other popular cities and destinations known to attract visitors tend to take a similar leap if they haven’t already, especially given the blow the pandemic has inflicted on the hospitality industry in particular.
Of course, individual businesses in popular cities may still require customers to wear masks, and that’s a decision that local businesses need to judge. On one hand, mandating masks could help increase sales by making customers more comfortable with the idea of being at home in a public setting. Mask requirements, on the other hand, might be a dislike for those who loathed the idea of putting one on from the start.
The bottom line of Millionacres
All in all, this message from Las Vegas should be taken as a sign that things are moving in the right direction regarding the pandemic. And if travel really gets going by the end of 2021, it could help hotels, restaurants, and other hard-hit businesses (and their investors) bounce back from the events of the past 14 months.