If you really wanted to kick your pants with fireworks on New Year’s Eve in 2020, you have to look for another outlet.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau quietly announced Thursday afternoon that the annual tradition of New Year’s Eve fireworks on the Strip has become the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Steve Hill, president and CEO of LVCVA, said the decision to cancel the show was made due to security concerns for guests and staff.
“Las Vegas has always been a bucket list destination for New Years Eve, and we’re going to make sure it continues to do so. We’re celebrating 2020 being put in the rearview mirror in a ‘Vegas only’ way,” said Hill.
Fireworks that last up to eight minutes and were broadcast via two radio stations to simulate music have been an integral part of the Las Vegas event calendar for years.
In January, more than 80,000 fireworks lit the Strip’s skyline to usher in 2020. An estimated 318,000 visitors were in Las Vegas for the first special event of the year. Research firm Applied Analysis forecast an economic impact of more than $ 250 million in 2020.
“NYE is one of the top dates on the Las Vegas calendar. It attracts visitors from around the world and has an above-average spending profile,” said Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst, Applied Analysis. “Obviously, safety is of the utmost importance in a COVID-19 environment, but this cancellation will certainly impact our core industry and its people.”
It’s too early to say if the canceled show will keep the crowd away, said Greg Chase, founder and CEO of Experience Strategy Associates, Las Vegas, but “we all know what New Years Eve looks like”.
He said he wasn’t surprised the show was canceled to make sure people were following guidelines and “keeping the city safe”.
The New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Las Vegas is known as the America’s Party and is largely coordinated by Las Vegas Events, the LVCVA’s privately owned event partner and overseen by President Pat Christenson.
“I think it was the right decision. It’s just a difficult time for us to encourage very large crowds, and that is exactly what this fireworks display would do, ”Christenson said.
Still a place to party?
According to CEO and Creative Director Phil Grucci, Contractor Fireworks by Grucci has been hosting the Strip Fireworks Show in Las Vegas since 2001.
“We expected to go from seven rooftops, including the stratosphere, to MGM, as in the past,” said Grucci. “We’re obviously very sad about the news, but it certainly doesn’t surprise us because it follows what many big cities are experiencing.”
LVCVA spokeswoman Lori Nelson Kraft did not immediately respond to a question about how much money the agency typically spends on New Years Eve, but Grucci said his company’s stake was “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Even without the fireworks show, Las Vegas is sure to be an “outstanding” place to celebrate “on the planet,” said Brent Pirosch, director of gaming advisory services at CBRE’s Global Gaming Group.
“Visitors should find plenty to do outside of the fireworks display,” he said. “This is a responsible move and I am confident that the operators will create unforgettable opportunities to celebrate.”
Resorts and casinos will work to bring a memorable experience to those who traditionally come to Las Vegas to party, Chase said.
Take E. Abouzeid, president of consulting firm LaunchVegas, agreed.
“It’s just another Vegas element that needs to be redefined for the times we live in,” he said. “If the fireworks had continued as usual and turned into a super spreader event, it would have been a terrible result. I am confident the organizers will find a linchpin that is safe, engaging and just as fun. “
Like many of us, Grucci is ready for the end of this year.
“Let’s jump out of 2020 without fireworks and jump into 2021,” said Grucci. “In Las Vegas, as always, we will return strong. People will want to experience what they have experienced before and more. “
Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.