It’s time again to share what will make headlines in the coming year by peering inside the crystal ball and making educated guesses about what to expect in 2021.
I’ve been doing this for a few years now and I’ll start by how well I’ve done for 2020.
It wasn’t perfect, but I made several predictions. And who could have foreseen a pandemic of epic proportions and the great outcry against social injustice that we saw last year?
Some of the hits and misses of 2020:
– “Allegiant Stadium opens on time and the first season of the Raiders will be played there without the need to move games to another location.” On the nose thanks to the hardworking efforts of the Raiders, Mortenson Construction and McCarthy Builders who delivered as promised. With mental problems in the spring it looked a little dubious, but everything worked out.
– “The Boring Co. will complete its tunnel construction on schedule and the opening of the people mover system in the Las Vegas Convention Center will be on the point.” Another score. The system should offer its first trips later this month as planned. We’ll take the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority at their word that the system is complete because Boring didn’t invite us into the media to see it for ourselves.
– “The number of convention attendees coming to Las Vegas will break the 2017 attendance record, but the total attendance will still lag behind the 2016 record. The number of passengers flying through McCarran will be higher than the 2019 record. ”Definitely not happening. A COVID-19 fails. And one more thing: I predicted that April’s NFL draft hosting in Las Vegas would be a huge success. The pandemic prevented this from happening at all.
– “Eldorado Resorts Inc.’s acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Corp. will complete as expected, and the new Reno-based Caesars will sell Planet Hollywood to a gaming company that is not currently on the Strip.” I was half right. The transaction went as planned, but Caesars still owns Planet Hollywood.
– “When Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo finishes his third four-year term in April, he will be replaced by a woman, meaning that both state gaming regulators will be run by women.” A touch of this. When the Alamo ended his tenure, Vice Chairman John Moran was named to succeed him. In addition, Sandra Morgan, Chair of the Gaming Control Board, resigned and was replaced by Brin Gibson. So two men run the state’s gambling regulatory system.
What can you expect in 2021?
The following is in my crystal ball:
– Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc., the Rhode Island-based company that acquired the Bally’s brand from Caesars Entertainment last year, will purchase the Bally-branded strip property. Caesars will continue to evaluate Planet Hollywood sales as forecast for 2019.
– Nevada regulators will successfully appeal Steve Wynn’s lawsuit in the Nevada Supreme Court that the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission no longer have jurisdiction over him because he is no longer affiliated with Wynn Resorts Ltd. is connected to or invested in.
The attorney general will then discipline Wynn through Ordinance 5 for not exercising discretion to prevent incidents that reflect Nevada’s reputation and could affect the development of the gambling industry.
– The pent-up demand for visits to Las Vegas will manifest in the summer months, but revenue from resort visits and gaming will still not reach 2019 levels. The number of flights to McCarran International Airport will increase, but not to 2019 levels, as international flights are still lagging behind.
– Resorts World Las Vegas and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will open in the third quarter and both will be very popular with tourists.
– A resort company will attempt to replicate Circa’s Stadium Swim concept but provide a large screen for watching sports and movies but will fail.
– The Boring Co. will begin work on their Vegas Loop underground transit project but will encounter issues that will slow the momentum of the project.
– The NBA will announce that it is giving Las Vegas an expansion franchise to start playing in the 2023-24 season. Tourism guides are thrilled that it will attract visitors as much as the Vegas Golden Knights did in 2018-19.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau will sell the 10-acre property on the Strip that was part of the Riviera transaction and a hotel developer will design a casino resort there.
No doubt everyone is ready to kick their pants in 2020 and look forward to what lies ahead in 2021.
Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.