HONOLULU (KHON2) – Travelers flock to Hawaii’s favorite Las Vegas destination again.
As the casinos are allowed to run at full capacity, some pre-pandemic locations attract a lot of people.
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Hawaii’s favorite accommodations, The Cal and Fremont in downtown Las Vegas, have seen an upward trend. However, with preliminary trials required to return home, the large crowds have not yet arrived.
“It’s rising,” said David Strow, vice president of corporate communications for Boyd Gaming. “We’re not where we used to be, but we’ve been making some really good progress over the past few weeks.”
Main street remains closed and Strow says it’s hard to tell when it will reopen. In the casinos it looks more like the old days. No more plexiglass on the gaming tables. Those who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a mask, but it is based on the honor system. According to Strow, most casino workers and Hawaii patrons prefer to save their masks.
“Hawaiian visitors apparently feel a lot more comfortable wearing their masks,” Strow said. “We are definitely very friendly and encouraging, we want people to feel comfortable.”
He adds that as vaccination rates rise here and on the mainland, Hawaii’s favorite casinos will eventually return to where they were.
“We need to keep seeing this boom with visits from Hawaii,” said Strow. “We really need an upturn in visits along the Strip because we’re going with these visits too.”
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That upswing is well on its way on the Strip. Residents say the casinos and main attractions are full of people again and traffic is pre-pandemic.
“If I try to leave the TV station on a Friday night, I’m stuck in a traffic jam,” said Tedd Florendo, chief meteorologist at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas. “I’ve never seen it like this before, and the streets, the sidewalks are wall to wall with people again.”
Another sign that Vegas is coming back is that some buffets are reopening. The last one is at the MGM Grand next week. But those on Fremont Street will remain closed, and of course Main Street will be closed too. Restaurants will be 100 percent full on June 1st.
Hawaiian Airlines has 21 flights to Las Vegas each week. Vacations Hawaii has a weekly travel package and plans to increase it to four times a week in September.