Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Number Of Las Vegas Visitors Drops 70% Despite Casino Reopenings

Las Vegas

New reports have revealed that the number of people visiting Las Vegas has dwindled significantly this year due to Coronavirus concerns.

A report from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s (LVCVA) Research Centre has found that the number of people visiting Las Vegas in June 2020 fell to 1.06 million, around a 70% drop from 3.6 million in June 2019.

The statistics were compiled by data from the LVCVA itself, McCarran International Airport, the NV Department of Transport, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board. As reported by Casino Beats, the visitation volume was based on a weighted average of the 95,000 hotel rooms available to book following Las Vegas resort reopenings in June.

June is ordinarily a big month for Las Vegas as schools are closed for the summer and families set out on vacation. However, casinos had only just begun to reopen after several months of being closed and, at the time of writing, all conventions and events set for later this year have either been completely cancelled or postponed, meaning that many reasons a large percentage of people visit the city have now been pulled back.

The overall visitor volume in Las Vegas for the first half of 2020 has fallen by 54% compared to the same period last year in which there were an extra 11.4 million people visiting the city. Despite the drop in June, the statistics are still an improvement over May which saw 151,300 visitors – a 96% drop from the same period in 2019.

A contributing factor in the decrease of visitors could be the recent reports on the increase of Coronavirus cases in the city. According to Casino.org, a report from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) revealed that the city has seen a substantial increase in the number of COVID-19-positive cases popping up in the city.

Many visitors have criticised Vegas resorts, describing their recent experiences as “awful” as bars and restaurants have been shut, shows have been cancelled, empty streets, and long waiting times for transport. Other users, however, have claimed that resorts, bars, and restaurants are busy and full with many people avoiding wearing masks, sparking worry that it may lead to more positive infections.

Vegas Resort Reopenings

All Nevada-based businesses were ordered to shut down in March by Governor Steve Sisolak as part of a state-wide COVID-19 lockdown. However, said businesses were allowed to reopen from June 4th as long as they implemented measures to protect employees and customers.

As we reported last week, casinos in Vegas have implemented strict social distancing measures which only allow a maximum of three people at casino tables. What’s more, many venues have implemented perplex screens at tills, bars, and tables, and all employees and guests are required to wear face masks. Most venues have also incorporated hand sanitisation points throughout the casino. Venues are also required to clean tables, bars, and casino chips.

Casno venues and resorts in Las Vegas are trying their best to attract customers by heavily discounting hotel rooms and temporarily scrapping resort fees. MGM Resorts, a firm which owns several resorts in Vegas, has launched its Viva Las Office campaign which aims to attract remote workers by providing them with a new location and a change of scenery to work from.

MGM Resorts’ Viva Las Office offers food and beverage credits for each night as well as early and late checkouts. Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts also launched a new promotion, offering special deals to people who booked rooms for over the weekend and even offered customers free nights.

Despite their efforts, Vegas resorts have continued to struggle to increase foot traffic and Chad Beyton, the Managing Director of the Macquarie Group, believes that the city won’t recover from the pandemic until around 2023, suggesting that there are some tough years ahead for Las Vegas.

A Tesla Tunnel For Vegas

The disappointing news comes just as the Resorts World Las Vegas revealed that it had been given approval from the Clark County Commission to proceed with its plans for an underground passenger tunnel Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop powered by Elon Musk’s electrical Tesla vehicles including a Tesla Model X, Model 3, and a modified Model 3 to fit 16 passengers.

According to Casino News Daily, the tunnel will connect the Resort World Las Vegas resort to the Las Vegas Convention Center campus in under two minutes. The Resorts World Las Vegas passenger station will offer access to the venue’s dining, nightlife, and retail shops, as well as access to the Vegas Strip. Construction is expected to begin by the end of this year and more details are set to be shared within the coming months.

The LVCC is part of a planned large loop which will include additional stops at other Vegas casinos on the Strip, as well as terminal stops at the McCarran International Airport, downtown Las Vegas, the Allegiant Stadium, and eventually stops in Los Angeles.

Resort World Las Vegas is a hotel and casino venue currently under construction with plans to launch in summer 2021. The resort is estimated to cost around $4.3 billion, making it one of the most expensive resorts to open in Las Vegas.

According to the Resort World Las Vegas, the resort will be comprised of 59 floors with 3,500 hotel rooms. It will include a 117,000 square-foot casino, a 5,000-seat theatre for musical and theatre shows, as well as plenty of meeting spaces, a spa, a pool complex, retail shops, several restaurants, and a food street.

In a statement to Casino Beats, Resorts World Las Vegas president Scott Sibella said: “We are thrilled to receive approval from the County Commission to move forward with our proposed passenger station and tunnel and are eager to take the next steps in creating an innovative transportation solution for our convention guests and visitors.”

It’s hoped that the completion of the Resorts World Las Vegas and the construction of the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop will bring life to the city and may help bring foot traffic back to pre-COVID levels. Unfortunately, all of this is a year or more away and so it’ll be some time before we see anything.