It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that along with hundreds of other industries and businesses, Las Vegas is one city/town that could be catastrophically affected. With approximately 6 million people applying for unemployment in the US, it’s obvious that the unprecedented crisis will cripple many industries worldwide. Las Vegas is in a class of its own as it is not any normal town/city which is built on a philosophy of getting people together in one place and having a great time.
On March 18, 2020 all Casinos in Nevada were ordered to close for at least 30 days and until the spread of the Virus could be contained and/or a reevaluated. The only other time this has happened is in November of 1963 for the funeral of slain President John F. Kennedy, which lasted one day. The impact of at least a 30-day closure could be catastrophic for not just Vegas but the whole State.
What makes Las Vegas unlike any other Industry or City?
Most people are familiar with Las Vegas, although not everyone has been to Sin City. It truly is one of the many wonders of the world and can only be understood if you have been there. In short, it’s a city plopped in the middle of the Desert with its focus consisting of entertaining large groups of people, consisting of all age groups, demographics, incomes, and tastes.
Las Vega originally just focused on gambling and casinos both large and small, but as the years progressed it became a destination in itself with a host of venues from Restaurants, Clubs, Outdoor Activities, Shows, Concerts and Trade Shows. The CES held by the Consumer Technology Association is one of the largest trade shows in the world with approximately 182,000 attendees over a 5-day period. Just think of the impact this one trade show has on the Vegas economy.
Corona Catastrophe for Vegas
This one product city, Entertainment which is non-essential, is in dire straights as the Virus has literally shut the city down. The question is, how long can Vegas continue with this shutdown of all the businesses? Everyone that lives in and around the city has a job which depends on the life of the city and all its ancillary services. Just to give you and idea, lets try to list all the jobs associated with this city of entertainment.
|Dealers||Pit Boss||Wait Staff||Dishwasher|
|Bartender||Maid Service||Street Cleaners||Taxi/Uber Drivers|
|Baggage Handlers||Airport Stores||Parking Attendants||Strippers|
|Hotel Reception||Security||Retail Sales||Janitorial|
All these jobs are “hands-on” positions which cannot be done from home or on a computer screen. Everyone of these positions includes contact with others which make these jobs part of the susceptible to the “quarantine”.
To put it objectively, there were approximately 3.5 million tourist who visited Las Vegas this time last year. From food, drinks, rooms, transportation, entertainment, etc., think of all the jobs associated with these visitors. The future of Vegas is on a slippery slope!
The impact of the Virus will be long and deep. But what will happen once this ends and businesses can function as normal? For some industries and businesses there will be a rush to get back to “normal”, which in most cases will likely happen. For the entertainment and travel industry, which is what Vegas encompasses, it will be much slower and could take years.
My belief is that something like the Cruise industry could be permanently affected and never be the same. Even after the Virus ends, how many people are going to be willing to risk getting sick by taking a cruise? Most older people will stay away as well as those with any type of underlying health issue. It’s unfortunate but this industry could be headed for the scrap yard.
Las Vegas is another case although one which is still up in the air. The Hotel/Casinos are all held by large corporations which will in most cases receive some sort of bailout/loans. But if this situation drags on into the summer, employees might decide to pack up and look elsewhere. There comes a point when you need to just cut your losses and move on to something else.
Whatever happens, we all hope and pray that this ends soon, and everyone affected can regain some normalcy to their lives!