In a Nutshell
- The announcement about the vaccine has made the Las Vegas business community more and more optimistic about a quick recovery from the pandemic.
- Gov. Steve Sisolak announced this week that the first doses (not meant for the general public) from the federal government will arrive in mid-December.
- Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said this week that the pent-up demand caused by the current conditions will result in a surge in tourism once leisure travel is considered safe.
- Experts have predicted that the recovery will kick off next summer.
The Las Vegas business community is becoming more and more optimistic about the city recovering quickly from the coronavirus pandemic.
This week, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that the first federally distributed vaccine doses are expected to arrive by mid-December. However, the first beneficiaries of the COVID-19 antibodies will be frontline workers, hospitalized patients, nursing home residents, and others who are at a greater risk.
Sisolak said the vaccine won’t likely be widely available until the spring. However, experts say that once it arrives for the general public, Las Vegas casinos are poised to flourish.
“We lost more jobs quicker than ever before. We added more jobs quicker than ever before,” said UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research Director Stephen Miller.
“We’ve got a way to go, but there’s no doubt about it: the end of the virus is in sight. So, too, will the end of pain with the Las Vegas, Reno economies, and the Nevada economy overall,” he added.
Miller made the comments on Wednesday during a virtual meeting co-hosted by the UNLV Center for Business Economic Research and the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.
It’s not just Miller who believes the Nevada economy will make a comeback once the vaccine is available.
Founding partner of Beacon Economics Christopher Thornberg said the nature of the virus means recovery will be easier than the subprime mortgage crisis that occurred in 2008 and beyond. He predicted a quick bouncing back.
The coronavirus has caused great trouble to casino operators and their employees. Thousands of jobs have ended, tens of thousands were furloughed, and many others had their working hours reduced. Gaming win for casinos has dropped 44% this year. Some resort hotels have closed through the week due to low visitor demand.
Wynn Resorts Ltd. CEO Matt Maddox said this week that the pent-up demand caused by the current stay-at-home advisories and work-from-home directives will result in a tourism surge once leisure travel is considered safe.
Las Vegas experts have predicted that recovery will begin somewhere around next summer, a couple of months after the vaccine has been made widely available to the public.
Miller believes the recovery will begin in 2021, with 2022 being the year when visitor volumes and gaming revenues will return to pre-pandemic levels.
“Vegas is going to be just fine. In two years, it’s going to be a weird memory,” said Miller.
Maddox believes it will be a time similar to the twenties when people went out dancing and celebrating after the Spanish flu and World War I ended.