- Las Vegas could make a comeback like the “Roaring ‘20s” and experience an economic boom once the pandemic subsides, says Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox.
- Maddox thinks the city’s future is bright and that it “can establish itself as the place to go and let loose.”
- While he commended Sin City’s long-term recovery prospects, he said the city may go through a short-term struggle.
- However, Maddox said the recovery process may take a couple of years.
A casino executive says that Las Vegas could convalesce like the “Roaring ‘20s” with an economic boom once the pandemic abates.
“People are going to want to get out and have a good time,” Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said in an interview with Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce President Peter Guzman. The chamber posted the video interview on Monday.
“I think the future of Las Vegas is bright. I think Las Vegas can establish itself as the place to go to let loose,” explained Maddox. “It’s what we’ve always been, but I think it’s something we can really lean into to get us going again.”
The latest data from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority show that the city received approximately 1.9 million visitors in October. That number was down nearly 50 percent from the same month last year, as tourism continues to be slow due to the pandemic.
Although Maddox commended the long-term recovery prospects of Las Vegas, he said there will likely be more short term struggle for a city that has suffered a severe economic crisis.
When the pandemic began, the jobless rate in the spring stood at 30 percent. Currently, it is approximately 12 percent.
On Monday, health officials reported more than 1,600 new COVID-19 cases in Southern Nevada. The numbers are not only surging in Silver State but also in several parts of the US. Consequently, visitation volume isn’t expected to improve in the coming weeks.
“It’ll take a couple of years, but the future is bright,” Maddox said. “I think by summer, we’ll be back. Conventions won’t be back then because business travel will take forever, but vaccines will be rolling out and testing will be widespread. People will be ready to be back with other people. I think we’ll start to feel that momentum in February or March.”
While Las Vegas is generally more popular for its casinos, Maddox said recent years have seen the city morph into a destination known almost as much for its mass gatherings at sporting events, shows, and nightclubs, among other places.
“Once people get out again and get a taste of what it’s like to be around other people, it’s electric,” Maddox said. “We need to be leading in this country to help get people back together.
People are going to want to dress up and go out and be around people once it’s safe. I think it will be similar to the Roaring ’20s after the pandemic of 1918 and 1919. It was like ‘oh my God, we survived this, let’s go have fun.’”