The national vaccine rollout has encouraged crowds to return to Las Vegas in droves. Cabin fever plus optimism equals an early recovery for the casino industry.

Early Industry Recovery

Previously, experts predicted the casino industry wouldn’t return to normal until late 2021. But the speed at which the coronavirus vaccine is being distributed plus pent-up demand resulted in a sort of gambling spring fever.

Four million doses of the COVID vaccine are being administered daily in the U.S., and people are tired of being cooped up. After an entire country spent a year on lockdown, a much-needed release was long overdue.

And many people are flocking to Las Vegas for some premium pressure release. Foot traffic on the Las Vegas Strip was nearly 60% of what it was before the first coronavirus cases appeared.

According to investment firm Morgan Stanley, weekend hotel occupancy rates in Las Vegas are currently around 95%, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Midweek occupancy rates are between 50% and 60%. Several resorts previously closed midweek are now reopening.

And this couldn’t come at a better time for the casino industry, as Southern Nevada relies heavily on the hospitality sector for revenue.

Trend Holding Up

March saw a major upturn in visitor traffic due to spring break crowds and the NCAA basketball tournament. But even as spring break ended and March Madness subsided, the visitors are still pouring into Las Vegas.

The pandemic also hit the convention sector in the bottom line. As social distancing forced business travelers to use Zoom meetings instead of traveling to Las Vegas for trade shows.

The convention and trade sector provides half of the hospitality revenue in Las Vegas. The convention sector fills the midweek hotel rooms to keep a constant flow of Vegas visitors.

Nevada conventions resumed at half capacity in March, a promising sign for the recovery of the Vegas hospitality and business sector. Still, many more people are needed to fill the massive hotel towers on the Las Vegas Strip. But the forecast for recovery is clear.

As the public continues to be inoculated, Nevada gaming regulators are pressuring hotel-casinos to step up their employee vaccination regimes. Having a fully vaccinated hospitality staff is vital if the industry expects to fully recover.

Once casino workers and support staff are fully vaccinated, gaming regulators will decide on whether to raise the resort capacity limits from the current 50%.


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Thomas McCoy was born in Bethesda, Maryland and studied finance at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington D.C. before heading to New York and a job as a forex trader on Wall Street. Successful enough to launch his own, online forex trading platform, Thomas has long had a keen interest in the places where the worlds of finance and technology meet. As a prolific blogger, Thomas considers himself an expert on cryptocurrencies, casino asset restructuring, and emerging technologies set to change the way people do business.