Vegas Strip recovery could take longer than previously thought
By Bob Garcia
Industry analysts expect casinos to need more time to bounce back to pre-COVID-19 levels
Fitch Ratings estimates that the Las Vegas Strip may not fully recover from the monetary crisis caused by the COVID-19 until 2024. Analysts Alex Bumazhny, Colin Mansfield, and Connor Parks forecast losses in revenue of 60% this year, 50%, and 20% in 2022. “The Las Vegas Strip will experience the slowest recovery relative to other major gaming markets and segments globally.”
Two-thirds of the money made by casinos on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip comes from tourists and the people attending the numerous conventions. Through August of this year, the city has recorded approximately 15 million fewer visitors. Wynn Resorts decided to take the extreme measure of closing its Encore Las Vegas during the middle of the week. The Encore Las Vegas will close at noon on Mondays and reopen on Thursdays at 2 pm for the foreseeable future. “Midweek remains extremely challenging, given the lack of convention business,”
Fitch explained. “We don’t envision a material improvement in air capacity or consumer comfortability with flying until a widespread (COVID-19) health solution is present (e.g., vaccine, antiviral drugs), consistent with Fitch’s global airline group’s expectations,” the note said. “The convention business, which has begun experiencing first half of 2021 cancellations, hinges on participant and employers’ comfortability levels with larger-scale events,” Fitch added. “Positively, the 50-person cap on groups was eased on October 1, with larger venues of 2,500-person capacity or more allowed 10 percent occupancy under certain protocols.”
Las Vegas will have to try to ride out the bad luck the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust upon it, and hope that visitors and gamblers alike, will soon return to the famous Las Vegas Strip.