Here’s how Las Vegas Is getting people to come back after COVID-19

Casinos in Las Vegas are pulling out all the stops to fill up with returning customers

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The city that never sleeps even in the darkest nights, has been battling COVID-19. From the Bellagio to Mandalay Bay, everything has been closed for the past couple of months. The entire city was no less than a deserted land.

Although the shutdowns due to COVID have impacted pretty much everyone, cities that rely on tourism have been hit especially hard. Las Vegas is one such city, where the markets and businesses have suffered more and perhaps longer than the others.

But Las Vegas and the casinos there are currently working to get back on their feet. To help get people coming back, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has announced a brand-new marketing campaign that is going to offer a safer Sin City experience to the visitors.

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Sin City is returning back to its life slowly but steadily, businesses are looking to make up for losses due to COVID-19.

The city’s marketing agency has released a new commercial which is encouraging potential visitors to be careful about their health and safety. It is titled “Vegas Smart” and it tells the whole state that the gambling capital of the US is now reopening. You may have seen the “Vegas Strong” title which was used when addressing the mass shooting in October 2017. 

As per the Visit Las Vegas YouTube Channel, “Las Vegas is re-opening and we can’t wait anymore to see you. We wish for our visitor’s best possible experience, therefore please be #VegasSmart”.This 30-second video is on air across the entire US in selected markets. It begins as “We’re very happy to have you again. We’re doing our best to make sure that you can do everything without any worries.”

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Now is the time to get back to the Vegas we have always known and loved. Welcome back. Enjoy. And Be smart,” the ad ends, followed by the hashtag #OnlyVegas.The city’s casinos reopened on June 4 after two and half months of lockdown as per the orders of Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Demand is high

A majority of the top resorts in Las Vegas are offering low hotel rates to attract visitors again to Southern Nevada. The owner of D downtown, Mr. Stevens is even enticing his visitors by paying their airfare.

MGM Resorts has opened the Bellagio, MGM Grand and New York-New York. Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, and Flamingo have been reopened by Caesars Entertainment Group. Guests are welcomed again at The Venetian and the Palazzo by Las Vegas Sands. And the doors of Encore and Wynn have opened once again. The Cosmopolitan, Sahara, and Treasure Island are running too.

Even after having limited visitor volume, resorts and casinos are reporting that bookings are much higher than what was expected.

Caesars Entertainment CEO, Tony Rodio says,” The demand of customers to visit the Strip is much better than expected, encouraging us to reopen Harrah’s Las Vegas along with Caesars Palace, LINQ Promenade and Flamingo”.

Protestors are fuming

Las Vegas is among the major US cities where protestors have come to the streets to show their anger over the killing of George Floyd. Although the majority of protests in Southern Nevada have been calm, conditions heated up when 29-year old white police officer Shay Mikalonis was shot outside the Circus Circus on Monday night.

Mikalonis is fighting for his life, though the bullet has been removed from his neck. The alleged shooter is Edgar Samaniego. Samaniego is charged with two misdemeanor counts of firing a weapon and putting the life of people in danger and one felony count of attempt to murder. He remains at CCDC after bail was fixed at $1 million.

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The LVCVA has also stated that television marketing had suspended temporarily because of the protests. H. Fletch Brunelle, vice president of marketing at LVCVA has said that they are monitoring all the events in the city on the local, national, and international level and will resume the plans when necessary.

Since the social unrest seems to be calming down across the nation, the LVCVA is all set to accelerate the Las Vegas market to compensate for all the losses the city faced due to the coronavirus.

The effect of coronavirus on Nevada’s casino workers

At this time last year, more than 3.5 million tourists visited the stunning city. If we talk about numbers, more than 206,000 casino workers in Nevada are badly affected due to the shutdown. 

Just so you know, after a single week of the shutdown, the state set a record by reporting the highest unemployment rate – more than 92,000. According to the Economy Policy Institute, the unemployment rate is going to touch 19.7% by summer.

The economic security of the family of workers has been shattered. 

But there was a ray of hope for these workers. The casino leaders took a commendable step to keep their employees paid during this shutdown period. The chief executive of Wynn Resorts, Mathew Maddox, has kept paying his 25,000 employees in these difficult times. Many other casino owners also followed this step by paying their workers in full.

But the sad part was, the most popular casino leader MGM Resorts, whose 75,000 workers were expecting a lot, were only guaranteed pay for just two weeks. The government has released a huge $2 trillion stimulus bill, but it is not enough to meet the needs of the people.

A one-time check isn’t enough even to cover many people’s rent in Las Vegas. Even after the businesses have reopened, there is no guarantee that the former employees will be invited back to work.

Moreover, it will be interesting to see the frequency of tourists returning back to enjoy themselves along with shielding themselves against the coronavirus. Most probably, their health and safety concerns will keep them away from booking their flights and planning their post-pandemic vacation.

Too soon?

Apart from the casino workers, the financial health of the other working-class Nevadans depends solely upon this reopening. But one question always remains – is it too soon to reopen?

Reopening is necessary to save the economy, but is equally risky for front-line workers. They are the ones who are going to put their safety at risk.

Marketing savvy casino leaders are trying hard to entice tourists and locals. They will achieve success, but will it cost the workers?

Cannabis market resurgence

Cannabis businesses in Las Vegas are expecting huge benefit from the reopening of the non-essentials.

During the shutdown, most of the cannabis retailers got the advantage of pivoting to a delivery-based plan. Interestingly, it turned out to be pretty successful.

We are expecting to see the improvement in the economy and the sentiments of the businesses, employees and other sectors. Now that the non-essentials are reopening, we can expect to see a hike in demands. The good thing is, all the businesses are well prepared to serve the rising demands of their customers.

At this level, it can be believed that the marketing industry in Las Vegas has made their plans and have prepared a risk-reward strategy. When the market ramps up, businesses are expected to bounce back to a significant rate.