LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From bars to restaurants and sports betting, the combination of St. Patrick's Day and the beginning of March Madness has turned Thursday into a potential windfall of profit for Las Vegas businesses.
Green beer went down smooth in places like Hennessey's Tavern in downtown Las Vegas.
General Manager Andrew Northam said his business has waited through the pandemic for days like this.
"We're seeing hundreds more people, if not thousands more people," Northam said.
The Retail Association of Nevada expected people to spend $56 million on Thursday alone, with spending rising above pre-pandemic levels.
"We're really expecting a record year this year," Northam said. "Just with COVID looking like it's behind us, March Madness, this weather."
In the Circa Sports Book, hundreds of eyes were glued to the towering screens, hoping their basketball bet paid off.
"There's so much excitement, right?" said Mike Palm, vice president of operations. "People pent up to a pandemic, wanting to get out, wanting to be free, wanting to breathe."
Palm said March Madness is the craziest sports betting period of the year, which gave him hope that the young hotel and casino would thrive post-pandemic.
"We see nothing but growth — not only for us, but for downtown, for Clark County and for Nevada," he said.
Palm said he expected each of the first few days of March Madness to be a bigger betting day than the Super Bowl.