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Events in Las Vegas pull plug amid coronavirus pandemic

CES 2021 going digital
Posted at 8:25 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 10:11:01-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Conventions, trade shows, music festivals, and other events are deciding to pull the plug when it comes to holding Las Vegas events during the current coronavirus pandemic.

CES, a consumer electronics show, is the latest Las Vegas convention to cancel their upcoming in-person conference.

CES 2021 going digital, will not return to Las Vegas next year

Jeremy Aguero, the principal analyst at Applied Analysis, says the cancellation of CES is a huge setback.

“That ripple effect we’re going to feel not only in the convention center but every sector of Southern Nevada’s economy. There’s just no way to avoid that,” Aguero said.

Aguero also says conventions make up about 16 percent of all the people who visit Las Vegas every year.

The event industry as a whole is taking a hit, too.

  • Musical festivals like Life is Beautiful has canceled.
  • The Electronic Daisy Carnival (EDC) has not pulled the plug yet, but they have postponed until October.
  • The Global Gaming Expo has been pushed back until late 2021.
  • Black Hat, the cybersecurity conference, will be held virtually this year.
  • Cinemacon 2020 has also been rescheduled for next year.
  • The SEMA car show is still expected to go on in November 2020.

“The problem is that we have a pandemic, we have a virus that’s very real and it has an ebb and flow to it, and the recovery is going to be that, up and down,” Aguero said.

Las Vegas coronavirus impact, closings and cancellations

The economic blow of such events being postponed or canceled trickles past vendors and tourists.

“What about all the suppliers who provide goods and services,” Aguero said. “What about all the people that provide any of the materials that go into all this.”

Aguero believes the biggest economic asset to Las Vegas is McCarran International Airport.

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However, a gloomy prediction from the Air Transport Trade Association forecasts it will take until 2024 to reach pre-virus air travel levels.

“Certainly we’ve seen some disruption in the airline industry that goes without saying, we’ve even seen some financial instability with some international type carriers,” Aguero said.