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Is Las Vegas making a pandemic comeback?

Posted at 5:53 AM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 13:40:45-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Experts have been cautiously optimistic that the Las Vegas economy could make a significant comeback as coronavirus transmission rates fall and more vaccinations are distributed in Nevada, the US, and around the world bringing back the possibility for heavy travel to the tourism reliant city.

Major resort properties have responded to the optimism and restriction easing by opening entertainment opportunities and capacity.

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Virgin Hotels, the property replacing the historic Hard Rock Hotel, announced it would open its doors on Thursday, March, 25.

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The hotel joins the Fremont Street Experience's hiring blitz ahead of what it called an expected "unprecedented" summer of business, and the Linq Hotel and Planet Hollywood hotel-casino announcing both properties would return to seven days a week operations on March 22.

Nevada Resort Association President Virginia Valentine says as long as coronavirus transmission rates continue to fall and vaccines continue to be administered there is reason to be hopeful about a big rebound for the Las Vegas economy.

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"I think there's an opportunity here with entertainment returning, coming back, the new Las Vegas Visitor Convention Authority facilities, Allegiant Stadium," Valentine said. "There's an opportunity, I think, to come back bigger and stronger. I think that will certainly help us recover some lost ground."

There's a lot of lost ground to recover.

A report from the NRA said Nevada was impacted more deeply than any other state by the pandemic cutting employment levels to their lowest level in a decade.

The report also said gaming lost out on $105 billion across the United States.

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Virgin Hotels say it would bring 12 new unique restaurants and bars, 1,500 rooms in three towers, and 130,000 square feet of re-inspired indoor and outdoor meeting and convention spaces once the property opens.

The casino inside will also become the first in Las Vegas to be operated by a tribal authority as the Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment company takes control of the 60,000-foot gaming floor.