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Limited profits for restaurants, bars remain despite capacity increase

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Posted at 9:17 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 11:26:21-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease in Nevada, bars and restaurants that have already been grappling with smaller-than-ever profits say it’s still tough to stay open and bring employees back.

RELATED: Nevada governor signs directive to adjust state COVID-19 restrictions on Feb. 15

Brian Slipock, the owner of Jackson’s Bar and Grill, says Monday’s statewide capacity increase for places like restaurants from 25% to 35% is close to the relief he's looking for, but it's no cigar.

“To go through what we’re going through for an extra 12 to 13 customers just isn’t going to be enough to put a big jump start in anything,” says Slipock. “Things that I can’t control are who goes out, who does what, who doesn’t follow the mandates, and then I get impacted by it.”

Slipock is not the only business owner in a similar boat.

“It became necessary on December 23 for me to close that store temporarily until capacity has increased,” says Lola Pokorny.

The doors at Lola’s Louisiana Kitchen in downtown Las Vegas are shut as the current capacity increase still isn’t enough.

RELATED: Small businesses, nonprofits in Las Vegas are hopeful for more funding

Soon, the coveted increase to 50% occupancy will start at places like libraries, museums, aquariums, and zoos.

The Lion Habitat Ranch in Henderson will increase to 50% on Thursday.

The date that restaurants and bars are looking forward to is March 15 when nearly all businesses can jump to 50% capacity.