LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Halloween 2020 in Las Vegas was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. But as the Delta variant surge has recently eased, small businesses prepared for a rush of customers for this year's Halloween celebrations.
Fright Night at the Downtown Container Park was a busy one as hundreds of people flocked to see the Las Vegas Academy Mariachi Band, get candy from each of the local businesses, and watch a free screening of "Hocus Pocus."
Business owners, like Sugar Shop owner Scott Wurth, say the returning energy was refreshing after more than a year of down business.
"A lot of energy, a lot more people traveling, my number is already up from 2019 which is great," Wurth said. "It means people are getting out more and more every day."
The National Retail Federation said businesses missed out on roughly $1 billion in spending due to the pandemic.
"One of the things we were able to do during the pandemic was to take a step back and focus more on our locals," said Container Park General Manager James Gonzales.
Local customers couldn't make up for the lack of tourist business, but Gonzales said the foot traffic in the park this year couldn't be more different from 2020.
"It's a complete difference," he said. "The pendulum is swinging in the complete opposite direction."
Wurth said his recent business surge gives him hope of an even more profitable holiday season.
"What seems like, people aren't as afraid of COVID anymore. They've gotten vaccinated," he said. "They're ready to be out. I anticipate it to be a really busy November and even busier December."
The National Retail Federation anticipated Halloween spending would reach a record $10 million in 2021.