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July 4th festivities bring big business, heavy traffic, massive crowds to Las Vegas

Posted at 11:29 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 12:18:42-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — An explosive Fourth of July is set to light up Las Vegas. Once again, it's one of the most popular destinations for the holiday weekend, especially as it is listed as one of the top cities with the best fireworks displays.

“Road trips are extremely popular," said American Automobile Association Spokesperson Sergio Avila. "If you’re going to be on the road, you’re going to be sharing that road with a lot of people.”

AAA projects 47 million will travel for the second-largest travel weekend by volume on record. 91% will travel by vehicle. A sizable chunk of travelers is destined for Las Vegas now that Nevada is fully open.

RELATED: Fourth of July events & fireworks in Las Vegas | 2021

Several festivities are planned, like EDM artist Illenium performing at Allegiant Stadium. The concert will be the first major event to take place in the multi-billion-dollar venue.

Small businesses near the stadium welcome the massive crowds. The owner of M&M’s Smoke Shop near Allegiant Stadium, Mohammad Russa, says the Fourth of July weekend is always “crazy.”

“You can’t imagine how busy we are for the Fourth of July,” Russa said. "We usually close at 9 at night, but for the weekend we'll close at midnight."

Some of Russa’s top-selling merchandise is his glass bongs and hookah coals. He had to shut down due to the pandemic, but he says that was a mere hiccup for his business.

“After two months it was, again, crazy, the same thing," Russa said. "We got more business than regular days.”

While M&M’s Smoke Shop welcomes the influx of customers, concerns of massive crowds linger.

RELATED: Nevada seeks additional FEMA resources to help with COVID-19 cases, Delta variant, vaccination rates

The Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus is worrying health officials nationwide. The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory has identified the newest strain in Clark County.

While the World Health Organization says people should still wear masks, the CDC says fully vaccinated individuals should feel comfortable going out. Yet, Las Vegas area doctors say there’s not enough research about this new variant.

RELATED: CDC clarifies: Those vaccinated can go without masks unless local health officials say otherwise

“The vaccines that we have now are pretty good, but they are not 100%," said Dr. Daliah Wachs, a physician of family medicine. "There’s still that very small chance that we can still get the virus or transmit it.”

Dr. Wachs recommends using safe practices like washing your hands frequently, staying away from strangers who are seen sneezing or coughing, and if you're sick, stay at home.

For a list of Fourth of July events, click here.