LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Las Vegas Strip saw increasing crowds over the weekend and more are expected as spring break ramps up combined with St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and relaxing restrictions on capacity limits and gathering sizes and health experts urge caution.
Spring will soon bloom in Las Vegas and temperatures will warm, attracting people from all over the country.
Over the weekend, crowds were spotted up and down Las Vegas Boulevard and at some of the famous attractions like the Bellagio Conservatory.
The crowds are a sign that Las Vegas is emerging from the depths of the worst economic hardships the city and state has ever faced.
"We're seeing increases, obviously, this weekend, we say pretty strong visitor volume over the weekend," said Jeremy Aguero from Applied Analysis.
Aguero says the economic trends are positive for Las Vegas.
Visitor volume and occupancy rates for hotels have been on the rise and more may be coming as restrictions are relaxed and key dates and events are ahead.
"We're talking about hotels opening, people going back to work, we're talking about shows opening back up and restaurants opening back up and airlines bringing flights back that they didn't have before, all of a sudden we're seeing this engine start to work the right way," added Aguero.
Aguero adds there is plentiful pent-up demand from consumers, as well as the amount of cash in most American's pockets, is reaching historic levels.
But all of the fun comes with a stark reminder that the deadly pandemic that has raged for more than a year is still a clear and present danger.
"We are literally at the five-yard line, as Dr. Fauci mentioned over the weekend as if we are spiking the ball before we're in the end zone and that's what we are trying to avoid," said Dr. Christina Madison of Roseman University.
Madison points out there are new variants that are far more contagious than the previous dominant strain of COVID-19.
"With people thinking about going on vacation, thinking about going on spring break, we are still recommending that you wear a mask," added Madison.
Nevada's test positivity rate has fallen to 5.7% as of Monday, which is just above the recommended threshold of 5% or lower set by the World Health Organization.