LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From New Year’s Eve to March Madness to spring breakers, our town has been packed over the last few months, and there's no sign it's slowing down. That's good news for businesses and the local economy.
The strip is looking different than how it did during the peak of this pandemic, and with more visitors in town, more people are getting back to work.
Manager Andrew Chidester at Vegas Indoor Skydiving, says it was a ghost town here during the peak of the pandemic, but now business is booming.
"People are getting back to Vegas," Chidester said. "Getting back to having fun again, no masks, none of that. People are now out and about."
During the month of March with a little help from spring break visitors, Chidester says they have already hit record numbers for the year. He says they are seeing levels similar to before the pandemic.
“We are seeing those tourist numbers increase, you said 70%, and it feels like 70%,” Chidester said. “We are having to wake up, the crowd is ready for us, and open the doors, it's a great change of pace compared to the winter season."
He says they have more than a hundred people flying every day. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority says 2.6 million people visited Las Vegas in February. One financial analyst says each visitor spends about a thousand dollars. These numbers do not stop, more keep coming in.
The strip is filled with people, restaurants with long lines, and tourists ready to spend money.
Sara Orton visited from Iowa, and she says for a weekday she was shocked to see how packed the strip was. She says she is here to support businesses, but the pandemic aftermath is still evident.
"When I’m searching online to find a place to eat and it closed permanently, I’m like, 'that's crazy for Vegas'," Orton said. "I feel this wouldn't be a city that's affected, and clearly it has been."
Goran Djurdjevic, a visitor from Chicago was also here earlier this year and says in just two months he's seen a significant difference.
"Gotten a lot better than it was before and hopefully it gets even better," Djurdjevic said. "I think with all the development you guys got going on, I see things getting much better."
Chidester says it's tourists like these that are keeping this indoor sky diving business alive.
"Definitely our money-making seasons, most definitely, those tourists," Chidester said. "Those kids out of school definitely help out."
Tourism is expected to continue to increase. Airport officials say more than 3 million passengers flew into Harry Reid International last month which is more than a 100% increase in comparison to last year.