LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The first week of March is roaring into Las Vegas with most pools reopening and other venues beginning to welcome visitors again after the pandemic forced shutdowns nearly a year ago and the weather starts to heat up.
The Strip traffic and visitor volume were noticeably different as of Friday evening.
Cars were roaring past Las Vegas Boulevard near Flamingo, one of the most famous intersections in the world, and people packed sidewalks in front of the Bellagio for the fountain show.
"It's definitely been a lot busier, I would say," said Alexis Bell, a showgirl.
"Usually wintertime is a slow season, and in Vegas especially, but there’s definitely been an increase in the amount of people that we’ve seen,“ added Bell.
The winter weather has given way to warmer spring temperatures along with reduced COVID-19 restrictions with potentially more to come.
"We do work with a lot of the promoters out here so it's kind of like people come to us and they're like what can we do tonight what is there to do so if we help them they help us it's like we're all big team out here we all work together," said Bell.
Friday marked a big day for Las Vegas with multiple venues reopening their doors to customers.
Encore Beach Club pool is now open for the 2021 season with reservations recommended.
The Pool Marquee at The Cosmopolitan opened with a socially-distant pool experience along with signature food items and cocktails.
Wet Republic Ultra Pool reopened as an expansion of the MGM Grand's existing resort pool.
There is no general admission based on current precautions and restrictions and reservations are required for hotel guests.
Visitors must be 21 years old and over.
The TI Pool and Island Pub at Treasure Island also reopened the property's pool for the 2021 season.
OMNIA reopened Friday evening not as a nightclub, but as a lounge with their terrace that overlooks the Strip.
The reopenings mean many bartenders, security officers, servers, hosts and staff are getting back to their jobs.
Still, some people are not returning to their old jobs just yet.
"For me, I haven't gotten a job back so I'm sticking with the showgirl thing," said Crystal Diaz, a showgirl.
"What my friends told me, the rules are different, the environment is different, everyone wears a mask, this and that, it's very weird compared to how it was a year ago," added Diaz.
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Diaz used to sell show tickets and that sector of business is still suffering from the shutdowns and restrictions.
It was a situation the governor acknowledged during an interview with the Associated Press on Friday evening.
"When I turned off the lights and shut down the casinos, I knew I was putting a majority of workers in the state of Nevada out of work and those things went dark and that's been difficult," said Gov. Steve Sisolak.
"So I've learned a lot more as we've gotten through," the governor said. "You can bring an economy back. You cannot bring somebody back if they've passed."
If the COVID-19 trends continue in a downward trajectory, more restrictions will be relaxed on March 15 when most businesses will be subjected to a 50% limit on capacity.