LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The month of March means madness and major business for Las Vegas including the start of pool season and there are positive signs the pandemic's pain is starting to fade.
MGM Resorts International announced 12 pools across their Las Vegas properties are now open as of Monday, including Aria, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and Luxor.
College basketball typically brings March Madness and throngs of visitors to Las Vegas.
"Look, this is springtime in the country, the weather is great, March is obviously such a huge month for all of Las Vegas," said casino owner Derek Stevens.
Stevens says despite the pandemic, the loosening restrictions and increased capacity limits will likely lead to more people feeling comfortable to venture out into public and travel.
"Bookings for the rest of March are great, second-quarter bookings look terrific and I'm a big believer that the third-quarter is going to be the best third-quarter Las Vegas has ever seen," added Stevens.
March also brings a full weekend of NASCAR racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The venue has a severely restricted capacity sell out at 12,500 attendees for Sunday's Cup race.
Tickets remain available for races on Friday and Saturday.
"It impacts cabs, buses, limos coming out of the speedway and impacts them it is such a trickle-down effect throughout our economy certainly has an impact on the hotels and restaurants and gaming and retail," said Chris Powell, president of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Powell points out the Speedway could handle more people but current restrictions from the Southern Nevada Health District have capped capacity to just 15 percent.
The COVID restrictions are expected to relax further on March 15 when capacity limits could increase to 50% for most businesses.
"It's a big deal for us to slowly creep back to 24 hour [operation] as we're getting customers that are wanting to come out at night," said Bobby Kingston, owner of Saddle N Spurs in Las Vegas.
Kingston points out the current trends may help more people start to feel comfortable in public again.
"The public is going to feel more comfortable to go out so it'll be more significant for people to come out and enjoy the place and places like this around town because they say that the government is relaxing things," said Kingston.
"This is the most lit city that I've ever been a part of, just the community the people, just the vibe it's just everything," said Matthew Duty while visiting Stadium Swim on Circa Hotel and Casino.
"We just come out and have some fun," added Duty.