LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Southern Nevada's tourism industry took a big hit in 2020 and now we're learning just how big. A new report is revealing the pandemic's impact on visitation to Las Vegas and it's not pretty.
The 22-page report was commissioned by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and prepared by Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas-based consulting firm. It reveals what many already suspected, that 2020 was arguably Las Vegas' worst economic year ever, and it's all thanks to COVID-19.
The report includes some eye-opening statistics about Southern Nevada's tourism industry in 2020 compared to 2019. Employment fell nearly 45% and visitor volume fell 55%. In 2019, visitors spending had an economic output of more than $60 billion in southern Nevada. Last year, that number was cut by more than half, down to $29.6 billion. Convention attendance fell to its lowest level in 21 years.
But since then, our city has bounced back in a big way. Anthony Curtis of Las Vegas Advisor calls the comeback swift and spectacular.
"If you look at gaming numbers from April, I think it was up 28,000%," he said with a chuckle. "Well, that’s not hard when there was hardly any revenue whatsoever last April. But it just shows you how quickly things are bouncing back. People want to come back to Vegas. They want to get out. They want to do things. It’s a little bit scary that things are kind of regressing, they’re kind of going back a little bit. We’ve got another mask mandate here, so we will see what that does. But overall, until now, the recovery has been spectacular," said Curtis.
Curtis did mention there's one main area where Southern Nevada is still lagging behind pre-pandemic levels.
"Probably mid-week visitation because when you're really seeing the town packed, both with the official numbers and when you just walk the streets, is on weekends. And weekdays are getting there, but they still have a ways to go and that’s probably what we’re missing the most. And that has a lot to do with conventions and tourists flying in from overseas," said Curtis.
If you'd like to read the full report, click this link.