LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The pandemic put a pause on promoting Las Vegas as a destination but starting in April, Vegas tourism bosses will launch a nationwide advertising campaign to promote Sin City for both leisure and business travelers once again.
For the first time since the shutdowns in March 2020, the Strip is appearing to resemble the pre-pandemic days.
Traffic, tourists, and tons of potential.
Spring break and March Madness are notoriously busy points of the spring visitor season and despite the restrictions, the crowds are returning in 2021.
"We are on the road to recovery, there's not only pent-up demand for travel, but there's pent-up demand for the Las Vegas experience and we're starting to see that build," said Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Senior Vice President of Communications Lori Nelson-Kraft.
Nelson-Kraft says a recent survey commissioned by the LVCVA questioned convention attendees in the middle of January 2021 and it showed an "overwhelming interest" and willingness to meet in person and more importantly, travel to Las Vegas.
"We're starting to see that, not only with leisure visitors are coming here on weekends and coming out for March Madness this weekend, but now also the business traveler, we've been hearing from them," added Nelson-Kraft.
The "Zoom fatigue" is real says Nelson-Kraft and with the relaxing restrictions, COVID-19 trends continuing to decline and vaccination efforts ramping up, the LVCVA is getting back to the business of bringing as many people to Las Vegas as possible with the pending advertisement campaign.
"Social media influencers have been starting to come out and enjoy the experience that is Vegas and they're sharing with their followers what it's like to be in Vegas," added Nelson-Kraft.
The all-important convention business is showing signs of life.
On Wednesday, World of Concrete, typically held in January each year, was given the approval to hold the convention in June in Las Vegas.
It will be the first large-scale event in the United States since the pandemic was declared.
An additional 30 convention and trade shows are on the books before the end of the year and the 2022 calendar looks "robust" according to Nelson-Kraft.
"The shows want to return, their exhibitors want to return, so do their attendees," said Nelson-Kraft.
"Shows may look a little smaller in the first year, as we begin to recover, but the commitment to meet again in-person and that all-important business traveler to Las Vegas, now you're going to start seeing signs of that return," added Nelson-Kraft.
Las Vegas continues to evolve and transform in the depths of the pandemic.
Nelson-Kraft points to the billions of dollars worth of investment that are nearing completion.
The West Hall expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center will debut when World of Concrete kicks off in June.
Resorts World on the Las Vegas Strip is on schedule for completion later this year.
Virgin Hotels is wrapping up the complete overhaul of the former Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
That property is set to open on March 25.
The Boring Company is making significant progress on the underground people mover which will transport people in Tesla vehicles free of charge around the Las Vegas Convention Center campus once complete.
The LVCVA does acknowledge the pandemic has led to some permanent changes for conventions and there will likely be a virtual element for conventions in which attendees will no longer attend in person.