Nevada casinos boost occupancy up a notch to 35 percent
Nevada casinos, particularly those in Las Vegas have always been the bellwether of the gambling industry. If Nevada is doing well, it’s likely that the rest of the business is doing well, too. If Nevada casinos are struggling, like they were in 2008, it’s likely that casinos all over the world are hurting, too.
That’s why a recent announcement from Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak boosting Nevada casino occupancy from 25 percent to 35 percent is something of a big deal. Even better, officials in Nevada are hoping to have all of their casinos back to 50 percent capacity by the March 15.
Sisolak is hoping the the increased casino capacity will help convince travelers, particularly business travelers that Nevada is open for business. His dream will get a pretty big test when the World of Concrete, a construction industry trade show, heads to Vegas in June. It’s the first big convention in the city since early 2020.
He expounded on the idea in a recent speech that was well-received by casino industry insiders. In a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nehme Abouzeid, president and founder of hospitality consulting group LaunchVegas LLC praised the speech saying, “This was a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ address.I think it would have been politically unpopular if he had just extended the pause for another month, especially as numbers are going down, vaccine rollout has begun, and a more COVID-focused administration is in Washington.”
But others in the hospitality industry weren’t quite as impressed. At least one observer pointed out that 50 percent capacity was still pretty debilitating and that baby steps just wouldn’t cut it on the road to recovery.