The hits just keep coming for Las Vegas, a city struggling to survive the global health pandemic. On Saturday, the NHL announced the league won’t host the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Sin City after all, another crushing blow to a town in dire straits.
The 2020 NHL season will resume next month north of the US border in Toronto and Edmonton. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly ruled out Southern Nevada, home to the Vegas Golden Knights due to the area’s rising COVID-19 cases.
Nevada had over 1,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on July 10, per the Worldometers.com website. Daily totals have averaged over 600 the past few weeks, a month after the casinos reopened. In response, Gov. Steve Sisolak forced all bars to temporarily close effective at midnight last night. Some locals on social media have speculated he may shut down the casinos soon, but the governor has yet to verify those rumors.
Las Vegas Struggles to Defeat COVID-19
The virus isn’t the only battle the city of Las Vegas is currently facing. Potential hotel revenue from the Stanley Cup Playoffs is now lost. And that’s just the start of the city’s current problems.
The World Series of Poker brings thousands of players to Las Vegas each summer. Well, every summer but this year due to the global health pandemic. Without the WSOP, the city lost out on thousands of travelers who come all over the world and spend money in hotels, casinos, bars, and other local establishments.
Although the WSOP Online Bracelet Series is replacing the live series, far fewer players are in town to compete. That means lower revenue for the city from the poker community.
Many casinos and hotels remain closed, leaving thousands of workers out of a job. With tourism demand lower than normal, many Las Vegas locals are still without a job to return to. And with Nevada having a difficult time containing the virus, no one knows when those employees will return to work.
Saw it Coming
In early March, experts projected Las Vegas to suffer financially as much as any city in the country. That is due to the desert town relying so heavily on tourism and hospitality jobs.
A study from the Brookings Institute shed light on what Las Vegans could expect from their town in the future. According to the research, Vegas has over 340,000 jobs that are at risk of never returning due to COVID-19. If the projection holds up, that would crush the city’s economy and housing market.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the popular tourist destination. Las Vegas still has some things going for it that will help the city rebuild in the coming years. Most notably, all those big and fancy casinos on the Strip that have loured in millions of tourists for years.
And the 24/7 dining, gambling, and drinking certainly doesn’t hurt. So, despite all the recent losses, the town that prides itself on being the entertainment capital of the US, will one day return to its old glory.