Being a playful capital, Las Vegas always seems to be crowded with customers squeezing in to check-in with the neon sign “Welcome to the great Las Vegas”, or find a place to eat on the Las Vegas Strip (The Strip). The crime city is famous for its 24/7 entertainment, from gambling, betting, roulette … in casinos, partying overnight in striptease clubs, discos, and bars. bar …
Money is easy – and easy – in the blink of an eye. Today, in the shadow of Covid-19, Las Vegas is in bad luck. Although there are few places left untouched by the pandemic, nowhere is the pace of the decline as fast as the money-making city of Nevada. Casinos, hotels, discos … those that once raised $ 60 billion from tourists are now empty or closed.
The Strip, the entertainment mecca, attracting 49.5 million visitors from all over the world, is now forgotten. Even the replica of the Statue of Liberty here also wears a mask, no figure of tourists taking a selfie next to the flashing neon signs.
Inside the Venetian resort, gondola rowers sit bored by the man-made canal without guests. Door-to-door posters featuring shows from Cirque du Soleil circus troupe, A-list superstar Robbie Williams, Lady Gaga and Diana Ross – all were canceled.
Even the most popular striptease halls are no longer open to welcome guests. Nightclub 18+ Little Darlings is closed, with the sign: “Sorry, we got dressed” – pun for “closed” announcement.
The Nevada Resort Association warned that resorts and hotels in Las Vegas could lose up to $ 39 billion by the end of the year – almost a record compared to conventional profits. The Las Vegas Business Bureau estimates that 40% of restaurants are likely to be permanently closed.
Ben Jacobs, a 23-year-old tourist from Los Angeles, came to Las Vegas with a friend for a vacation, but they only stayed for one night. Because, the city is too quiet compared to the usual scene.
“Like in the zombie apocalypse. Vegas is where you go to buy laughter and fun, but now it’s so quiet, everyone wears a mask,” Jacobs lamented. “There is no contact between people.”
Even in the casinos that have welcomed visitors back, the atmosphere is completely strange with the fenced areas, only a few counters are active. One blackjack dealer explained: “The idea is to gather customers in small areas to create a more crowded feeling. Everyone has been affected by the pandemic, but Vegas is shattered. This is the city. made for entertainment. “
“I’m lucky to have a job. Dozens of my friends have been fired, most of them switching to supermarket shelves or doing whatever they can to survive. Worst of all. is not knowing when things will return, “the man said.
In fact, some places may never reopen. The Palms just spent $ 690 million last year on refurbishment, famous for its new luxury apartment “Empathy Suite” that costs $ 100,000 a night. This casino hotel is still closed.
Frank Fertitta, CEO of Red Rock Resorts that owns The Palms, admits: “We don’t know when – or if we can reopen”.
Inside every casino, all dealers wear masks and hoods, and guests must also wear masks. The cleaning staff is on duty to spray and disinfect the entire machine right after guests leave.
Waitresses dressed in super-short skirts – once symbols of Vegas are no longer allowed to serve guests at the gambling table. They may not be the main characters in the casino, but the casino seems lifeless in their absence.