Las Vegas businesses, local leaders concerned about conventions as COVID cases rise

Coronavirus

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Some Las Vegas locals are concerned about the future of conventions, as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Southern Nevada.

Disney has announced it will not be sending executives or stars to the city next month for CinemaCon, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases in the area. Now, there is already some concern about major conventions canceling trips to Las Vegas altogether.

As of right now, no major conventions or trade shows have officially canceled trips here. But local leaders and businesses are worried that could happen if our COVID numbers do not get better.

Frank Friedlander, owner and co-founder of TuffSkin Surface Protection, is holding on to hope. The hospitality trade show where he is supposed to be an exhibitor is still scheduled for August on the Las Vegas Strip.

If it did not happen, he would be worried.

“Would it hurt us? Definitely,” Friedlander told 8 News Now.

TuffSkin sells a product that seals marble to prevent etching or stains. Friedlander says without conventions, it is hard to get new customers.

Frank Friedlander

“To miss it for two years in a row because of COVID would be a big damper on our business,” he said.

Clark County Commissioners brought up the issue of conventions at their meeting last week.

“We are getting lots of calls around the country to know if trade conventions are going to be safe to come here,” said Chair Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who represents District B.

Cyndi Koester does homeowner’s association management as division director for CAMCO Nevada. She is preparing for a national conference coming to Las Vegas next month. As of now, the event is still happening — but major components will be missing.

“There is a concern with our growth of COVID, that we’ve increased a little bit, and we’ve had a few speakers cancel at the last minute,” Koester shared.

Knowing things could change at any minute, Friedlander is preparing for the worst.

Cyndi Koester

“I’m going to make the best of the situation, regardless of what it is,” he said.

Again, there have not been any official announcements of conventions canceling. Businesses that spoke to 8 News Now say in order to avoid that from happening, we all need to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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