Economist weighs in on specific impacts in Las Vegas amid COVID-19 closures

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Economies around the world are struggling with recent coronavirus shut downs, but Las Vegas could face tougher times than most with such a heavy reliance on tourism. 

8 News Now spoke with a local man who lost his job last week. 

“This has impacted my whole family,” Jason Baker said. “Basically I’m just waiting for that phone call.”

He’s one of so many now counting on unemployment checks to make ends meet, after COVID-19 shutdowns take a toll across our city. 

“We are more vulnerable than other places just based on the structure of our economy,” Local economist Jeremy Aguero told 8 News Now

He added that Las Vegas will most likely take a harder financial hit because of our basic reliance on tourism and travel. 

“All the efforts we’ve made over the past decade to diversify our economy,” Aguero explained. “Nevada remains among the least diversified economies of our size.”

The shut down of the Las Vegas Strip and cancellation of countless conventions and sporting events could cost our economy around $1 billion over the next two to 18 months of slow down and recovery periods, according to Aguero. 

In addition, he said since the city hasn’t seen a downturn of this magnitude and speed in the past, it’s hard to predict what’s next. 

“This is an economic situation without comparison in most of our history,” he continued. “And I think dealing with that directly is going to be important.”

This is all a huge setback for the size of our valley, but Aguero adds that a rebound will still come. 

“We need to be prepared when we get out there,” he explained. “That means kids need to be prepared to go to school and adults need to prepared to go to work.”

However, Jason Baker said that until then, everyone needs to band together and expect the unexpected. 

“We all just need to stick together and we will get through this,” Baker concluded.

Aguero added that the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus relief package passed by Congress this week will bring much needed help to many Southern Nevadans, including individuals, businesses and local governments. 

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