LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Shows on the Las Vegas Strip are dark, and the performers and entertainers are suffering. Tonight, many gathered on the Strip to send a unique message to lawmakers.
Las Vegas is known as the entertainment capital, and the entertainment industry employs thousands of people. Right now, those who work in it say they want more done to help people get back to work.
“Entertainment is the life blood of this town,” said stagehand James Doloway.
Millions come to Vegas to be entertained, as the city has it all, from live music to shows on water.
But as the pandemic continues, the thousands of employees who normally keep the industry on its feet remain without work.
“We have no idea when we are ever going back to work,” said wardrobe attendant Maryn Berbeck.
A summer heat wave didn’t stop hundreds from taking to the Strip for a rally Wednesday.
“We have been out of work for well over six months,” said Doloway.
From wardrobe attendants to stagehands, people from all parts of the industry say they want more done by lawmakers to come up with a plan to get it back up and running.
“If Governor Sisolak states we can open our theaters, we don’t just open the next day. It is not that simple,” explained organizer David Schulman. “We need audience numbers; we need people to fly to Las Vegas. We need hotel rooms; we need any numbers of things to get our business back in place. We need the aid.”
Schulman says he wants people to know how bad the pandemic is impacting the industry and for them to know how big it is for the area.
“We can say there are 68,000 workers out of work here in the City of Las Vegas. That is approximately 2.8 million. But until people see our numbers, they don’t understand what that means.”
Demonstrators say not only are they without work, they are still without unemployment benefits.
“It makes me sad,” Berbeck lamented. “It is sad; it is upsetting. I have tried to help as many friends and family members that I can to get through to unemployment.”
Organizers say another demonstration is planned for Sept. 1. This time, it won’t just be on the Strip, but throughout the city.
They say many buildings will change their lights to red to stand in solidarity with the entertainment industry.