Las Vegas tourism drops 97% in report reflecting April COVID-19 closures

Local News
April Las Vegas Strip

In this April 18, 2020, photo, a man wearing a mask as a precaution against the coronavirus takes pictures along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A mere 106,900 visitors came to Las Vegas in April as COVID-19 shuttered Strip resorts and casinos all over the valley. That compares with 3.5 million visitors in April 2019 — a 97% drop in tourism, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Conventions that usually bring a half-million attendees to Las Vegas were completely off the board — zero attendance for zero conventions.

And hotel occupancy stood at 1.7% in April, down 89%.

The year-to-date comparisons describe the economic shortfall that is still growing in Las Vegas, with the impact in May yet to be seen:

  • 8.5 million visitors, compared to 13.8 million through April last year
  • 1.7 million conventioneers, compared to 2.5 million through April last year

The numbers tell the cold story as unemployed casino workers in the Las Vegas valley pay the price brought by shutting down the tourism-based economy when COVID-19 appeared on the scene in early March.

Within days of the valley’s first death, the Strip was closed and “non-essential” businesses like movie theaters, hair salons and dine-in restaurants saw the world change nearly overnight.

The LVCVA report cites similar drops of 97% in both Laughlin and Mesquite.

A McCarran International Airport report told a similar story on Thursday as passenger traffic dropped 96.4% in April.

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