LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Local workers who rely on business on the Las Vegas Strip are thrilled at the possibility of seeing casinos and venues at full capacity soon.
During a Tuesday evening press conference, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced his goal to have all counties in Nevada at 100% capacity by June 1.
The Strip has seen a lot of changes over the past 13 months. Casinos, theatres, and businesses have all had to make major changes because of capacity limits. So, many are excited about the possibility of reaching full capacity in about a month and a half.
The Soul Juice Band’s residency at Mandalay Bay closed last year due to COVID-19 concerns. Lead singer and manager, David Tatlock, says the theatre where they used to perform still has not opened because of limited capacities.
“With 50% capacity or less in some showrooms or different venues, it’s difficult to even make a profit,” he said.
But now, Sisolak’s latest capacity goal includes casinos and venues on the Strip. Tatlock says that is music to his ears.
“It’s a great opportunity for everybody to get back to work, especially in a city like ours that thrives on large gatherings of people,” he said.
Sisolak says his plan holds promise.
“A path forward to bringing back our state economy, helping our businesses, bringing back conventions and getting Nevadans back to work,” the governor stated.
Pam Howatt owns local catering company Divine Events. They rely on convention business, so the past year has been difficult — especially with major conventions, such as CES, not happening in Las Vegas. She says increased capacities means more conventions could be on their way to town. In fact, World of Concrete is already set to take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center from June 8 to 10.
“It’s such a relief,” Howatt said. “Seeing those come back, and World of Concrete, I’m sure there’s going to be some possibilities there as well.”
Full capacity by June 1 is tentative, depending on the coronavirus situation in each county. Tourists tell 8 News Now they are split on the goal.
“That would be premature judgement on my part because I don’t know how things are going to be on May 1,” said tourist Eric Boone.
“As long as the vaccination is given out more, then it should be safe to do that,” said tourist Tiara Warren.
Locals are just hoping for the best.
“We’re really looking forward to our chance to get back,” Tatlock said.
Sisolak is also making it clear that just because he wants capacities to go up, that does not mean we should let our guard down. Social distancing and mask wearing will still be a top priority. Although local counties will oversee COVID mitigation measures for their respective jurisdictions starting on May 1, the governor says the mask mandate will remain in effect statewide for the foreseeable future.