Nevada increasing gathering capacity; local businesses ready for more events

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas is inching closer to normalcy, with the loosening of more COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada.

During a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Governor Steve Sisolak announced that at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, October 1, the group gathering limit in Nevada will be 250 people.

That is five times the current capacity for gatherings, which is 50 people. This means events could soon be allowed at major venues, such as Allegiant Stadium. But strict guidelines need to be followed.

“Today is only the first step in getting back to our new normal,” Gov. Sisolak said.

Change is coming to COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada. Gov. Sisolak is increasing the group gathering limit to 250 people or 50 percent capacity of a venue — whichever is smaller. This means we could soon see more events across the Las Vegas valley.

“We’re excited to see that those can come back,” said Pam Howatt, who owns local catering company Divine Events.

Howatt says business has been slow due to the coronavirus, but she is confident the 250-person cap will turn things around.

“It’s so great,” Howatt said.

“It means we can get back to our average number of people that we’re used to working with,” added Howatt.

The 250-person limit applies to conventions, conferences and trade shows too. But if certain requirements are met, Gov. Sisolak says up to 1,000 attendees could be allowed.

“This is an important first step toward revitalizing our hospitality industry, under the stronger social distancing and safety guidelines in the nation,” Gov. Sisolak said.

If larger venues with more than 2,500 seats want to have an event, they can host up to 10 percent of their capacity under the new guidelines. That goes for places such as Allegiant Stadium and the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV Athletics says they already have a plan in place to allow a limited number of fans to attend football games.

But for all these larger venues, they must follow additional safety rules. Their plans must also be submitted and approved by the State of Nevada.

Live entertainment can also return with similar capacity limits and social distancing. Las Vegas performer and entertainment producer Michelle Johnson says that is music to her ears.

“Anything is better than what we’re doing right now, which is missing the stage. Anything is better than that,” Johnson said.

“I try to stay positive. And I think it’s a step in the right direction,” added Johnson.

The State hopes that direction — is forward.

“If any state is going to come back stronger, it’s going to be this one,” Gov. Sisolak said.

This also means fewer restrictions for in-person religious services and open houses. But something many 8 News NOW viewers have been asking about is the return of youth sports.

Gov. Sisolak says he is currently working on guidance for that, and he hopes to have an update in the next 7 to 10 days.

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