LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — We all remember as if it was yesterday how the Strip looked without any visitors.
To put things in perspective, visitation number in 2019 showed Las Vegas hosted 42.5 million visitors. Last year, only 19 million visitors.
What will 2021 look like?
Many people are ready for “Vegas” to return to what it used to be — the Entertainment Capital of the World.
The news of people being vaccinated brings an upbeat outlook, whether people want to return to shows, concerts, nightlife or conventions.
“Things are looking better, so absolutely come visit Vegas,” said Las Vegas resident Maeve Mackin.
“Going out is going to be so much more special,” said Las Vegas resident Micaela Levit. “And we are all going to appreciate it a little more.”
There is a new sign of energy on the Strip.
Lori Nelson-Kraft, Senior Vice President of Communications for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said Las Vegas is the world’s leading destination, and while it’s been a difficult year, it’s also been one of innovation.
“There’s real pent-up demand for travel and there’s pent-up demand for the Las Vegas experience,” she said. “Now what you are looking at is the opportunity for travel to really reopen, and for people to really start planning their vacations.”
“While it’s going to take some time to recover, you’re going to see more visitation as each month goes by,” she said.
Joseph St. Germain is visiting from Alaska. He feels comfortable traveling again.
“It was a reward for work. We did a good job for work, and they sent us to Vegas,” St. Germain said.
He said people are anxious “to do stuff,” but he avoided making predictions.
“I don’t know what normal is going to look like at the end of the year.”
He’s looking forward to comedy shows and conventions.
And on that topic, Nelson-Kraft has an update:
“Today we just learned really exciting news,” she said. “The World of Concrete shows scheduled for June 8-10 just received their approval.”
Besides World of Concrete, 10 other live trade events are planning a return this year.
“We just launched a new business campaign for the convention industry called ‘Fast Forward,’ and we are out promoting the entire destination,” Nelson-Kraft said.
Las Vegas resident Emma Baier said, “I do think we still need to be cautious of everything with the pandemic, but it is good to see things open.”
A national ad campaign will be released next month. Another LVCVA plan is to bring influencers to Las Vegas so they can share their experiences with their followers.