Posted on: March 8, 2021, 03:06h.
Last updated on: March 8, 2021, 03:26h.
Circa Resort’s Derek Stevens in Las Vegas is extending a warm welcome to spring breakers getting the cold shoulder in Miami Beach.
Addressing coronavirus pandemic concerns, Miami Beach City Manager Raul Aguila recently said his town is “not going to tolerate anarchy for spring break 2021.”
“If you want to party without restriction, then go somewhere else,” he said. “Go to Vegas.”
Officials at the South Florida barrier island, popular for its nightlife and beaches, have imposed a midnight curfew. Also, alcoholic beverages and boom boxes are banned on the beach. These restrictions run through April 12.
Stevens welcomed the news.
If the Miami Beach city manager, Raul Aguila, wants to send people to Las Vegas, on behalf of myself and my employees, keep sending them,” Stevens told KVVU-TV. “It’s a great partnership.”
Circa opened in downtown Las Vegas last year, the first hotel-casino built from the ground up in that area in 40 years. Circa is an adults-only resort, banning anyone under 21. That means many college-age spring breakers will not be allowed there.
However, Stevens and others in the gaming industry are hopeful the city’s sluggish tourism numbers will rebound soon. In 2020, Las Vegas experienced its lowest visitor volume since 1989. Last year, 19.03 million people visited Las Vegas, down 55.2 percent from 2019.
Vaccines Offer Hope
Part of the reason for optimism about improved tourism is that health care workers across the country are administering COVID-19 vaccines. This is expected to help in easing concerns about air travel, vital to Las Vegas because of its remote desert location.
At McCarran International Airport, passenger arrivals and departures have declined by more than 30 million travelers during the pandemic. The airport is at the southeastern end of the Strip, near the Tropicana, MGM Grand, and other hotel-casinos.
”What’s happening here with the vaccine is having an impact on tourism,” said Stevens, Circa’s owner. “Bookings for us the rest of March and end of the quarter are kind of through the roof right now.”
‘Ready to Explode’
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom (D) also extended a welcome to visitors, while noting that Nevada still has COVID-19 health and safety mandates in place. Beginning one year ago this month, casinos statewide were locked down for 78 days. The lockdown ended June 4.
In February, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) extended capacity limits for gaming floors and other businesses from 25 percent to 35 percent. That includes restaurants and bars.
On March 15, that capacity limit will go to 50 percent for gaming floors and other sites.
Segerblom said Las Vegas is “ready to explode.”
“Come to Las Vegas, but truthfully, there’s no place that’s following the restrictions more than we are,” Segerblom told the television station.
He said Las Vegas is going to be safe and “go step-by-step” in opening the city up again.
“We’re not going to have to shut back down, because we’re going to follow all the protocols,” he said.