Tuesday, March 16, 2021 / by Ken Couture
You'll still see the masks and social distancing signs, but the energy on the Las Vegas strip is revving up.
"It feels good, some type of normal," said one tourist commenting on the crowds.
"It's really awesome to see it like this and Vegas vibrantly alive again," said another.
COVID-19 hospitalizations are going down, vaccinations are going up, and more and more amenities are beginning to re-open.
" I think we're in the best place we've been since this started," said Amanda Belarmino, an assistant professor at the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at UNLV.
After a brutal year for the tourism industry, Belarmino says Las Vegas could be a post-pandemic hot-spot.
"Las Vegas is poised for a really great comeback," she said. "With us being able to do both the drive market and a fly and market, I think that gives us an edge. We're going to have shows, which is something that a lot of other places don't have right now. That's going to give us an edge in terms of entertainment and accessibility."
Pools and many shows are beginning to open their doors again.
Even The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas' Wicked Spoon Buffett will be serving guests again on March 25.
All the excitement is spilling over to other industries too.
As Sabine Von Henning with The Mob Museum says, event bookings are up.
"We've seen an increase in wedding inquiries but also inquiries for corporate events, which is fantastic to see," she said.
It's why despite a challenging 2020, Belarmino believes this motto will ring true for decades to come: Viva Las Vegas!
"This is what we do, this is what we've always done and we do it better than many other places in the world," she said. "And I think that's going to help put us on the top of the priority list for a lot of people as they start planning their summer travel."
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