Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Business https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Las Vegas, the hardest hit metro economy in America, suffered just one more blow

Las Vegas, the hardest hit metro economy in America, suffered just one more blow

Muoio worked as an event coordinator for a third-party electricity supplier and carefully choreographed the power needs of exhibitors, presenters and attendees at trade shows held in the massive hall.

“There are very long days and you’re on your feet all the time,” said Muoio, 39. “Sometimes you don’t even have time to eat.”

During a typical January, the presence of CES in and around Las Vegas is unmistakable. Hotel prices skyrocket, restaurants and clubs are packed, and workers like Muoio log extra hours to make sure everything goes smoothly for the big money-making program and related events. Last year, the 170,000 CES participants are estimated to have generated $ 1

69 million in direct expenses and a broader financial impact of $ 291.2 million, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The move, which is intended to prioritize health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic, serves as another blow to a city already in crisis with the current health and economic crises.

In January 2020, the CES conference is estimated to have drawn 170,000 attendees to Las Vegas and generated $ 169 million in direct expenses and a broader economic impact of $ 291.2 million.  (Mark Damon / Las Vegas News Bureau)

The money is running out

The labor market in Las Vegas has been hardest hit among major U.S. metro areas during the pandemic. The region is heavily dependent on travel, discretionary spending, business conferences and large gatherings, but has seen these key outlets turned off.

In April 2020, shutdowns resulted in a 34% unemployment rate in Las Vegas. Although it has improved since then, Las Vegas still has the highest unemployment rate among major metro areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
As of November 2020, unemployment in the Las Vegas metro area was 11.5%, and 128,000 people – including Muoio – remained unemployed.

After being fired in March, Muoio was laid off permanently in August.

Since then, she says she has applied for hundreds of jobs – including home-to-home events that coordinate roles and positions in customer service or marketing – but have yet to land anything permanent.

Living without health insurance and awaiting an application for statelessness benefits that has been pending since August, Muoio said she is lucky she had saved some money for a possible down payment on a house.

“That money is slowly dripping down slowly,” she said. “I’m running out.”

Brandon Geyer faces a similar situation. He has been out of work since March.

Brandon Geyer, a bartender in Las Vegas, said he has been unemployed since March.

“Come March, when this first happened, I was under the impression that we would be shut down for a few weeks, not so much,” he said. “Another week goes by, and another week goes by, and suddenly I haven’t gone back to work since March.”

For nearly 24 years, Geyer, 49, had cared for a bar on Main Street Station, a casino, brewery and hotel in downtown Las Vegas that remains temporarily closed due to the pandemic. And while the crowds grew each time CES came to town, Main Street Station attracted a loyal clientele, many of whom Geyer got to know well over the years.

Geyer said he is grateful to receive unemployment benefits, that his wife still has his job, and that they had some money in savings to support themselves and their two children. Culinary Workers Union Local 226 has also helped provide weekly food assistance and groceries.

But the loss of full and stable income takes its toll, Geyer said. He hopes his union’s push for Clark County, Nevada, to adopt a “right of return” policy will be introduced, requiring employers to offer redundant workers the right to return to their old jobs when companies reopen.

“We just wonder when we will get back to work,” he said.

The Boyd Gaming-owned Main Street Station is expected to reopen sometime in 2021, CEO Keith Smith said during the company’s latest earnings call in October.

Empty empty

This time last year, optimism was high that 2020 – and CES 2021 – would be quite prosperous for Las Vegas, said Steve Hill, executive director of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

“We had sat down [room tax dollars] records for seven of the previous 10 months, “he said. It looked like it would definitely continue. “

Hotel and resort construction projects were underway, and the city not only planned to host the NFL Draft in April, but would also have the excellent $ 1.94 billion Allegiant Stadium filled with fans cheering for it recently moved the Raiders NFL team.
And in January 2021, CES was to be the first event held in an expansion of nearly $ 1 billion. Dollars by the Las Vegas Convention Center and serve as the debut of a futuristic “people-mover” project from Elon Musk’s The Boring Company.
The Las Vegas Convention Center underwent an expansion of nearly $ 1 billion.  Dollars, and CES 2021 was to be the first event held in the newly built West Hall.  Instead, the event is completely digital due to the pandemic.

Instead, the new 1.4 million square foot West Hall sits eerily empty, Hill said.

Hotels that have charged more than $ 400 per night. Night for rooms during the week of CES 2020, has announced rates ranging from $ 25 to $ 45 this year, according to Hotels.com data tracked by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Some hotels, including Mirage and Encore at Wynn, have even closed rooms mid-week due to low demand.

The expectation from both the visiting authority and the CES organizers is that the event will return to Las Vegas in 2022 and beyond. Although it will probably look a little different when it returns.

“The future of events is likely to include a digital component,” officials from the Consumer Technology Association, which hosts CES, said in a statement. “The event industry has had to innovate throughout this pandemic, change business models and adapt to our new circumstances.”

Monday night, more than two dozen tent sites at properties along the famous Las Vegas Strip were lit with the message, “We miss you, CES. Can’t wait to welcome you back in 2022.”

And on Twitter, the CES 2021 account echoed the mood, tweeting “Feeling homesick, but see you soon @Vegas.”
On Monday, more than a dozen tents along the Las Vegas Strip were lit with the message:

‘All bets are off’

The American Travel Association, citing data from research firm Tourism Economics, estimates that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in $ 500 billion. Dollars in cumulative losses for the country’s travel economy since March, causing an estimated $ 64.4 billion. $ Affected to federal, state and local tax revenues.
While leisure travel is expected to fuel travel and tourism, these travel is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022, said Adam Sacks, president of tourism economics during a webinar at the US Travel Association in December. It will likely take until 2024 or later for business and corporate travel to return in full, he said.

For cities like Las Vegas to see a meaningful economic improvement, people need to feel comfortable traveling again, being indoors again, and willing to spend money, said John Restrepo, rector of Las Vegas-based RCG Economics.

And until vaccinations are widespread, “all bets are off,” Restrepo said.

Nevada’s lack of diversification in the industry is likely to hinder job recovery much as it did after the Great Recession, he said. After the downturn in 2008, it took nine years for the state to surpass its number of jobs before the recession.

This time, Restrepo predicts that it will take at least three years for the state to reach the uniform annual growth rates seen in major economic indicators before the pandemic hits. It will take even longer, he said, to get back to the actual levels of jobs, sales taxes, gaming revenue and convention attendees.

“It’s going to be a long shot out of this groove here in southern Nevada,” he said.

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