Ten-plus months into a pandemic and Las Vegas is finally getting some good news. Unemployment dropped statewide, people are ready to hold meetings and conventions in Las Vegas, and net income for casinos increased over 2019 numbers.
Convention business making a comeback
Although state mandates keep events to 25 percent capacity or 50 people, whichever is less, conventions are already planning to return to Las Vegas. World of Concrete, the giant construction convention, rescheduled for June 8-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and if those dates hold, could be the first huge convention to return to in-person meetings in Las Vegas. Previous World of Concrete conventions drew 60,000-plus attendees.
A new study by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority by Reston, Virginia-based Heart+Mind Strategies found that 91 percent of those queried miss face-to-face meetings and 58 percent found themselves burnt out from virtual meetings and conferences. The survey company asked 510 business travelers their thoughts, and found that 77 percent would prefer attending conferences, conventions, and trade shows in person, and 74 percent believe Las Vegas prepared to safely host in-person events in the second half of 2021, according to the Lass Vegas Review-Journal. [LVRJ]
Unemployment drops statewide
For the first time since the pandemic started and the state shut down nonessential businesses last March, Nevada’s jobless rate dropped to 9.2 percent in December, a one point dip from November’s numbers and the first time unemployment hit single digits. That number is offset by a decline in the number of people not seeking work. The state saw 8,200 non-farm jobs added in December. Nationwide, the unemployment rate for December hit 6.7 percent.
Still, 37,310 filed initial claims for unemployment, an increase of 4,697 claims, or 14.4 percent, over November numbers.
In November, Las Vegas recorded the highest unemployment rate nationwide among big metropolitan areas. At the time, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 11.5 percent of Las Vegas workers were out of jobs in November, the highest rate among 51 metro cities with at least 1 million people.
Nevada ran out of funds for unemployment after nine months of unemployment during the pandemic, and borrowed $133.5 million in federal loans to continue paying unemployment, the RJ reports. [LVRJ]
Casinos are making money
The Nevada Gaming Control Board released its numbers for fiscal year 2020, finding that 267 casinos in Nevada that grossed $1 million or more in gaming revenue generated net income of $2.9 billion from total revenues of $18.3 billion. Compare that to fiscal year 2019 when net income of $2 billion was recorded on total revenues of $24.5 billion. Those numbers include money spent on rooms, food, beverages, attractions, as well as gaming. Gaming accounted for $6.7 billion or 36.8 percent of total revenue. Clark County had 157 casinos grossing $1 million or more in gaming revenue, which generated a combined net income of $2.9 billion from total revenues of $16.3 billion. [EaterWire]
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