This is the first time the entire strip has been shut down since the JFK assassination; even the devastating mass shooting in 2017 only resulted in a partial closure.
The effects on the local and state economy are expected to be catastrophic. Las Vegas saw 42.5 million visitors in 2019, and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimates that the city hosted 3 million visitors in February alone.
The economic indicators for the state as a whole, which relies just as heavily on tourism, are devastating: the Nevada Resort Association (NVA) has warned the state has lost an estimated $2bn from cancelled meetings and conventions, and could lead to $39bn in economic losses overall. The NVA says that one in three jobs in Nevada are connected to the tourism industry, responsible for $20bn in annual wages and salaries. “No other state in America depends on travel and tourism at the magnitude Nevada does,” the Association warns.
And so Las Vegas has become one of the most striking places in the United States to be able to see the toll the crisis has taken on fun and leisure.