Las Vegas Strip May Only Recover By 2023

By Ben Hamill - September 09 2020
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Las Vegas Strip May Only Recover By 2023

There was never any doubting the fact. The Las Vegas Strip’s road to economic recovery would be a long one.

But analysts performing regular re-evaluations of the precarious and constantly changing situation have just thrown a particularly curvy ball in the direction of the pitch. At least three years will be what’s needed for Las Vegas and its famous Strip to return to normal. And even then, the length of the expected recovery time depends on a single, crucial determiner: an effective vaccine will have to have been successfully developed.

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Vaccine The Time-Deciding Factor

According to Chad Beynon, who is a chief economic analyst at Macquarie Securities, assuming that a vaccine has been developed by the end of this year, Las Vegas and the Strip will probably only witness a recovery by the year 2023.

The good news is that the man who has been leading the recovery fight in the U.S., infectious diseases specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci, a vaccine is indeed coming, and probably by the end of the year too.

But since the possibility of a delay cannot at this stage be completely ruled out, a potential Vegas recovery date remains an ever-moving target. Once a vaccine is introduced into the recovery equation, Beynon says he believes a Vegas recovery will be swift – with “swift” in this case referring to 2023 being the soonest we can expect to see Nevada markets begin to break even.

Fate Left Hanging In The Balance

The number one challenge is obviously the distinct absence of market diversification. Not unlike near-drowning Macau, Las Vegas has always predominantly relied on gaming. And in the case of Las Vegas in particular, a combination of gaming and tourism.

But since precious little air travel – or any form of travel, for that matter – has been taking place this year so far, not to mention even the limiting effects of physical distancing policies, neither tourism nor travel have proved viable sources of income.

This is however not to say that new developments haven’t been spotted popping up all over the show. But instead of these being indicative of a healthy, growing, and evolving industry, developments such as Genting Berhad’s US$4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas (RWLV) are much more of a gamble in their own right. This, development analysts agree, will only remain afloat in the event of an overall stabilisation of the spread of infections in the United States by the time the massive casino resort is ready to open its doors to the public.

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