Las Vegas Has “Come Back to Life,” Says MGM Resorts CEO

Las Vegas, Nevada, Tourism, Travel, Nightlife
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Las Vegas, like many destinations, was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, the city is rapidly returning to its former glory.

That’s according to MGM Resorts CEO William Hornbuckle.

“It’s been great to see Las Vegas come alive again as the vibrant destination that we’ve all come to know and enjoy,” Hornbuckle said on an investor call Wednesday (via Skift). “Our gross bookings in March were one of the best months in the company’s history.”

“Larger groups are expected to return at scale in 2022,” added Hornbuckle. “Our business in 2022 and 2023 is on pace with pre-Covid levels.”

Las Vegas has gradually been loosening pandemic-related restrictions, and that trend will continue on May 1, when casinos will be allowed to open at 80 percent capacity and reduce indoor social distancing to three feet. Beyond that, The Clark County Commission, which oversees the Las Vegas Strip, aims to remove all capacity limits once 60 percent of the county’s eligible residents have received one dose of coronavirus vaccine.

This is all welcome news for a city that depends greatly on its gaming and live events industries—and some local businesses are already taking advantage.

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The UFC, for example, has scheduled a massive event for July 10 inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, which is owned in part by MGM resorts. That event, which will be topped by a fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, sold 21,000 tickets in mere minutes. An upcoming Dave Chapelle comedy show, meanwhile, sold 13,000 tickets in the span of hours.

“The pent-up demand has been incredible,” Hornbuckle said.

It’s not just Las Vegas executives that are noticing that pent-up demand, either.

Las Vegas performer Hamish McCann says that pent-up demand is palpable when he’s on stage.

“[There’s] this sense of excitement,” McCann told the Arizona Republic in early April. “I think they’re excited that they got a ticket, excited just to be in Vegas doing something fun and seeing a show and kind of like feeling like life is going back to normal.”

Do you have plans to visit Las Vegas in 2021?

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