Slot machines are powered down, casinos boarded up and barricaded. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, instead of hosting throngs of visitors for one of the busiest seasons of the year, Las Vegas is trying to survive. (April 26) AP Domestic
LAS VEGAS – As resorts prepare to reopen in the era of the coronavirus pandemic, tourism authorities here are pitching a “new Vegas for the new reality.”
On Monday, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and R&R Partners – the advertising company behind the famous “What happens here” campaign – launched a new 30-second television spot.
“The world has changed,” a narrator says, “and Vegas is changing with it.”
The ad is a response to the post-pandemic Las Vegas landscape – one that shut down in March to stem the spread of COVID-19, leaving thousands out of work and resorts scrambling to develop reopening plans.
The new campaign is called “Reimagined” and offers a toned-down glimpse of Las Vegas tourism, focusing on outdoor recreation and intimate settings. One shot shows a man and woman in a warm bar conversation, a glass of wine separating them.
“Things will be a little different when we open again – at least for a while,” the narrator says. “We’re working to make it more intimate, with more space and the excitement you’ve come to expect.”
The new Las Vegas ad comes four months after tourism authorities unveiled the destination’s new slogan: “What happens here, only happens here.”
Watch the full ad here:
Resorts prepare to reopen
In the aftermath of COVID-19, the casino experience in Las Vegas and greater Nevada will look a much different.
The Nevada Gaming Commission recently approved the Gaming Control Board’s reopening policies, laying out what more than 400 large and small casinos need to do when shutdown orders are lifted.
Occupancy limits in gaming areas will be cut in half. Tourists will see chairs and stools in front of every other gaming machine. Gathering in groups – one time a staple of the Las Vegas experience – will be prohibited.
Dealers will even offer card players a complimentary squirt of sanitizer between hands.
COVID-19 is still spreading in Nevada
As tourism authorities plot new ways to entice travelers to return, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Nevada.
The number of Nevadan’s who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 increased to 6,906 on Monday May 18, an increase of 49 new positive cases.
That rise is comparatively low to what the state has seen for nearly two months. The last time Nevada saw a lower single-day increase was March 24, when there were 43 new cases, according to a Reno Gazette Journal analysis of the numbers.
But Monday’s small increase is not necessarily a good sign.
While few people tested positive statewide, Nevada performed its smallest number of tests in several weeks — just 1,140. That figure is eclipsed by the 6,500 tests performed the day before.
With 49 positive residents out of a total of 1,140 tested, Nevada’s test positivity rate went up for the first time since May 2. That metric, which measures the proportion of people who test positive on a given day, increased from 8.5 percent to 8.6 percent.
The total number of Nevadans who’ve died from COVID-19 has not yet been updated on Monday and remains at 350.
Contributing: Sam Gross, Reno Gazette Journal.
Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here.
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