I should be doing some last-minute shopping for essentials, picking up my dry cleaning, and packing for my favorite Vegas trip of the year, the first weekend of March Madness. Instead, I see empty shelves where toilet paper, hand sanitizer, milk and eggs used to be and sending a host of emails to get refunds for flights, hotels, & watch parties.
I want to still make the trip and planned to up until the last few days, but it’s become increasingly obvious that this is a once in a generation (I hope!) response to a world-wide event. Vegas is getting hit hard by this pandemic, as one of the busiest events and times of the year is all but shut down.
I would rather be telling you about the new restaurants opening this summer and talking about Vegas pool season, but instead, this post is all about what won’t be happening in Vegas. The city that never sleeps has been put in timeout.
Vegas COVID-19 Overview
The COVID-19 virus is having a huge effect on Las Vegas. Several casino employees have tested positive for the virus, pool parties and nightclubs have nearly all shut down, shows are being limited or closed, and restaurants will soon start rotating closings. Many casinos and Vegas strip workers are being laid off or furloughed with the reduced travel during what is typically the busiest time of the year.
Vegas Closure Headlines
- UPDATED: Las Vegas sees numerous coronavirus-related cancellations, postponements and closures
- Las Vegas Starts Concert Cancellations, Pool Club Employee Coronavirus Case Being Investigated
- Closed due to coronavirus: Updated list of events, sports, and entertainment canceled amid COVID-19 concerns
- Wynn Las Vegas temporarily closing sportsbook due to the coronavirus
- Famed Vegas attractions closing due to coronavirus
- Inside Look: Why Vegas Buffets Are Closing Amid COVID-19 Fears
- MGM Resorts announces layoffs, closures, ‘several’ employees with coronavirus
Must Have for Vegas!
So Should I take my March Vegas trip?
Flights and hotel rates are at all-time lows and many are still taking their planned trips to Vegas. Up until this weekend (March 14-15), many attractions and shows were still open, but that is rapidly changing. While everyone will need to make their own decision, the middle of March through April will be a difficult time to visit and many of your favorite things will likely be closing.
With American sports all but shut down till May, the impact to Vegas casinos will be felt in more ways than just fewer people visiting the hotels. This compounds the need for the casino industry to need to start laying off workers and closing down underperforming areas.
Our recommendation would be to move your Vegas trip to later in the year. It pains us to say it, but Vegas won’t be Vegas for the next few weeks and staying away (not just in Vegas, but staying away from crowds in general) will help ensure that the spread is contained and we can get back to normalcy sooner. Whether you agree with the restrictions being placed or not, they will affect your trip.
That said, flights are cheap and most airlines and hotels have improved their refund policy, so if you’re planning on a trip later in the year, now could be a good time to book. Most experts expect the spread in the US to start on the downward trend by May and while there’s no guarantee, booking June – September trips can still ensure you have great pool weather with Vegas hopefully mostly back to normal.