Almost two weeks into the imposed monthlong shutdown of all Las Vegas casinos due to the coronavirus outbreak, not a lot has changed. Businesses and schools remain closed and except for restaurants (that offer take-out and delivery), grocery stores, government facilities and other essential services, there’s no activity in the city. The Nevada governor has tightened restrictions and gatherings of 10 or more people (with the exception of those inside essential businesses) are now prohibited. As of now, there are no plans to cut short the imposed closings, which are slated to run through April 17.
Surreal Strip: It’s difficult to visualize the surrealness of a dark Strip and the eerily empty tourist corridors. To get a gander, you can check out webcams that show live feeds of the Strip, Fremont Street, and other areas of the city at LasVegasAdvisor.com. It might be the only time you’ll ever see the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign with no one there.
Airport compromised: The Federal Aviation Administration closed the air traffic control tower at McCarran Airport after a controller tested positive for the virus. Several flights had to be canceled and traffic at the airport was reduced drastically for five days. The tower has since been reopened and schedules are not being impacted by anything other than reduced flights for lack of demand.
All casinos: It’s not just Las Vegas. As of this week, all 465 commercial casinos in the U.S. have been closed. The last holdouts were the casinos in Deadwood, S.D. There are still a few Native American operations that remain open; however, 97% of the country’s 524 tribal properties have also closed.
Question: Have the Las Vegas casinos ever closed before?
Answer: While there have been many instances of individual casinos closing, only once before have all the casinos closed at once. That was in 1963, the day after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was done as a tribute and the casinos reopened less than a day later. Nothing close to this mass 30-day shutdown has been experienced before now.
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