What Happens in Vegas if No One Stays in Vegas?

Mar 03, 2020 · 63 comments
Guido Malsh (Cincinnati)
"When everything around you is crazy, it is ingenious to stay calm." Mehmet Murat Ildan
HoodooVoodooBlood (San Francisco, CA)
Trump supporters are avoiding Corona Beer...just in case.
Aaron (Orange County, CA)
@HoodooVoodooBlood Corona? Pabst Blue Ribbon all the way!
Rick (Summit)
Coronavirus could last for years. If we close schools, movie theaters or Las Vegas, when will they reopen? Thousands of Americans died on 9/11 and for a while Islamaphobia shut down public spaces. Coronavirus has killed fewer than a dozen Americans, but the same panic is setting in.
Chris (SW PA)
I doubt the patrons of Vegas are going to stop going. There are a lot of things you can catch in Vegas, and the corona virus is not even the scariest. Remember, these are people who know the odds are against them yet they keep on gambling. They think they will be the lucky one. Pretty sure they think they won't get the virus even if the odds are not good.
Son Of Liberty (nyc)
A true "visionary," US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China could be positive for the American economy. During a TV interview Mr Ross said: "I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America". I wonder if Americans understand just how incompetent each cabinet member of this administration is.
HoodooVoodooBlood (San Francisco, CA)
One good virus deserves another... Viruses and bacterium are tiny, infinitesimal, minuscule life forms. Who said my pal, God, didn't have a sense of humor when he wrote in Matthew 5.5 "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." Maybe he was talking about viruses and bacterium, not humble, meek little humans. Did you read about the protein molecules found on meteors recently? Like intergalactic spermatozoa, asteroids and meteorites fertilize planets when and if they become fertile. Earth became fertile. Now, 600 million years later, humanity, like a deadly virus, has quickly spread across its planet killing every life form in its path, for profit. I've seen this happen on hundreds of thousands of planets throughout the universe. Few 'planet dominating species' survive. The beast within them, 600 million years of genetic competition, compels their pathway through time. Typically, they over-populate, destroy their habitat, each other, and disappear forever while their planet slowly starts over. Very few planet dominating species find their way into the Universe. Very few of those survive. Time is running out for humanity. I am saddened. I had hoped humanity would find their path to the stars. They have imagined it but fail to honor it. Kind Regards and Best Wishes, The Grand Exalted Ruler of The Universe (Also known as: HoodooVoodooBlood)
Elizabeth (NJ)
Someone should get a raise for that headline.
C (N.,Y,)
Better article headline - "What Happens In Vegas Doesn't Stay In Vegas."
Observer (midwest)
People, such as myself, who commuted every day on the IRT/7th Ave. are now leery of crowds? There are crowds in the subways, Grand Central and Penn Station and in every retail store in the City. What bullet does one dodge by avoiding a crowd at a resort hotel? Cable news networks drive this panic and the economy suffers because citizens who, as I once did, pack themselves into the Staten Island Ferry, cancel routine conferences and vacations. We have become such a silly people.
@Observer The difference is geographical diversity. Resort hotel events draw people from all over the world, and place them into the same spaces for several days straight. Also, not everyone commutes among crowds.
Lori Turoff (New Jersey)
Jazz Fest in New Orleans. 500,000 attendees last year from all over the world in a racetrack for 8 days. A city that relies on tourism. We better join Pence in prayer as that seems to be what Louisiana has come up with so far. They simply can’t afford to cancel these kind of events. The economy depends on it. Hope I’m wrong.
a.v. (nyc)
Airline change fees should be illegal for public health reasons. Coronavirus aside, how many people travel when they are sick because it would be prohibitively expensive to cancel or reschedule? How much disease is spread over long distances because of this?
Wordsworth from Wadsworth (Mesa, Arizona)
As insightful New York Times readers have pointed out, we need to dust of the history books and implement limits on travel as they did during the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918. My goodness, that took place during the more decorous era of train travel. Do many really want the person-to-person exposure to contagion on top of the filthy air and inhumane cramped seating of an airline cabin now? Services will be affected. Especially travel. You have to think that in 2020 our big time professional and college sports will be severely affected. What are we gonna see at the Final Four? The pep band playing through surgical masks? Or as we saw last week in Italian football, teams playing in an empty stadium? You gotta wonder how many companies in the travel business are highly leveraged and run on credit? As in 2007, 2008, 2009 we could see a cascade of bankruptcies. Oh, I forgot. That was President Obama's fault. Well, now the ball is in Trump's court.
HoodooVoodooBlood (San Francisco, CA)
@Wordsworth from Wadsworth How long before Trump blames the Democrats for the corona virus? He probably already has. No doubt about it, Trump dupes and stooges are avoiding Corona Beer...just in case.
Vicki (Nevada)
We were planning a trip to Texas next month, but decided against it due to potential exposure at airports.
Valerie (Nevada)
Walking through the casinos and on the strip, the streets and casinos are packed with tourist. Without the coronavirus looming, I worried about germs and diseases. If cases break out in Las Vegas (large foreign populations live here with an international airport), I suspect the streets will empty out. Nevadans are very aware that if the coronavirus is detected, things will change quickly and not for the better. It's really not if the coronavirus is detected, it's just when. And I agree with another poster, we have the worst medical care in Las Vegas plus a shortage of qualified doctors. I don't know how Las Vegas could adequately or safely manage an coronavirus out break. I doubt we could.
earl (chicago)
@Valerie Why is there a shortage of medical care in LV? I am aware of that but cannot determine why?
earl (chicago)
This week , the international housewares convention was cancelled in Chicago. This is annual trade show that brings close to 60,000 visitors to McCormick Place each year who's visitors rent 47,000 hotel rooms. Obviously the ripple effect of this cancellation will be huge in all areas of Chicago's economy from Hotels to Ubers and restaurants and the Union workers who set up and take down the exhibits. Other conventions are scheduled later in the month . What happens if they are cancelled ? MLB's season starts in about a month. What happens if crowds at Wrigley field that are normally 40,000+ , are cut in half or more due to fear of being in crowds ? This is the type of reduced economic activity everyone is facing. Then there are the reduced local tax revenues which will hit Illinois and Chicago hard at a time when both governments are deep in debt.
earl (chicago)
@earl and a few minute after I posted the above , this was announced " McCormick Place loses second event to coronavirus concern" Oracle's meeting planned for later this month, which will now be online-only, becomes the second event this week to cancel a trip to the convention center because of the outbreak." https://www.chicagobusiness.com/commercial-real-estate/mccormick-place-loses-second-event-coronavirus-concern
el (Corvallis, OR)
The president and vice-president should make hotel stays at their rallies across the country to assure people of the safety of travel and overnight stays (if that is what the really believe).
Jordan (Long Beach, CA)
With average attendance of approximately 15,000 the American Educational Research Association is, "examining hourly ongoing developments in the coronavirus spread and appropriate precautions within the United States and worldwide. Consultation has occurred with top city and venue officials in San Francisco and will continue in the immediate days ahead. Please know that the health and well-being of meeting attendees, meeting venue and AERA staffs, city services personnel, and the people of the great city of San Francisco are our first priority as we assess our options and how best to proceed. AERA will continue to update association members and meeting registrants as we assess the situation and learn more in the immediate days ahead. We are also working closely with the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), as NCME holds its annual meeting in partnership with AERA’s annual event."
Bruce1253 (San Diego)
Vegas is in trouble. Business in Macau is down 85% due to the virus. There is no way the Olympics should be held this year. Delay it until next year.
Anastasia (Las Vegas)
@Bruce1253 Fear is the trouble. As of this morning the resorts are crowded. Far East International travel has been limited to the delight of most Vegas employees (well known Strip Fact, they don't tip.) Why is Trump and Democrat candidates shaking hands with thousands? Why aren't people on the floor (Wall Street) wearing masks? Vegas prediction: Corona fears done by Mid-May. That is, if they ever start.
Bruce1253 (San Diego)
@Anastasia You are looking to Trump as an example of smart behavior? Can I sell you something, I don't think it matters what?
David Godinez (Kansas City, MO)
The virus will level off and decline, then the travel, the trade shows and the conferences will go on. But what about the cruise lines and their ships? We've already seen how these boats can function as giant petri dishes with breakouts of other illnesses. Now, we have the current example, with ships being quarantined, and passengers being exposed to a potentially serious illness just because they took the wrong ship at a bad time. I'm aware that there are many varieties of cruise ships and cruises, but who would ever want to get on one of those giant cruise ships ever again?
Christy (Seattle)
Let's hope people reconsider cruising! These ships are an environmental disaster. Cruise lines treat the ocean like their toilet. The companies exploit their workers, and the profits largely go to the people at the top of these corporations (very few small or independent businesses benefit from cruise lines, as it's the cruise lines that generally own the businesses in many ports, though they are often disguised as local businesses).
Annie (Boston)
@David Godinez - exactly. Not to mention how incredibly bad they are for the environment. You couldn't pay me enough to get on one!!
Anita (Richmond)
@David Godinez Why anyone thinks getting on a ship with 3000 people to eat and drink until your even fatter than when you arrived is beyond me. I never got the allure and never will. I'll save my $2500 for other things. I would expect all the cruise lines to take a big hit but that is not a bad development IMHO.
A Cynic (None of your business)
All conferences, sports events and other events should be cancelled, worldwide. At this stage, encouraging people to travel anywhere is criminal stupidity.
Randi (Houston)
Our industry's big event, Natural Products Expo West, was postponed on Monday night, with a start date of today, March 4th. We are a small food company, and our loss will be about $20,000. Multiply that by the 3600 exhibitors who were all ready to go, the hotels, restaurants, car rentals, etc. that will not happen, and the business deals that will not be made at the show. Big problem.
Jan N (Wisconsin)
@Randi, would you rather think about trying to increase your profits, or not put your health at potential risk? Sure, the risk may be low - for some. For others who are older and/or have underlying health conditions, not so great if you contract the virus!
Jamie (NJ)
Con-Expo is next week in Las Vegas. It's the second largest convention behind the consumer electronics show. It averages almost 125,000 attendees. I am supposed to have about 50 employees attend next week. Pretty sure we are going to cancel our attendance. I know others plan to do the same. Better safe than sorry, have to make the right call for my people!
hdtvpete (Newark Aiport)
The issue isn't so much trade shows as it is air travel. Airplanes might turn out to be incubators from those passengers that are infected, but don't know it. And then, those visitors depart from McCarren and head to the Las Vegas Convention Center and area hotels. Interesting though - The Consumer Electronics Show in January, one of the largest in the world, took place as the coronavirus outbreak was spreading in China, and Chinese companies make up a substantial percentage of exhibitors at the show. Yet, there weren't any reported cases after the show - at least, none that we know of. A lot can change in a month. Let's see how things look in Vegas in early April.
Carl R (London, UK)
@hdtvpete Whether airplanes are incubators per se is a good question. What is certain is that when the virus moves from one spot to another, it travels in a jet, because that is how it's hosts travel. At this stage, when there is not a lot of community transmission in the US, jet-setters are who you hang out with if you want to get infected. Notice the number of taxi drivers that have been early "community" infections. If you want a buffer, avoid proximity with anyone who has been on a jet in the last few weeks, or who hangs with that crowd (e.g. taxi drivers). This precludes flying to Vegas and meeting 125,000 other people who have just flown in, at Con-Expo next week.
Curt (Los Angeles)
@hdtvpete Exactly. Airplanes are coronavirus incubators. COVID-19 is amassing unimaginable Frequent Flier miles.
Eric S (Vancouver WA)
Restricting the coming and going of people to Las Vegas could turn into a real disaster. Who would pay the bill? As a former resident, I see the place as a desert island, not overly blessed with first rate medical facilities.
Jan N (Wisconsin)
@Eric S, people will restrict themselves. The Trump regime isn't likely to impose quarantines on cities!
JenD (NJ)
And the Fed's rate cut will help this how?
Jack Shultz (Canada)
It’s a futile attempt to shore up the stock markets so that Trump can avoid further embarrassment.
Anita (Richmond)
@JenD Because we are so in debt in this country there are no other options. How many trillions do we currently owe?
Tortuga (Headwall, CO)
Without all those planes flying, we'll have lower carbon emissions. I can live with that.
Erin (Albany, NY)
Now is the time to brush up on what was successfully implemented during the last massive pandemic, the Spanish Flu. The municipalities that were most successful at containing the disease and those with the lowest infection and death rates were those that got out ahead of the virus by banning large gatherings, closing schools and churches, and encouraging people to stay home. We really need to have our medical historians at the forefront here to help us to understand what the best response is to this type of situation. Let's not be doomed to repeat the past because we have forgotten it.
JenD (NJ)
@Erin There were towns that would not let passenger trains stop at their station. They had lower rates of pandemic transmission, not surprisingly.
IRL (Chicago)
@Erin I sponsor events for a living but still know this is the way to go and sooner rather than later.
poslug (Cambridge)
The number of people being "watched" would be useful. And then there are the large number of snow birds returning from Florida, the Carolinas, etc. where outbreaks may exist (no testing so who knows). We are all going to get this, when, where, and how badly remains the issue as does how being quarantined might impact us.
Brian Steinberg (Amherst)
No mentioned here was this Major Election year. Hello? Large group rallies, whistle stop tours, huge party convention a few months away featuring delegates from every state by design. Not to mention huge long voter lines (thanks red States for closing down a combined 1000's of polling places). If you're not going to travel for work, go on vacation, attend a Film/Music festival in Austin, take a cruise, go to Vegas, then will you do all of that to attend a rally or party convention and even fear voting at a busy polling place? Might want to look into voting absentee now just in case.
Wordsworth from Wadsworth (Mesa, Arizona)
@Jan N You're right. One has to contemplate risk and act to lower the probability. Last night as I passed through Costco aisles picked clean by hoarders, a patron was telling an employee that she did not fear the risk and was not going to get coronavirus. I felt like telling her that by some simple measures we can all reduce the risk to ourselves and others. Being an asymptomatic carrier is no gift to mankind. "middle-aged or older, a lot of overweight people, and probably like a couple hundred Americans having underlying high-blood pressure, diabetes, heart and lung issues, etc."a Yeah. Right. Try MAGA without Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. These people have another agenda besides self-preservation, like racism, xenophobia and guns.
Jan N (Wisconsin)
@Brian Steinberg, there's a REASON Trump is telling people there's nothing to worry about in gathering in crowds. He wants to keep staging his pep propaganda rallies. And as we've all seen videos of the people who tend to attend those rallies - middle-aged or older, a lot of overweight people, and probably like a couple hundred Americans having underlying high-blood pressure, diabetes, heart and lung issues, etc. they are at higher risk of a COVID-19 infection turning serious, possibly deadly, should they contract the virus. Now some people may reason that the risk is low; others, sadly, aren't thinking about risk at all, or how it may affect them.
Andy (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Tourism is an obvious casualty to disease. Las Vegas might as well run up the Yellow Jack. I would strenuously object to any employer who suggested I attend a large conference this year. There might be a vaccine in time for next year's conference. We can reopen the conversation then. For the moment though, forget about it. There's nothing at a trade show that can't wait a year. I feel the same way about most leisure travel too. Vacation plans are extremely anemic right now. How do you feel about hammocks in the backyard? Pandemic is a great opportunity to finally finish reading Ulysses. We have the Odyssey too in case you're interested. That's about the extent of it. Maybe some mild gardening. I'm sure there's some plant you've neglected for far too long. Avoid unnecessary travel. I'm sorry. That stinks. I hope you bought travel insurance. Hotels will just have to eat the cost of low occupancy. Grasshopper and the ant. Who was saving during times of plenty? You should maybe spend those dollars lobbying health organizations to get that vaccine out in a hurry. Like 3 months ago.
Jan N (Wisconsin)
@Andy, unfortunately, no matter how they try to push it, scientific protocols and safety demand that the process to develop antibodies, then testing phases and finally, manufacturing if a vaccine does prove successful, takes a lot of time, effort and money. Do you trust this current administration to do the right thing? I sure don't! The best estimates I've heard from intelligent and informed sources who KNOW the business of developing and producing vaccines say we MAY have one ready by June 2021. That's 14 months away. Wishing it will happen faster doesn't make so. Meanwhile Trump continues to make unrealistic promises to the public about a vaccine in a few months when he's been told by experts repeatedly that it is TRIALS that will be going in in a few months.
Andy (Salt Lake City, Utah)
@Jan N I don't trust the federal administration. I'm planning on getting sick.
Bill (NY)
My wife and I were planning to go to Oregon this summer, now we’re not so sure. We have a wedding early summer in Canada, once again we’re uncertain about going. I keep reading that my beloved World Series of Poker may be cancelled due to the fact that many participants will be barred entry into the US depending on their port of origin. I can say with surety that this contagion has created a world of uncertainty.
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita, Kansas)
Here’s a clue: for the first time in 15 years, we are NOT planning a Spring/early Summer Vacation to Seattle. We usually go then, and in Early December, for my Birthday. Each week long trip: flights, Hotel, Food/Drinks in nice Restaurants, admissions fees, and Shopping. Total Cost: Five to Seven Thousand Dollars, average. It’s been twice that, when we take our Daughter and two Granddaughters. This is a direct loss of discretionary spending, especially to their local Economy. I’m sorry, but I must WAIT and see how bad this will get. And in the meantime, stock up at Home. Now, multiply this by Millions.
Kris (Bellevue, WA)
@Phyliss Dalmatian We always go to NorCal in the spring, but just cancelled our trip. However, if things calm down, which I believe they eventually will, we will travel.
Rick (Summit)
Big tech companies are canceling Silicon Valley conferences and San Francisco is in a State of Emergency.
Anastasia (Las Vegas)
Paradox. With the exception of Adobe and a few other cancellations, the Vegas Resorts, including off-stirps like The M, as of last night (I am here) are striving. The stocks, like most others, took the fear hit, but the earnings in the future, given the present reality, should not be too negatively effected. Casinos are at this moment crowded. There are lines to get into restaurants and shows. We are as usual, a world onto ourselves, albeit confused why the country appears to panic while the thousands on the Strip seem unafraid. Many are talking about it, they're not oblivious, but the conversations fade into gallows humor. All still stays in Las Vegas, all but the fear of coronavirus. The City if lit and taking no real hit.
Ginny Warner (Las Vegas)
And there has not been one reported case of the virus in Nevada yet! Once it hits Vegas, things may change rapidly here. People are starting to express concern and alarm at the poker tables (where the mingling of chips and germs is rampant). Hoping they will encourage more hand washing and hand sanitizer in the poker rooms, as well as covering coughs and sneezes.
Anastasia (Las Vegas)
@Ginny Warner Interesting is that Locals haven't panicked either. It took the CDC to suggest people get two weeks of water. The Locals then emptied the Costco of water and toilet paper. The Supermarkets - same stuff - were left untouched. All shelves this moment full. Maybe, because we're in the middle of a desert, we feel immune, or we're just not prone to panic. As I see it, get the test kits to every city and life goes on. Yet another 'mysterious' China virus.
Jan N (Wisconsin)
@Anastasia, that can change on a dime, as you should know if you're a native. All that has to happen is U.S. cases increasing along with the death rate rising. I had planned a trip there in mid April to visit long-time friends. I still intend to go - armed to take precautions and protect myself from infection as best I can, including packing my own disinfecting cleaning supplies for my hotel room and the plane, etc! I'm not a 20s something clubber. I had planned on visiting my favorite shopping areas on leisurely walks and eating out quite a bit, but that's not going to happen either. I will be spending the bulk of time at my friends' homes - 2 or 3 of us at a time - and will be picked up and taken back to my hotel by them. So - even people like me who choose to come anyway may be changing the things they do and I sure will be saving a lot of money.
hdtvpete (Newark Aiport)
The NAB Show in April is another large conference that attracts visitors from overseas, especially Asia where many manufacturers of broadcast and production equipment are headquartered. Last year's attendance was over 90,000 for the 4-day show, plus pre-show conferences. NAB does have a coronavirus update on its home page, and for now, the show is on.
Carl R (London, UK)
@hdtvpete It would be sadly ironic if the networking and transmission conference, NAB, were to network and transmit this physical virus.
Jan N (Wisconsin)
@hdtvpete, don't count on many visitors from Asia actually making it to this conference!
See also