Written by Nevan Hooker on March 28, 2020
I UPDATED THIS ARTICLE ON AUGUST 4, 2020. UPDATES ARE IN RED. 9 OUT OF 12 WERE CORRECT! THE ONE PREDICTION I DIDN’T MAKE WAS THAT CASINOS WOULD NO LONGER SERVE ALCOHOL. EVEN THAT WAS TOO CRAZY TO PREDICT, YET IT HAS COME TRUE AS WELL.
The sad news is that Las Vegas will likely have the most affected economy of any place in the United States once the dust settles from Coronavirus.
1. Raiders Postponed (TRUE)
The opening of the new Raiders/Allegiant stadium in Las Vegas will be postponed to 2021. The 2020 NFL season is on life support.
2. MSG Empty Circle (TRUE)
The opening of the MSG Sphere will be postponed, then postponed again, then postponed again, then postponed again. New Target Date: 2030.
3. No Buffet For You (TRUE)
Buffets already lose money for casinos. Few will re-open, and the rest will be transitioned to a different dining experience. We’ll all have to drive to South Point for crab legs.
4. Free Parking (TRUE)
Gamblers will be enticed back to casinos on the Strip with free parking. But, don’t get too excited yet. Read number five.
5. Honey, It’s Cheap Right Now…Oh Wait (RUMORED TO BE TRUE)
The “resort fee” will have a new friend. A new “health and sanitization fee” will be added, making your $49 hotel room on Priceline around $189.
6. Cirque de So Long (TRUE)
Live shows in Vegas will be completely gutted. For shows that continue, they will sell half as many tickets leaving one seat between each person open. Comedians will be in high demand. Not only is it cheaper to operate a one-man show, having a good laugh is needed now more than ever.
7. 24/7 to 7/11 (TRUE)
Vegas will no longer be a 24/7 town. In an effort to maximize profits and limit losses, more and more casinos, bars, and restaurants will adopt normal operating hours. “Sorry folks, casino is closing in 15 minutes. Please finish losing your money.”
8. Fountain of Tears (NOT YET)
As a result of cut-throat competition to turn every inch of Strip real estate into profits, the Bellagio Fountain will be closed and replaced with a much smaller fountain and transitioned into retail space. Don’t cry. We’ll always have Oceans 11.
9. Lights Out (RUMORED TO BE TRUE)
It’s only a matter of time before the Luxor light is turned off in a bid to save money.
10. No Pictures Please (NOT TRUE, BUT THERE’S ZERO ALCOHOL ON FREEMONT STREET NOW)
No more half naked people will be allowed to approach you for photos on Freemont Street. The “Experience” is evolving.
11. Crappy Gloves (MOSTLY TRUE)
Chip sanitizing machines, slot machines with Purell wipes, and gloves required for rolling dice while playing Craps will all become standard operating procedure. “Small, medium, or large sir?”
12. I Made You Disappear (TBD)
David Copperfield will still do 500+ shows a year, even if he’s performing in an empty room. That guy is a machine.
These are only worst-case scenario predictions. I have no affiliation with any casino, hotel, show, restaurant, or venue in Las Vegas. I hope none of these predictions come true, but these are strange times. The common phrase I’m hearing among Vegas locals is that “Vegas will be permanently changed.” For the latest news from Las Vegas visit https://www.reviewjournal.com.