Las Vegas tourism feeling the impact of COVID-19 pandemic | KOB 4
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Las Vegas tourism feeling the impact of COVID-19 pandemic

Steve Soliz
Updated: May 14, 2020 05:20 PM
Created: May 14, 2020 04:17 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Cities and towns across the state are hurting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes Las Vegas, New Mexico.

KOB 4's Steve Soliz spoke with Bill Hendrickson, the community development director for the City of Las Vegas, to find out how they are coping.

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Bill Hendrickson: Oh I think we're probably hurting just as much as any other city. I think we have about only two hotels that have been operating during this time. And so, as far as lodgers tax and so forth, which we rely on for marketing and advertising and stuff like that, the virus has impacted our festivals and events that are coming up in the next month or two so of course we're going to have to cancel all those. That's going before our council next week for confirmation.

Steve Soliz: We're nearing summer and even if New Mexico takes its time opening up, Texas, Colorado, Arizona - they are getting back to normal which means they'll be coming here to New Mexico. Are you confident that Las Vegas will be able to bounce back after a really long few months?

Bill Hendrickson: My guess would be that the Denver market will be looking for places to go and things to do, and so we should be able to tap into that. And that's sort of been our plan so far. It's what we're working on right now with the Lodgers Tax Board and the community to identify those markets. Of course, we're really thinking it's going to be those driving markets. So if you picture a circle around places like Denver, Phoenix, Tucson, West Texas, Oklahoma - that sort of places.

Steve Soliz: Your county has fared very well, in terms of the number of cases during this pandemic. Are there any special rules in place for anybody who plans to visit Las Vegas? Any guidelines that they'll need to follow?

Bill Hendrickson: You know, right now I think we've been ahead of the game. Our mayor implemented the wearing the masks in public the first day he came on board which was almost a month ago. So, you know, I think we're going to stay on top of it, and we're not gonna do less than what the state is doing, but we may, depending on the situation, you know, have our own restrictions and so forth for gatherings.


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