Las Vegas Mayor Says City, Tourism ‘Cannot Survive’ Nevada’s Month-Long Coronavirus Shutdown

Posted on: March 19, 2020, 09:09h. 

Last updated on: March 19, 2020, 11:20h.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman asked Gov. Steve Sisolak Wednesday to drastically cut his minimum 30-day statewide closure on casinos, hotels, and other “non-essential” businesses in Nevada because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Without scaling back Tuesday’s order to, perhaps, eight to 10 days, the city faces an uncertain future, she warned.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman (pictured above in January) asked Gov. Steve Sisolak to drastically cut his minimum 30-day statewide closure on casinos, hotels, and other non-essential businesses in Nevada. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“A full shutdown will cripple the state’s recovery for years because we are a tourism economy that depends on being open for business,” Goodman said during Wednesday’s city council meeting.

“I know we … cannot survive any total shutdown of the economy for any length of time, beyond the immediate week or two,” Goodman added in her keep residents employed.

Please, governor, we need to be able to live our lives, support our families and, yes, keep Nevada strong together…. But we can’t do that if we are housebound, unable to work for such a lengthy time,” Goodman cautioned.

In her request, Goodman explained that workers “can’t handle a shutdown because they live paycheck to paycheck.”

Goodman is leader of the actual city of Las Vegas, which does not include the Strip. It does include several casinos and hotels connected to gaming properties, such as: Binion’s Gambling Hall, The D Casino, Golden Nugget Las Vegas, Four Queens Casino, and the Fremont Casino. But McCarran International Airport, UNLV, and most of the Las Vegas Strip are in Paradise, an unincorporated town.

Many Gaming Properties Shuttered

Before the governor’s closure edict, many Las Vegas gaming properties had already closed. The Venetian, The Palazzo, as well as the Sands Expo and Convention Center, had been closed at least until April 1 by Las Vegas Sands.

MGM Resorts International’s Las Vegas properties had been closed “until further notice.” The Wynn Las Vegas and Encore announced they would remain shuttered for at least two weeks.

Earlier this week, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas decided to close, too. That was through March 31.

Strip Clubs, Brothels Non-Essential

Among some of the businesses the governor considers non-essential beyond casinos are strip clubs and brothels, concert venues, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums, large conference rooms, meeting halls, and cafeterias.

Sisolak also told restaurants and bars to stop serving meals in the venue. But to-go, delivery, and drive-through options are allowed, according to the Las Vegas Record-Journal.

Before Sisolak released his closure directive, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve came up with similar recommendations. Goodman has maintained her opposition to a longer shutdown.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is suggesting nationwide people do not gather in groups of 10 or more. Federal officials also have backed the idea that Americans basically stay in their own residences for a couple of weeks.

“My ultimate goal here is to come together as Nevadans to save lives,” Sisolak said on Tuesday. “That requires aggressive strategies aimed at mitigating community spread. Medical professionals have made it abundantly clear that there is no treatment. While the vaccine is being developed, we don’t have time to waste.”

As of Wednesday night, the Southern Nevada Health District said there were 69 reported cases of COVID-19 in Clark County. One of these was fatal.

To make it more difficult for potential travelers, the air traffic control tower at McCarran International Airport was closed temporarily Wednesday after an air traffic controller was found to test positive for coronavirus.