Las Vegas Unleashes COVID-19 Marketing Response, Touts ‘New Vegas for New Reality’

Posted on: May 19, 2020, 10:55h. 

Last updated on: May 19, 2020, 11:04h.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has unveiled a new 30-second commercial geared at marketing a new Sin City in wake of COVID-19.

Las Vegas commercial LVCVA
Las Vegas’ new commercial is taking a different approach to marketing the city, including its hiking trails that are ideal for social distancing. (Image: LVCVA)

Las Vegas casinos, along with the rest of the state’s gaming resorts, have been closed since mid-March. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) has no idea when gambling might be permitted to resume, but the LVCVA is prepping potential visitors for a new Sin City experience.

The world has changed, and Vegas is changing with it,” the commercial begins via narrator. “So yes, things will be a little different when we open again – at least for a while.”

“A new Vegas for the new reality,” the spot continues.

“We’re working to make it more intimate, with more space and the excitement you’ve come to expect. So, if you’ve ever imagined a Vegas that was just for you, it’s only here. And when it’s ready, you’ll be the first to know,” the ad ends.

Unlike in typical commercials promoting Las Vegas, featuring the thrill and excitement of a craps table, sun-soaked pool parties, and late-night dancing, this version features a couple experiencing Sin City in a rather private and personal manner.

Ever-Changing Las Vegas

The coronavirus struck Las Vegas just as the city was amid a new marketing campaign titled “Only Vegas.”

In January, the LVCVA announced it was shelving, “What Happens Here, Stays Here,” in favor of a new twist on the iconic motto, “What Happens Here, Only Happens Here.”

“One of the things we’ve known for years in Las Vegas is there’s a feeling people only get here,” said R&R CEO Billy Vassiliadis, the LVCVA’s longtime marketing partner. “That feeling is tied to an experience that is unique and they can’t get anyplace else.”

But with Las Vegas dark, and casinos continuing to push back their optimistic reopening dates, the Convention and Visitors Authority is focusing on how it will lure guests once Southern Nevada is allowed to unlock its doors.

The feedback on the new spot has been mixed on social media.

I don’t want a new Vegas. I want the one we had where people weren’t afraid to live,” declared @CodeWranglerNV. “I can’t imagine socially distancing in Vegas being fun,” opined @cdf2020.

Others were more optimistic.

“Watching this made me cry. I miss Vegas. I can’t believe our new reality,” said @Modelito93. “How we miss our several trips a year … but I promise that my family will return when we’re able,” stated @CandySchacter.


Few businesses have been immune to the financial impact caused by the coronavirus. That includes the LVCVA, which predominantly relies on hotel occupancy taxes to fund its operations.

Last month, LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill said the agency was slashing its 2020-21 fiscal budget by $79 million. Approximately 80 positions of the 455 full-time LVCVA workforce are being eliminated, and 400 temporary and on-call workers have been let go.

Top LVCVA executives, including Hill, will take a pay cut of between four and 10 percent. All bonuses have been suspended for the foreseeable future.

“While we are optimistic about the future of Las Vegas, we know that the industry is going to remain closed for a period of time, and fiscal year ’21 is going to be a difficult year,” Hill explained.