Capacity limits for live entertainment & public gatherings should be increased to 50%: Clark County Commission
Clark County Commission Chairperson Marilyn Kirkpatrick has presented a plan to the Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation & Management Task Force, urging the state to increase capacity limits for live entertainment and public gatherings to 50 per cent.
Under the plan submitted to the state authorities, Kirkpatrick stressed that casino industry officials want the capacity limits for live entertainment and public gatherings to be increased from the current level of 25 per cent to 50 per cent to help boost the struggling businesses as well as the economy.
Kirkpatrick said that Clark County Commission recommended the state to increase capacity limits by 1st of March, if it is not possible to increase the limit before that.
Making the recommendation, Kirkpatrick said, “What I will tell you is we will recommend that we start moving toward the 50 percent by March 1, if not sooner. It’s always great when we can go sooner. But I don’t like to over-promise to folks, because I don’t have the magic pen.”
Under Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s orders, the state’s casinos, bars and other businesses have been operating at 25 per cent of capacity since they were allowed to resume operations in June last year. Public gatherings and live entertainment facilities are also operating at 25 per cent of their normal capacities, with no more than 50 individuals. The capacity curtailment is part of the Democratic governor’s efforts to put a check on the deadly COVID-19 disease.
Virginia Valentine, the president of the Nevada Resort Association, welcomed Kirkpatrick’s recommendation for increasing capacity limits. She stressed that it was really challenging for the casino industry to continue operations under strict capacity limits. It may be noted here that the Nevada Resort Association is the lobbying arm of the state’s casino industry.
The casino industry plays a crucial role in Nevada’s economy, which has suffered an unprecedented loss after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in March last year. Travel restrictions caused a steep decline in air travel, which has had an adverse impact on Las Vegas’ hospitality & gaming businesses. Compared to 2019, McCarran International Airport reported 29 million fewer passengers during 2020. Fewer visitors led to lower hotel room occupancy rates, which forced some resorts on the Las Vegas Strip to fully or partially shut down their operations during the middle of the week.
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