Vegas Braces for Omicron Variant • This Week in Gambling

Just how much the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus will affect Las Vegas remains to be seen. But those in the travel industry are already concerned, and rightly so, that the impact could be yet another setback on the path of recovery.

In the midst of a fell economic recovery for Las Vegas and Nevada, complete with a seven moth record revenue run, we now find our hopes of 2022 staring directly into the face of the latest rendition of Covid. President Biden has said that Omicron is a “variant of concern” but wants everyone to remain calm. But fears of an economic downward spiral are difficult to ignore.

Hotels, airlines, can drivers, restaurants and bars were already reeling. Many barely survived the past lock downs and closures. Now comes the more contagious and rapidly spreading Omicron, and we’re supposed to remain calm? Sure, Joe.

The Omicron variant may thrust Las Vegas (and the whole country, for that matter) right back into the path of a government response that could quickly kill the recovery of Nevada resorts, airlines, and all the peripheral businesses that support and depend on travel for survival.

Richard Clarke, a managing director for global leisure and hotels at Bernstein, recently spoke with Skift, a global travel industry news service, stated “Government overreaction and government interference in travel is going to be the long-lasting legacy of Covid“.

He continued that before Covid, there probably would have been “…no one who would have thought that governments had the particular power or would be aware of the power to sort of just ban flights and shut down borders for health reasons.”

Read more about the potential impact of the Omicron variant on Las Vegas and the world at the Skift website.