Near-Empty Casinos And Fewer Tourist Make For A Quieter Scene
Normally buzzing with activity and people, there was an empty feeling around Las Vegas the weekend after the deadly concert shooting that killed 58 people dead and wounded more than 500.
Part of that that had to do with the fact that Las Vegas was, at least by Vegas weekend standards, empty.
The tram from Luxor to Mandalay Bay – normally full of people shuttling between the casinos – sat still with nobody in it and while there were people on the Strip and in the casinos, bars and nightclubs, there was a noticeable drop in visitors.
“Saturday was by far the quietest I’ve ever seen it since I’ve been coming to Vegas,” said one long-time Las Vegas visitor, who arrived that day for a convention that started on Monday. “From the airport to the hotel there was literally no traffic. The lobby at the hotel was also very quiet and and security was very noticeable throughout the casino.”
He added, “I know several people who were coming to this and other convention this week have canceled their trips. It’s not that people are afraid of coming to Vegas because it’s unsafe, but there’s just a different mood. It’s somber.
“Vegas is a place where people want to come to celebrate, to party. They don’t want to come here to be sad.”
At the same time, Vegas did get another type of visitor. Friends and family members of victims have come to the city to do, among other things, place memorials along the sidewalk and median at the site of the tragedy.
The memorials involve flowers, photos, balloons, candles and American flags. Other people with no connection to the victims have put up signs with words of support.
While emotional, it’s not the sort of tourism experience normally associated with Las Vegas.
It’s likely to stay this way for another few weekends. But it is Vegas, and many people will adopt the attitude of some visitors the weekend after the shooting when they broke out dancing in and aisle of the MGM casino floor.
“We’re going to party,” one said while holding up her arms in a party dance move. “We’re sad about what happened but we’re going to live our lives.”