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Per order of Governor Steve Sisolak Las Vegas and indeed Nevada is on shutdown. Or I should say it kind of is. While some are ignoring the governor’s order for non-essential businesses to temporarily close, the casinos were given no choice. A few days ago the entire Las Vegas Strip with the exception of a few businesses closed.
Today I decided to head out to see what that would look like in principle. I do believe in setting a good example here, so I only took photos from my car when it was stopped. I also didn’t leave my vehicle in order to limit my exposure. Additionally, I only entered unblocked areas and left if/when I was told to as to not break any rules. I also obeyed all posted signs.
McCarran International Airport Is Quiet
I started my little adventure by taking a swing by McCarran International Airport. If you didn’t know, there is an awesome runway viewing area off of Sunset Road on the south side of the airport. I observed planes coming in at a significantly reduced frequency to normal plus with the except of a few American planes, most gates were empty.
Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
But how would the Strip be? I started my drive by heading North on the Strip past the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. This area is usually packed with people. While I won’t say it was empty, there were probably only 15-20 people in the area which is significantly less than usual.
Driving Up the Las Vegas Strip
I began to notice a trend at this point. There were a lot of cars, however very few people. As I ventured deeper into the heart of the Las Vegas Strip there at times were no people with the exception of an occasional police officer, casino security officer or homeless person.
Driving past Aria/Planet Hollywood/Cosmo was very surreal. The pedestrian bridges were empty, the sidewalks quiet and I couldn’t help but notice all of the bollards scattered around without people to protect.
Abandoned Paris Las Vegas
The pedestrian entrances on the Strip have all been closed, but so have many of the vehicle entrances as well. I did manage to find a couple of properties which weren’t closed. The first I stumbled on was Paris Las Vegas. Despite the front doors being shuttered, the main driveway was open to drive through. After I parked for about 30 seconds to grab these photos security quickly came outside to tell me to leave.
Venetian Completely Empty
The next big stop I was able to make was at the Venetian. This is the second largest hotel in the world with over 7,000 rooms, however no one is staying tonight. The Venetian’s main driveway is large and is normally full of activity. Today it was abandoned. Once again I was quickly told to leave after stopping briefly to grab these pics and the video below.
Looking a bit abandoned at the Venetian. One of the few big #Vegas casinos to allow people to drive on property. Security wasn’t fond of me taking pictures so I stopped when they came out. pic.twitter.com/e5Xf9BOcLG
— Miles to Memories (@milestomemories) March 20, 2020
Construction Continues On It Seems
Construction projects around town still seem to be progressing for now. I saw construction workers on site at Resorts World Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium (home of the Las Vegas Raiders). Construction on the latter is moving along nicely with an (as of now) scheduled opening date at the end of July. In fact, they are installing the stadium’s sign right now!
Resorts World Las Vegas is still under construction. One has to ponder how current events will impact the project.
T-Mobile Arena Is Quiet
Speaking of stadiums, T-Mobile arena is normally a very busy place this time of year with Vegas Golden Knights games plus tons of other events. Today it was like a ghost town as was Park MGM next door. There are a few service vehicles around, however everything else is closed to the public.
The Fountains Are Off
It really was crazy to see some of the typically busy Strip spots absent of people. The Bellagio Fountains were supposed to host the NFL Draft next month, however that has been cancelled. Gone is the famous fountain show as well. There were a handful of people in the area, but not anything like normal.
Vegas Is Closed
Vegas is closed and it looks that way. Tons of people are driving to see what “closed Las Vegas” looks like, but it feels so different. There is no doubt in my mind that Las Vegas will be devastated by the effects of this shutdown, however I know the city will bounce back. #VegasStrong
What do you think will be the impact Coronavirus has on the Las Vegas Strip? Share your thoughts in the comments below!