Consultants Chart Post-Covid Las Vegas

A group of gaming consultants and researchers, led by UNLV Professor David Schwartz (l.), has released a study charting how Las Vegas is likely to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Consultants Chart Post-Covid Las Vegas

A group of noted gaming researchers and consultants has released a new study that looks to 2021 a an “inflection point” for Las Vegas as the industry emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Las Vegas: A Post-Covid Landscape” notes how the Las Vegas gaming market has overcome crises in the past, from tragedies such as the 1980 MGM Grand fire to the 2008 recession and the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at Mandalay Bay.

The team conducting the study was headed by David G. Schwartz, history professor and associate vice provost for faculty affair at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Joining him in the research was Oliver Lovat, CEO of the Denstone Group; CBRE Global Gaming Group Director of Consulting Brent Pirosch; Chris White, CEO of Blanc Canvass Consulting; and Josh Swissman, founding partner of The Strategy Organization.

The researchers laid out a map to recovery in light of recent news that a pending vaccine from Pfizer is estimated to be 90 percent effective at preventing the Covid-19 virus, and predicted

“Las Vegas is facing a historic crisis, and its response over the next few months will determine the trajectory of the city for years, if not decades,” Schwartz said.

“After every crisis, there have been winners and losers, and this time is no different,” the report said. “History and analysis instruct us that there is a clear pathway for business success—and a well-worn road to decline.”

“Industry respondents note that this is a crisis like no other,” stated the report’s executive summary. “There has been a collapse in customer demand, particularly midweek, due to the inability of many visitors to access the market, and few ways of stimulating demand. Compounding this problem is that there is no horizon to recovery, which limits future planning.”

“The challenges facing Las Vegas are great, and the current responses are varied,” Lovat said. “For success, we need to be strategic, rather than tactical. For this report, some of the leading researchers and consultants in gaming and hospitality spent several months assembling primary research and industry insights.”

Among the findings, the researchers found that:

  • 64 percent of those sampled plan on returning to Las Vegas within 12 months
  • 54 percent are comfortable flying to Las Vegas within 12 months
  • 52 percent believe Las Vegas resorts are safe to visit
  • 59 percent believe smoking should be banned in casinos
  • 36 percent believe that mask-wearing and social distancing should be followed even after there is a vaccine

“This research offers a unique viewpoint not found in typical investment reports,” Pirosch commented. “More importantly, the research provides insights and recommendations for a path forward.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the gaming industry more systemically than any other event in the history of modern gaming,” Swissman said. “There are no past precedents to draw on here, there is no playbook. Therefore, we must look to each other as an industry and to our guests to share what is important and figure out how to collectively adapt and emerge from our current environment.”

“This study attempts to provide a snapshot into the attitudes of customers facing the current global pandemic,” White said. “Applying the feedback contained herein is meant to assist in hastening the recovery of the market.”

To order the report in full, click here.