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Las Vegas, the hardest-hit metro economy in America, just suffered another blow

January 13, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22.7%. 2 min read.

During this atypical January, the Consumer Electronics Show is an all-digital affair. The move prioritizes health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic, but also serves as another blow to the already depressed Las Vegas economy.

San Francisco (CNN Business)In the run-up to the Consumer Electronics Show last year, Gina Muoio was pulling 60-to-80-hour weeks at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Last year, the 170,000 CES attendees were estimated to have generated $169 million in direct spending and a broader economic impact of $291. 2 million, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

As of November 2020, Las Vegas metro area's unemployment rate was 11. 5%, and 128,000 people — including Muoio — remained out of work.

For nearly 24 years, Geyer, 49, had tended bar at the Main Street Station, a downtown Las Vegas casino, brewery and hotel that remains temporarily shuttered due to the pandemic.

This time last year, optimism was high that 2020 — and CES 2021 — would be quite prosperous for Las Vegas, said Steve Hill, the chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

And for January 2021, CES was slated to be the first event held in a nearly $1-billion expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center and serve as the debut for a futuristic "people-mover" project from Elon Musk's The Boring Company.

Hotels that had charged more than $400 per night for rooms during the week of CES 2020 have advertised rates in the $25 to $45 range this year, according to Hotels. com data tracked by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The expectation from both the visitors authority and CES organizers is for the event to return to Las Vegas in 2022 and beyond.

For cities such as Las Vegas to see meaningful economic improvement, people will have to feel comfortable traveling again, being indoors again, and willing to spend money, said John Restrepo, principal of Las Vegas-based RCG Economics.

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