It is difficult for me to comprehend what has happened to Las Vegas in the last couple of weeks. I needed to see its pain for myself to help process it.
I drove to the Las Vegas Strip and downtown with my wife and son last night. It is a memory that I will never forget.
The roads in the tourist corridor were busier than I expected. In a major change from the norm, most of the cars had Nevada license plates. I suspect many of the others were locals trying to absorb the new reality like we were.
There were many casino signs with positive messages wishing the community wellness and safety during the closures. Most casinos kept normal lighting on, but a few were completely dark. The hotels that kept lights on did not beam with the normal brightness because of all the dark hotel rooms. The Strip was gloomy, just as you would expect it to be right now.
There were few pedestrians. There were some people biking on the sidewalks. A few kids rode skateboards around Mirage. Some of the entrances to resorts were blocked at the street. Others had security somewhat inside the property checking for authorization for entry.
Some may ask why I am sharing these. It was a tough call. I think it is in the public interest and newsworthy. Maybe others need the same visual of the situation like my family did to help make it real. Showing the devastation could help us get back on our feet quicker when normalcy returns because our guests will know how badly we need it.
We started at Mandalay Bay and went north to downtown. We then turned around and went back down the Strip the other direction. Here are some pictures of our depressing, painful tour.
Downtown Las Vegas
Most of the lights we saw were on in downtown Las Vegas. Plaza was the exception. The Fremont Street Experience is closed.
Las Vegas Strip
Most of the Las Vegas Strip resorts were lit. Bellagio and Mirage were the exceptions. Restaurants and shops along Las Vegas Blvd were split about 50/50 as to whether there were any lights on.