The Nevada Resort Association has pleaded for economic relief to the state’s congressional delegation, as the organisation warns that the region’s economy the set for “devastating” impacts due to the unprecedented shutdown of non-essential businesses.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic saw Governor Steve Sisolak issue the closure order for 30 days, including casinos, a proposal has been made to Congress to consider providing “immediate economic relief and recovery to the lifeblood of Nevada’s economy.”
When the tourism industry in Nevada remains stagnant for 30 to 90 days, the association’s president, Virginia Valentine, asserts that recovery will take 12-18 months. It, it notes, will place nearly 160,000 jobs at risk, $7.7bn in salaries and employment, $39bn in gross economic production and more than $1bn in tax revenue lost.
In the letter sent to Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jackie Rosen, and to senators Dina Titus, Susie Lee, Steven Horsford and Mark Amodei, Valentine writes: “No other state in America depends on travel and tourism at the magnitude Nevada does,” Valentine wrote in the letter that was sent to senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jackie Rosen, and representatives Dina Titus, Susie Lee, Steven Horsford and Mark Amodei.
“Nevada depends more on tourism than Alaska does on oil; Wyoming does on coal mining; or, New York City does on the financial sector. Las Vegas, the state’s largest economic centre, is more dependent on tourism than Detroit is on auto manufacturing; Seattle is on aerospace; or, Nashville is on music and entertainment.
“Each year, we welcome nearly 57 million visitors from around the world. As the state’s No. 1 industry, we are the largest employer, the largest taxpayer and the economic foundation the state thrives upon.”
Upon the association’s request, an economic research and analytics company analysed the economic effect of COVID-19 on Nevada and estimated that 320,000 workers who rely on $1.3 billion in salaries and pension payments are at imminent risk each month.
“These numbers are nearly twice those reported during the Great Recession,” Valentine wrote. “The near-term impacts of COVID-19 are devastating, not only for the industry, but the state as a whole.”
Adding: “This condition is not sustainable; and, should those efforts subside, Nevada could quickly see its unemployment rate increase above 30 per cent.”
Valentine concluded the letter with adding: “this is an unprecedented economic situation that will have catastrophic financial ramifications for individuals, families, businesses and state and local budgets across the state.
“With each passing day Nevada’s tourism-based economy is shuttered, the more difficult it is for Nevada to recover and for the state’s largest employers to continue assisting their workers during these uncertain times.
“As you can see, unequivocally, Nevada is being hit hardest by the economic fallout caused by COVID-19, and we respectfully urge Congress to consider providing immediate economic relief and recovery to the lifeblood of Nevada’s economy – the hospitality, tourism and meeting and convention industry and its vast workforce – for the security of Nevada families today and for the future.”