Las Vegas doesn’t miss a beat as coronavirus deaths near 500 

(Photo: Ronda Churchill for McCarran International Airport)
(Photo: Ronda Churchill for McCarran International Airport)

Las Vegas casino companies with large holdings in Macau say temporary closure of properties there will not prompt layoffs in Las Vegas.  

The Chinese government is asking casinos in Macau to close for two weeks to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Spokespersons for Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International told the Current the companies have no plans to offset losses in China via cost-cutting measures in Las Vegas.  

Shares of all three publicly traded companies closed up slightly for the day on the New York Stock Exchange.  

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spokeswoman Amanda Peters says the agency has received no cancellations for conventions.  

The agency has not changed its marketing campaign as a result of the virus.

“We are trying to stay sensitive to how our visitors are feeling and we don’t want to be inappropriate,” says Billy Vassiliadis of R and R Partners, the advertising agency for the LVCVA, noting 350,000 workers depend on the tourism industry for their livelihoods. “Obviously, we’ll be ready to stop on a dime.”

The pneumonia-like illness has killed 491 people worldwide since December. Close to 24,000 cases have been confirmed as of Tuesday.  

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control has confirmed 11 cases in five states — Washington, California, Arizona, Illinois and Massachusetts.  

The CDC has investigated possible cases in 36 states as of Monday.  Since January 21, 11 people in the U.S. have tested positive, 167 tested negative and 82 tests were pending. 

At least 62 airlines have canceled flights to and from China as a precautionary measure.  

The CDC and the U.S. government are expanding screening of passengers for the coronavirus from five to 20 airports. No screenings are scheduled for McCarran International Airport,  the ninth busiest airport in the U.S. by total passenger traffic in 2019, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.  

McCarran International officials did not have any comment on the lack of screening at the Las Vegas airport.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.