As the pandemic waned this spring it was off with the masks and on with the show in Las Vegas.
Then COVID-19 infections spiked after the arrival of the delta variant — and it’s still on with the show.
Las Vegas entertainment venues have imposed a hodgepodge of safety measures.
“You can go to a show at Allegiant Stadium, a concert like a Guns N' Roses that doesn't require a proof of vaccinations, you walk in. Then you turn around and go to the Raider game within the next couple of weeks, and they do require it,” said Las Vegas Review-Journal entertainment columnist John Katsilometes. “You have to do your homework.”
Katsilometes said he has witnessed confrontations at venues after patrons were unable to produce proof of vaccination.
“If you want to go to this stuff and enjoy live entertainment or sporting events, just expect that that's going to be required,” he told State of Nevada.
He said big-name acts such as Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Chicago, Styx, and other headliners have been selling out shows.
“Where we're seeing a pinch is with the second-tier shows, that kind of next-level shows — the smaller production shows, the showroom performances,” Katsilometes said. “A lot of the producers of those shows have told me they've seen about a 30% to 40% drop in ticket sales since the mask mandate came back.”
And while masks might be mandated, many venues leave the decision to patrons.
“The ushers will point to their faces” as a reminder Katsilometes said, “but once the show has started and you're seated, it's a difficult thing to police, and people are asked to behave responsibly.”
Katsilometes said Las Vegas locals are getting out, with places such as the Nevada Room at Commercial Center, the Italian-American Club, and the Bootlegger Bistro reporting strong business at their small showrooms.
He said those off-Strip venues offer “top-notch performers, but it's also easy to get in and out of.”
John Katsilometes, entertainment columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal
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