On Tuesday night, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered that all non-essential businesses be shut down for a minimum of 30 days to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The city of Las Vegas is the entertainment and tourism hub of the state, and its mayor has been very vocal about her displeasure over the month-long shutdown.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman has asked Governor Sisolak to reconsider his mandated shutdown to keep the city from a financial and economic crisis.
Goodman made her plea to the Governor during a meeting with city council members on Wednesday afternoon. Citing the fact that a month-long shutdown will cripple the economy of Las Vegas, she has asked that the shutdown be shortened to a span of less than two weeks.
In her estimation, and with the support of city council members, she feels that eight to 10 days is all that the city can handle before disaster strikes. Most workers in the city of Las Vegas live paycheck to paycheck, and families won’t be able to function without the steady inflow of money.
It is interesting to note that the city of Las Vegas does not actually include the Strip, which is where most of these shutdowns have occurred. There are other casinos and hotels that are within city limits, and some popular tourist destinations as well.
Golden Nugget Las Vegas, Fremont Casino, and Binion’s Gambling Hall are three of the biggest properties that are actually located in Las Vegas.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is not a part of the city of Las Vegas, and neither is McCarran International Airport. Those two major entities, along with the Strip, are located in Paradise, which is an unincorporated town.
Goodman has stated that the city of Las Vegas will try to keep some businesses open despite the order by the Governor. She is planning on asking for permission to give permits to certain businesses to keep the tourism-dependent economy up and running.
Other cities across the United States have seen similar shutdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but they aren’t as dependent on tourism as Las Vegas. San Francisco and New York are a pair of cities that have been shut down, but their economies can still remain stable despite being closed to tourists.
While most council members could understand and sympathize with what Goodman was asking of the Governor, she made plenty of other remarks that left some shaking their heads. Goodman expressed that the coronavirus outbreak was no different than other health scares in recent years, and implied that the Governor was overreacting with his shutdown.
The CDC and other major health organizations have suggested that people avoid gathering in groups of 10 people or more, but Goodman called those requests just an “opinion.” President Trump has also urged Americans to quarantine for 14 days to stop the spread, but Goodman is hoping to have businesses up and running before that time.
There were only four city council members that were present at the meeting on Wednesday. Other council members tuned into the meeting virtually, which is expected to be the plan moving forward.
Council members would have to vote on any issue before sending any official document or request to the Governor. Several Las Vegas businesses had already shut their doors before the official decree by the Governor, while others had hoped to stay open.
As of March 18, at least 42 people had already contracted the coronavirus in Clark County.