Vegas reopens: Big events key in helping Strip casinos ‘pivot to prosperity’ Howard Stutz, The Nevada Independent · June 1, 2020 at 4:15 pm Concerts, sporting events, headliner acts, elaborate stage productions and citywide conventions helped bring 42.5 million visitors to Las Vegas in 2019, fueling some $60 billion of economic output. The Strip reopens this week following an unprecedented two-a-half-month shutdown to slow the spreading coronavirus pandemic. Remaining on the sidelines, however, are the arenas, showrooms and convention spaces utilized for non-gaming attractions that have become part of its financial lifeblood and attracted so many tourists last year. Mass gathering events are not included in Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan, primarily because of social distancing protocols suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health and safety organizations. Las Vegas resorts have grown less dependent on gaming revenues over the past two decades and have focused millions of dollars toward expanding non-gaming aspects of the tourism industry, including a wide variety of entertainment choices, scores of restaurant options, a multitude of retail attractions and many high-profile special events.