Coronavirus Fears Scares Off Vegas Conventioneers
LAS VEGAS: Last year, more than 6.6 million, or 15.5 percent, of the 42.5 million visitors to Las Vegas were there for conferences, according to data from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Las Vegas lost its first big conference late Monday when Adobe Systems canceled its annual event that was going to bring 20,000 visitors to hear headline speakers like the actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the comedian Chelsea Handler, along with chief executives and top officials from numerous companies. Adobe said it planned to host portions of the event online.
“Vegas is the biggest unknown right now,” said Steven Wieczynski, a gambling and leisure analyst at the financial services firm Stifel Financial. “If the coronavirus continues to linger and stays in the news, more conventions and group trips will get canceled. That’s what Vegas is known for right now.”