Las Vegas Braces for Change in Tourism After Mandalay Bay Shooting

By REGINA GARCIA CANO, Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas’ tourism sector is bracing for changes in the aftermath of the massacre that killed 58 people at an outdoor music festival.

Analysts who closely track the finances of the city’s casino companies say Las Vegas will see a short-term dip in visitors in response to the shooting.

Casinos and police may have to impose new security measures after gunman Stephen Paddock brought more than 20 rifles into his hotel room and drove a car filled with explosives into the parking garage.

The “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” slogan has been put on hold, as has one unveiled in the weeks before the shooting by the owner of Mandalay Bay that said, “We are not in the hotel business … we are in the holy s— business.”

 Electronic billboards that typically promote restaurants, concerts, a topless pool and other entertainment are now showing a dedicated phone line for victims and their families, along with words of appreciation for first responders and casino employees.

“We’ve been there for you during the good times. Thank you for being there for us now,” reads a black-and-white billboard message with the city skyline and “#VegasStrong.”

It’s hard to quantify the effect the shooting will have on Las Vegas tourism. Airplanes still carry loads of tourists to the desert oasis, convention-goers fill large halls to discuss the latest industry trends, and slot machines ring in the casinos.

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33 years covering sports, news and entertainment in Las Vegas.