This story originally appeared on KNPR by Dave Berns & Christopher Alvarez.
Forecasters gave a mostly upbeat assessment of Southern Nevada’s economy during the Vegas Chamber’s annual Preview conference on Tuesday.
“Conventions are going to be coming back stronger, and international tourism is going to be coming back as well,” said Vegas Chamber President Mary Beth Sewald. “Things bode well for a great economy and a great outlook for 2022.”
The event at Allegiant Stadium gave more than 1,000 Southern Nevada businesspeople a chance to gather in person as the community looks to get past the pandemic.
There was “a sense that right now, at this moment in time, that we’re coming out of a long, dark tunnel,” said Nevada Public Radio producer Dave Berns, who attended Preview. “It almost felt celebratory.”
Gov. Steve Sisolak told the audience that the business community had reason to celebrate over how it navigated the last two years.
“You stepped up; you helped us keep people employed,” he said. “You helped create jobs that allow people to support themselves and their families.”
A principal at the Las Vegas research firm Applied Analysis, which has private- and public-sector clients, said Southern Nevada has seen “strong recovery” in terms of employment and visitor traffic.
“We’re in a much better position than we were nearly two years ago,” Brian Gordon said, warning though, “Clearly a national recession would be a death blow to the Las Vegas tourism industry.”
Berns said the mix of optimism and caution was reflected in other speakers and attendees.
“There’s an interesting arc there, you hear optimism and you hear concern at the same time,” he said. “Concerned about where we’re headed and the work that we have to do in terms of fortifying rebuilding and continuing to transform the economy.”