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How much will Nevadans spend on St. Patrick’s Day this year?

Updated March 16, 2022 - 7:29 pm

Silver State residents are expected to spend a lot of green on Thurdsay for St. Patrick’s Day.

The Nevada retail group anticipates higher than average spending for St. Patrick’s Day this year “with mask mandates officially behind us,” Senior Vice President Bryan Wachter said in a Tuesday release.

Nevadans are projected to buy $56.5 million on food, drinks, entertainment and retail for the holiday, up 15.5 percent from 2021, the Retail Association of Nevada said. Nationwide spending is expected to reach $5.9 billion with the average spend per person rising from $40.77 in 2021 to $42.33, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

Local Irish pubs are prepared for lines to be out the door, since it’s the first St. Patrick’s Day without pandemic-related capacity restrictions.

McMullan’s Irish Pub, 4650 W. Tropicana Ave., will shorten its menu Thursday after 10 a.m. to serve foods like corned beef and cabbage and fish and chips. Owner Brian McMullan isn’t sure if anyone in town sells more corned beef and cabbage than his pub does on St. Patrick’s Day, he said.

“People want to be from Ireland,” McMullan said. “Even if their name doesn’t sound Irish, they may be one quarter, one sixteenth, they love to be Irish. The Irish are seen as a fun-loving people. We don’t threaten the world. God gave us whiskey so we couldn’t control the world.”

Thursday will be a stark departure from St. Patrick’s Day 2020. McMullan made the “heartbreaking” decision on March 16 that year to close out of concern for COVID-19, adding that it was the right call to close the pub the day before the holiday because “if you didn’t have COVID, you would have got it.”

Customers coming Thursday should expect a packed house and plenty of Guinness.

“If you’re coming for green beer, that’s not Ireland,” McMullan said. “If you’re coming for black beer, that’s us. Perfectly served.”

It’s going to be a busy at a place that’s always busy, McMullan said. He isn’t thrilled about it, but the pub will serve customers with plastic glasses because the pub’s dishwashers aren’t big or quick enough to handle the customer volume.

NRF found that 58 percent of people planned to spend on food and 46 percent planned to buy drinks. The trade association’s survey also showed 32 percent of revelers were going to purchase apparel, 28 percent planned to buy decorations, 19 percent would buy candy and less than 10 percent said they’d buy greeting cards or gifts.

The most popular way to celebrate was wearing green, according to 80 percent of those surveyed. Next was making a special dinner at home at 34 percent. The survey found 26 percent of respondents planned to decorate their home or office, 19 percent planned to go to a bar or restaurant, 15 percent would attend a private party, 11 percent would attend a parade and 10 percent planned to host a party.

Wachter said retailers were excited to see people’s interest in going to a bar or restaurant nearly double from the 10 percent who said they would dine out in 2021.

St. Patrick’s Day sans capacity restrictions marks a milestone for Sean Patrick’s locations in the Las Vegas Valley, said Dan Groesbeck, vice president of Nevada distributed gaming for Golden Entertainment, which owns PT’s Taverns and Sean Patrick’s.

The holiday is “by far” the biggest retail sales day of the year for Sean Patrick’s, Groesbeck said, likening the party to New Year’s Eve. This year, the businesses will get a boost from the holiday falling on a Thursday along with March Madness college basketball, he said.

“Probably one of the biggest celebration days of the year,” Groesbeck said.

Patrons at Sean Patrick’s will have options to celebrate — giveaways, Irish dishes, gaming promotions and “plenty of green beer all day long,” dyed in house, he said.

New York-New York will host a St. Patrick’s Day festival beginning at 10 a.m. with a pipe band parade through the Strip property. The ticketed Celtic Feis event will start at 11 a.m. at Brooklyn Bridge and feature Irish fare from Nine Fine Irishman pub, Guinness and live entertainment.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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