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Calm but steady, Las Vegas airport sees July 4th travelers arrive

Mike Zegarac wasn’t going to the Dead & Company show for another day, but when he arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday, he was already sporting his Grateful Dead ball cap and tie-dye T-shirt.

Zegarac and his wife Beth, of Avon, Ohio, came to Vegas for two of the band’s “Dead Forever” residency shows at the Sphere, taking advantage of the Fourth of July weekend for a chance to see part of the iconic jam-band that no longer tours. They looked forward to the venue and the variety expected.

“Everything we’ve seen about the Sphere since is pretty cool,” Mike Zegarac said. “We had a friend go and he said, ‘If you’re going to one, stay for another.’ They play different songs every night so it’s like an entirely different show.”

The couple waited for luggage at a calm but steady Harry Reid International Airport terminal on Wednesday, one of the busiest travel days during the holiday period. As many as 334,000 visitors are projected to come to the Las Vegas area for the Fourth of July weekend, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Other music fans arriving Wednesday expect to maximize their entertainment schedule. Molly George, a self-described digital nomad, said she was in Vegas with two friends to attend all three Dead and Company shows – plus Blink-182, playing at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday night, and several more DJ sets throughout the long weekend. They expect to attend between 6 and 10 shows.

“We had to come in – there’s so much good music this weekend,” George said.

Visitors in town this week are forecasted to bring $418.7 million in direct spending to the area during the four-day weekend, LVCVA estimates show. The airport was calm but steady Wednesday afternoon but expects 430,000 arriving passengers between Wednesday and Sunday, officials said earlier this week. About 91,000 arrivals were expected Wednesday and 97,000 arrivals on Sunday. About 98,000 departures are estimated on Sunday.

For locals, parking garages were in high demand. Airport officials said they expected Terminal 1’s long-term and economy parking would be at capacity through Sunday. As of Wednesday afternoon, both were nearing capacity but still open. Terminal 3’s parking also had spaces available.

Spots are expected to be available in the remote lot all week, but airport officials advise travelers to plan for additional time to ride the shuttle to their terminal.

Contact McKenna Ross at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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