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A rare look at an empty Las Vegas Strip

Updated March 30, 2020 - 7:47 pm

Businesses and attractions are closed across the country.

But when the Las Vegas Strip is forced to close, the impact is indelible.

For the first time in, well, forever, the famed Strip is closed for business. A drive in either direction shows scant tourist activity — a trek on Sunday night turned up fewer than 10 people walking Las Vegas Boulevard. Iconic photo ops along the legendary 4.2-mile stretch have been turned off or settled into darkness.

The Fountains of Bellagio are still for the first time since the hotel opened in October 1998. The dozens of costumed buskers, dressed as Darth Vader, Spider-Man, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Vegas showgirls, have vacated their usual positions.

The famous porte cochère at Circus Circus is barely visible at night. The Park promenade, where Vegas Golden Knights fans follow the thundering Knight Line by Drumbots into T-Mobile Arena, is blocked. Same is true across the Strip for the typically bustling Linq Promenade.

The lines of tourists at the famed “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign are thin and even nonexistent.

Barricades block the entrances of such typically welcoming resorts as The Mirage, Caesars Palace and the MGM Grand. Their marquees glow with such messages as that at the Sahara Las Vegas, which says it all: “We Look Forward To Welcoming You Back Soon.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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