One of my favorite things to do is travel. I do a lot of it. By road, air, or cruise ship, I love it all. In the seven years my wife and I have been together, we have been to 48 states and 16 foreign countries. We typically take no fewer than 2 plane trips, 4 cruises, and 10 road trips a year. This allows me to compare travel from before COVID to travel now. Let’s take a look at the economics (or lack thereof) in “flyover country,” as the elites are find of calling the areas that are not NYC, DC, or LA.
Starting with my favorite city to visit: Las Vegas. There is something in Vegas for everyone: eco-tours, gambling, the club scene, fabulous restaurants, people watching, and the incredible spectacles of the mega-casinos. We ended 2019 there. We went back in July of 2020. In the intervening 7 months, I can tell you- Las Vegas is dying. It’s being killed by this COVID panic. If you read today’s wire story, you will see that things are not looking any better. Tourism year to date for Las Vegas is down 55%, tourism for 2020 was down 64%.
Orlando is hurting as well. The year 2020 saw a 34% reduction in tourism for the entire state, even though our governor is doing all that he can to keep the state open for business. The tourist areas of Orlando are a ghost town. That isn’t being helped by the left wing county mayor, who has a ‘strike team’ of jack booted thugs travelling the county in search of businesses that are not following his dictates. Most of the hotels in the tourist corridor are empty, with the exception of the national guard troops being housed near the convention center to help run the vaccine center. Most eateries are closed. It frankly was depressing the last time we were there in September.
We visited Savannah, Georgia the week before Thanksgiving. We are familiar with the city. Since it is a 4 hour drive from here, it is closer even than Miami and great for weekend getaways.
Unfortunately, it is a college town and therefore run by a Democrat mayor who is an absolute nut when it comes to mask mandates. Ghost tours, bus tours, walking tours, all of them were at reduced capacity. The restaurants where we love to dine have far fewer customers, and the hotels are not running nearly as full. Even tourism sites are a bit stupid about it.
We also went to Biloxi, MS in July. There isn’t much to do there at the best of times. Certainly not now. The only good thing that can be said is that the pool at the casino resorts isn’t very crowded.
So there is a quick look at the nation. In short, the government and the restrictions they are imposing are what is killing America, not COVID.