Las Vegas is a ghost town where even the strippers put up signs­ saying, ‘Sorry, we’re clothed’


Sin City has a well-earned reputation for offering every kind of thrill 24 hours a day – from high-stakes poker tournaments, slots and roulette wheels in the casinos to the strip joints, showbiz glitz and all-night bars
Sin City has a well-earned reputation for offering every kind of thrill 24 hours a day – from high-stakes poker tournaments, slots and roulette wheels in the casinos to the strip joints, showbiz glitz and all-night bars

It’s America’s gaudiest playground, where crowds mill around the world-famous neon ‘Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign, jostling for selfies as the notorious Strip bustles with tourists seeking the buzz of debauchery.

Sin City has a well-earned reputation for offering every kind of thrill 24 hours a day – from high-stakes poker tournaments, slots and roulette wheels in the casinos to the strip joints, showbiz glitz and all-night bars.

Fortunes can be so easily made – or lost – in an instant.

But today, in the shadow of Covid-19, Las Vegas is on its own losing streak.

Even Vegas’s ubiquitous strip joints are no more. Little Darlings tried to stay open, offering ‘coronavirus-free’ dancers and nude, hand-sanitised wrestling. It is now shuttered with a sign saying: ‘Sorry, we’re clothed’
Even Vegas’s ubiquitous strip joints are no more. Little Darlings tried to stay open, offering ‘coronavirus-free’ dancers and nude, hand-sanitised wrestling. It is now shuttered with a sign saying: ‘Sorry, we’re clothed’

For while few places have been left unaffected by the pandemic, perhaps nowhere has had its devil-may-care attitude rocked as much as this narrow pocket of Nevada.

Casinos, hotels and shows which last year generated $60 billion (£48 billion) in tourist revenue are either almost empty or shuttered. 

The entertainment mecca of the Strip, which attracted 49.5 million people in 2019 from around the world – including half a million from the UK – is neglected and deserted.

A 150ft-tall replica of the Statue of Liberty is wearing a face mask, while no one is clamouring for a selfie by the flashing neon signs.

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