A gunman fired a barrage of bullets at an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada Sunday night, killing at least 50 people and injuring more than 400 others, police said, in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
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Early Monday authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip and Interstate 15 as part of the investigation. McCarran International Airport officials also temporarily halted all flights in and out in response to the shooting and have since resumed “limited” flights.
Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told FOX Business that he suspects the Las Vegas strip will be closed for several days in order for police to do a full investigation.
“During the Boston bombing, we locked down Boylston Street for a full seven days so that the FBI could collect evidence and our evidence team at Boston PD needed a full seven days to process that scene. You have a very active venue here, so I’m sure there will be that level of detail here but it is a very difficult thing to accomplish in a facility that really has to keep operating,” Davis said.
While authorities have not announced any plans to close the strip down, the incident could negatively impact the city’s tourism economy, which was in line to set record-breaking numbers this year.
According to a study by Applied Analysis from March, Las Vegas tourism spending generated a record $59.6 billion in economic activity in 2016, creating an estimated 407,000 jobs but analysts predicted that number was to rise even more by the end of 2017.
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“Tourism has always been crucial to Southern Nevada’s economy, and we couldn’t be happier to see the record-breaking numbers from 2016, and anticipate topping those numbers once again in 2017,” Lawrence Weekly, chairman of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s (LVCVA) and Clark County commissioner said in a statement in March.
Earlier this month, Clark County Aviation Director Rosemary Vassiliadis told the Associated Press that the McCarran International Airport is on track this year to break its 2007 year-end record of 47.8 million airline passengers. More than 32 million people have flown in or out of the Las Vegas airport so far this year.
Here’s a look at Las Vegas Tourism in 2016, according LVCVA.
In 2016, Southern Nevada welcomed a record 42.9 million visitors.
An average visitor spent $827, with total direct spending of $35.5 billion, an increase of 16.3% more than 2015’s total direct spending of $30.5 billion (or an average of $721 per visitor).
In 2016, Las Vegas also reached an all-time record for business travel in 2016 with 6.3 million visitors in the destination for a meeting or trade show.
Convention attendance was the primary driver for tourism growth in 2016, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total increase from 2015 to 2016.