Las Vegas businesses prepare for more Hawaii visitors ahead of full capacity reopening date

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HONOLULU (KHON2) – The Governor of Nevada announced on Tuesday a goal of reopening to 100 percent capacity by June 1. Travel companies are hoping this will attract Hawaii residents to take a long awaited trip back to the ninth island.

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Vacations Hawaii says they’re already seeing some good signs.

“The call volumes are starting to pick up as more and more people get vaccinated,” said David Strow, president of Vacations Hawaii. “It’s been over a year since many of our longtime guests have had the chance to come to the California Hotel and that’s a long time to wait.”

Travelers will have to wait a little longer to book charter packages. Vacations Hawaii will resume that option on September 3.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas businesses that rely on Hawaii customers are 100 percent ready to fully reopen.

“All the workers here and at our bakery have all been fully vaccinated, so we feel pretty good about it,” said Kryce Higa of Las Vegas Jerkys.

“We can’t wait for our regulars from back home to come visit us,” said Alijah Lee Walter of 2 Scoops of Aloha. “We’re for sure going to be wearing masks and keeping our social distancing. As far as capacity, I think we’ll only allow 15 people at the most in the restaurant at once.”

Although the state may allow full capacity, Boyd Gaming wants to remind visitors that modifications may still be in place.

“We don’t have as many restaurants available. There’s still going to be capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements for the next couple of months until a plan gets approved by the control board. So it’s going to be different in that respect,” said Strow.

Hawaii travel experts expect to see a huge demand for trips to Vegas in the coming months.

“I think it’s those that have always gone every three months, every six months that haven’t been able to go plus other folks that want to go to a place that’s 100 percent open,” said Jerry Argusa, a UH Shidler School of Business professor. “I think that that’s what’s going to happen too.”

Travelers can now book flights with Vacations Hawaii as they await their charter options to return.

Hawaiian Airlines also says they’re resuming their last paused route, which is Maui to Las Vegas, at the end of May.

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