What Happens in Vegas if No One Stays in Vegas?



Sascha Steinbach/EPA, via Shutterstock

Sign up for NYT Chinese-language Morning Briefing.

This week, thousands of people will travel to Las Vegas for business conferences. The annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex., is scheduled for this month.

本周,成千上万人将前往拉斯维加斯参加商务会议。得克萨斯州奥斯汀一年一度的西南偏南艺术节(South by Southwest)将于本月举行。

After that comes spring break, summer vacation, the Olympics in Japan.


When the coronavirus first broke out in China in January, the disruption to the hospitality industry — and the broader travel sector — seemed confined to people going to and from the country. But as the outbreak has spread to Europe and the United States, the impact has widened and companies that rely on world travelers for business and pleasure are struggling to predict exactly how it will ultimately affect them.


Hyatt Hotels, for instance, withdrew its financial guidance for the year on Monday because of “quickly changing circumstances and uncertain consumer demand for travel,” said Mark S. Hoplamazian, Hyatt’s president and chief executive.

例如,凯悦酒店(Hyatt Hotels)的总裁兼首席执行官马克·S·霍普拉马西安(Mark S. Hoplamazian)表示,由于“迅速变化的环境和不确定的消费者旅游需求”,该公司于周一收回了年度财务指导。

As more corporations impose restrictions on nonessential business travel and the public stays put, conferences, hotels and others are grappling with how to contend with escalating coronavirus fears.


Analysts say most companies in the lodging, gambling or leisure industries, including cruise ship lines and amusement parks, know they will take a near-term hit to revenues, but have little idea of what will happen in the summer or beyond.


Nervous investors are bracing for the worst, driving down stocks of cruise ship lines by a third. The stocks of hotel chains like Hyatt, Marriott International and InterContinental Hotels Group have tumbled more than 16 percent this year, compared with declines of 5 percent in the broader market.

紧张的投资者正在为最坏的情况做准备,导致邮轮公司的股票下跌了三分之一。凯悦(Hyatt)、万豪国际(Marriott International)和洲际酒店集团(InterContinental Hotels Group)等连锁酒店的股价今年以来下跌了16%以上,而整体市场的跌幅仅为5%。

“It would not surprise me to see other companies rescind or revoke guidance that they provided in the fourth-quarter earnings season,” said Bill Crow, a hotel analyst at Raymond James Financial. “The focus largely at that point was on China and what would happen to hotels in China. Now this has become a big domestic issue and we’re seeing cancellation after cancellation of major conferences.”

“看到其他公司取消或收回它们在第四季财报季提供的指引,我并不感到意外,”雷蒙德·詹姆斯金融(Raymond James Financial)的酒店业分析师比尔·克劳(Bill Crow)表示。“之前的焦点主要集中在中国,以及中国的酒店会怎样。现在这已经成为一个重大的国内问题,我们看到一个个重要会议被取消。”


Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Mr. Crow noted that conferences and other group events are a big business, making up about a third of the revenues for hotel chains, with another third coming via vacationers.


Many conference organizers seem determined to go forward, but are enacting a variety of screenings and rules.


SaaStr, a business-software conference set for next week in San Jose, Calif., said it would bar any residents of the most affected countries — China, South Korea, Italy and Iran — as well as anyone who has visited those places in the past 60 days. All attendees will need to show a U.S. driver’s license or a passport to enter. Citizens of China, South Korea, Italy and Iran will also be subject to additional screening, organizers said, including passport checks to ensure they haven’t recently visited their home countries.


Organizers plan to check all attendees’ temperatures via “passive scanning.” They also banned handshakes and mandated that attendees wash their hands before each session. “This may create some lines,” the organizers said. “Our apologies.”


Attendees of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in Orlando, Fla., next week are being told to tap elbows rather than shake hands. Attendees can also get medical-grade face masks at information booths.

医疗信息和管理系统协会(Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society)将于下周在佛罗里达州奥兰多市举行会议,与会者被告知见面要轻拍手肘,而不是握手。参会者还可以在服务台购买医用口罩。

Facebook, Twitter and Intel have said their employees will not attend South by Southwest, but organizers insisted on Tuesday that next week’s festival will go on.


Travel restrictions resulted in some cancellations by would-be attendees from China, Italy, South Korea and Japan for an international construction trade show set to start next week in Las Vegas, but organizers say registration numbers are still up from when the show last occurred three years ago. As part of their efforts to keep the more than 130,000 people expected to attend healthy, conference organizers say they will be distributing buttons or stickers that say “no handshakes.”


Other conferences, facing cancellations or nervous attendees, are pulling the plug.



Yuyang Liu for The New York Times

Mobile World Congress, a major trade show that draws tens of thousands of people from technology, telecommunications and advertising companies each year, canceled its event in Barcelona last month, after companies pulled out based on health and safety concerns. Google and Facebook each canceled major developer conferences scheduled for May in California. The software company Zendesk called off its Relate conference that was to begin on Tuesday in Miami.

世界移动大会(Mobile World Congress)是一个重要的行业展会,每年吸引成千上万来自技术、电信和广告公司的人参加。在参展公司出于健康和安全的考虑退出后,大会取消了上个月在巴塞罗那举行的活动。Google和Facebook分别取消了原定于5月在加利福尼亚举行的重要开发者大会。软件公司Zendesk取消了原定于周二在迈阿密开始的Relate会议。

Zendesk said it would donate food and unused carpet to nonprofit organizations and work with a local artist in Miami to “take some of the cardboard signage and repurpose it into a piece of art.”


The Walt Disney Company said early last month that it would lose roughly $175 million in profits this year because of the closure of its parks in China. Its parks in Japan have since closed. And Disney has not said how attendance at Disneyland Paris, which has two separate parks with combined annual attendance of 15 million, has been affected as France has started to ban public gatherings in some areas around Paris in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. The parks are part of a business unit inside Disney that makes up 38 percent of its total revenues and 46 percent of its profits.


One city that is anxiously watching the spread of the virus is Las Vegas. Last year, more than 6.6 million, or 15.5 percent, of the 42.5 million visitors to Las Vegas were there for conferences, according to data from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

拉斯维加斯正在焦虑不安地关注病毒传播。根据拉斯维加斯会议和游客管理局(Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority)的数据,去年,在拉斯维加斯的4250万访客中,有660万人是去参加会议的,占访客总数的15.5%。

Stocks of the gambling companies Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands are already each down more than 20 percent this year, largely owing to the closure of their enormous casino operations in Macau for two weeks.

赌博公司永利度假村(Wynn Resorts)和拉斯维加斯金沙集团(Las Vegas Sands)的股票今年以来已经分别下跌超过20%,这主要是因为其在澳门的大型赌场业务关闭了两个星期。

Las Vegas lost its first big conference late Monday when Adobe Systems canceled its annual event that was going to bring 20,000 visitors to hear headline speakers like the actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the comedian Chelsea Handler, along with chief executives and top officials from numerous companies. Adobe said it planned to host portions of the event online.

周一晚些时候,Adobe Systems取消了年度活动,这是拉斯维加斯失去的第一个大型会议,该活动将吸引两万名参观者,来听诸如演员和企业家格温妮丝·帕特洛(Gwyneth Paltrow)、新英格兰爱国者队(New England Patriots)的四分卫汤姆·布雷迪(Tom Brady)和喜剧演员切尔西·汉德勒(Chelsea Handler)等人以及众多公司首席执行官和高管的演讲。Adobe说,它计划将活动的一部分在线举行。

“Vegas is the biggest unknown right now,” said Steven Wieczynski, a gambling and leisure analyst at the financial services firm Stifel Financial. “If the coronavirus continues to linger and stays in the news, more conventions and group trips will get canceled. That’s what Vegas is known for right now.”

“拉斯维加斯是目前最大的未知数,”金融服务公司Stifel Financial的赌博和休闲分析师史蒂芬·韦茨基(Steven Wieczynski)说。“如果冠状病毒继续徘徊并占据新闻,那么更多的会议和团体旅行将被取消。而现在的拉斯维加斯正是以此闻名。”