With visitor numbers in Las Vegas down significantly in 2020 due to the pandemic, resulting in a shortfall in room tax collection, Clark County had to take money out of its reserve fund to make the next bond payment on Allegiant Stadium.
The county faces a $16m payment on 1 December, part of paying off $750m in public money that Clark County contributed toward the $2 billion stadium project that houses the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, among other tenants.
The bond payments were supposed to be serviced by a new hotel room tax on visitors. But casinos were closed from 17 March to 4 June and have faced capacity restrictions since reopening.
In the most recent figures released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the number of people coming to Las Vegas in October was up 9% from September, but down 50% this year compared to last year.
Erik Pappa, director of public communications for Clark County, said $11.6m will be taken from the reserve fund, which will still have $57m, he noted.
“Today’s action was expected in light of the decline in tourism to Las Vegas,” Pappa said in a statement. “Fortunately, the financing for the Stadium Authority bonds included the funding of a debt service reserve fund to weather economic declines like the one Las Vegas is currently experiencing due to the pandemic.”