Gov. Steve Sisolak's announcement on opening capacity this summer was welcome news for the entertainment industry that can now plan on larger crowds.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday that he intends for every county in the state to fully reopen at 100% capacity by June 1. Now, people in the hard-hit entertainment industry are reacting to the prospect of welcoming a full house back to Las Vegas soon.

Starting May 1, Clark County will likely be setting their own COVID-19 safety measures, for things like audience size.

And while details of their proposed plan have yet to receive board or state approval, some stakeholders like UFC President Dana White are wasting no time in verbalizing their optimism. As FOX5 reported, White announced a full-capacity arena event this summer.

In a Tweeted video following the governor’s announcement, White said, “This summer, Las Vegas is back open for business. And on July 10th, UFC 264 will be at the T-Mobile Arena here in Vegas, at 100% capacity, ladies and gentlemen. That's 20,000 fans.”

Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said it's unclear if UFC filed a plan to do this, however.

"I haven't talked to any sports teams at all, but I know that the health district and BNI are working together to address some of those issues.”

But it isn’t just sports leaders itching to reopen. In the entertainment capital of the world, it's also the artists, who for a year have been stripped of their spotlight.

Cirque du Soleil shows are preparing to reopen in Las Vegas.

Barri Griffiths, lead performer in Cirque du Soleil's Kà, said he has been doing real estate in the meantime, to pay the bills and diversify his skills.

"Being on stage is a different thing again, but once we start back up, I'm sure we'll have plenty of training and time to kind of adapt again. And it's muscle memory right? I was in the show for four, five years, doing -- I don't know -- 10 shows a week? Ya know? For that five years. So yeah, it's got pretty good muscle memory at this point," said Griffiths.
An executive with the resident shows division at Cirque du Soleil said they're targeting a July reopening.

"It's obviously been a while since we've performed, and as artists that's what we love to do, right? It's great to be on stage, and have people. We get so much satisfaction of putting smiles on people's faces,” said Griffiths.

In a statement to FOX5, Daniel Lamarre, the President and CEO of Cirque Du Soleil Entertainment Group said: “We were pleased to hear about the new guidelines and are evaluating what they mean for our shows to reopen. We can’t wait to safely welcome our guests, artists, staff and crew back to our theaters in the near future.”

Meanwhile, the president of Las Vegas’ International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE 720) said many of their labor union's stagehands are looking forward to getting their jobs back too.

“Obviously we were very excited [about the governor’s announcement],” said Phil Jaynes, President, IATSE 720. “The cast and crew are gonna have to get back in shape and relearn some parts of their jobs."

He said that’s likely to happen in no time.

Virus Outbreak Nevada

People stop to look at the fountains at Caesars Palace hotel and casino along the Las Vegas Strip devoid of the usual crowds during the coronavirus pandemic in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

But what can we expect in Clark County, with the upcoming shift of power to municipalities?

Currently in Clark County's proposed mitigation plan, a large event of more than 250 people can be held at full capacity if the following measures are met:

  • If the 14-day average test positivity rate remains at 5%,
  • if running weekly cases are below 1,150 cases; and,
  • if 60% of the community is vaccinated.

For context, as of April 7, 30.29% of Clark County residents had gotten at least one shot, however, thousands more have gotten vaccinated since that date, due to widened eligibility.

The county’s proposed plan will be deliberated by the board on Tuesday, and once it gets approved, it will go to the state task force. State officials will look at plan, make any recommendations; and whatever comes from that is what we'll see take effect in Clark County, likely by May 1.

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