Muted and vacant, Las Vegas struggles to survive shutdown

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Slot machines are powered down, casinos boarded up and barricaded. Sidewalks are largely deserted and electronic marquees that once flashed neon calls for nightclubs, magic shows and topless revues instead beam somber messages of safety. The famous fountains of the Bellagio casino, where water choreographed to lights and music shoots hundreds of feet in the air, are still. Throngs of visitors who made it tough to maneuver on sidewalks have been replaced by the occasional jogger or skateboarder. In this April 16, 2020, photo, Chris Morehouse drinks a beer while performing as Elvis at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign along the Strip in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

On the always busy, always noisy, never sleeping Las Vegas strip, you can now hear birds chirping. “It’s crazy,” said Chris Morehouse, a 70-year-old Elvis impersonator who spent a recent afternoon sipping Miller High Life and posing with a few locals who took advantage of the eerie silence to take photos at the neon-bedecked welcome sign on the Las Vegas Strip. “It’s like the end of the world.”


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