Celebrating the Decades: The 2000s and the economic downturn in Las Vegas

Vegas NYE

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As we get closer to 2020, 8 News Now is celebrating decades past in Las Vegas. Now, we’re looking back at the early 2000s. Back then, major events, like the economic downturn turned Las Vegas on its head.

“Vegas is sort of like you know, fantasy land. The millennium is kind of like a fantasy.”

That fantasy included the Y2K pandemonium. People spent months stocking up survival supplies.

The 2000 U.S. census recorded more than 1.3 million people in Clark County.

That year, CES showcased the high-tech remote and the first DVD recorder — costing $3,000.

In 2003, the legendary Siegfried and Roy production came to an end. A white Bengal Tiger mauled illusionist Roy Horn in front of a horrified audience.

The Wynn opened in 2005.

Another casino opened in 2008 — the Palazzo.

OJ Simpson was arrested and later convicted in 2008 in the sports memorabilia robbery case that happened at palace station.

“I wasn’t there to hurt anybody,” Simpson said. “I just wanted my personal things, and I realized it was stupid of me. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to steal anything from anybody.

By 2008, the harsh realities of the economic downturn had already settled in. Home foreclosures were seen almost anywhere you go.

The state’s unemployment numbers soared above the national average.

The massive CityCenter Complex almost did not open. Financial difficulties significantly slowed construction for the Fontainebleau — the future “Drew Las Vegas.” those were the same problems for what’s now being turned into Resorts World.

Las Vegas closed out the first decade of the 2000s through hard times before the economy could bounce back.

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