METROPOLIS, IL. (KFVS) -The City of Metropolis is hurting financially due to Harrah’s Casino being closed for several months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Billy McDaniels breaks-down the financial blow the city is suffering from.
“Just in the casino of the revenue, between the gaming revenue of the City of Metropolis, through Harrah’s Casino and our video gaming, through many of our businesses it exceeds $15,000 a day," said Mayor McDaniels.
Harrah’s is also a large employer for the area. Approximately 500 people work at the casino.
Between the closure of the casino and restrictions on restaurants, other businesses are also feeling the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
“You know, the restaurants are still doing outside and curbside and I’m sure they are hurting," said Chamber of Commerce President Kathy Rushing. "As are the retail shops. That’s the biggest one.”
Metropolis was scheduled to host their annual Superman Festival in June, but the event was canceled in early March due to the pandemic..
The event attracts crowds from all over the U.S. and overseas, which adds more cash flow to the city’s economy. Tourists spend money at shops, fuel up their gas tanks locally and stay in local hotels.
The lack of funds from tourists is not the only revenue loss for Metropolis.
“The downtown businesses, your vendors that come into town, whether its tents or whatever, but we did have to make that decision in early March because we were getting ready to spend money on celebrities and we wouldn’t be able to get that back,” said Rushing.
As more businesses and activities are allowed to reopen in Illinois, both Rushing and Mayor Daniels hope the community will continue to support area small businesses and those living outside of the area will come back to Metropolis.