Valentine’s Day eating climbing near pre-pandemic ranges

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LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — This Valentine’s Day weekend will be seeing couples and their tummies getting a lot of love. It’s expected to be a busy time for valley restaurants, and it comes more people are now comfortable with dining out.

“This is the dream. This is like the perfect temperature. The perfect energy. I mean, I like being out right now.”

It’s an ideal valentine’s day weekend to share laughs for Mario Sferrazza going on a double date with friends.

“The weather’s perfect. You really can’t beat the outdoor dining,” he said.

The other couple, visiting from New York, engaged with thoughts of speeding up their wedding date.

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“We passed a few chapels on the way to dinner,” Nicole Salamone, who visiting from Long Island, said.

All of them are sharing a meal on a busy holiday weekend in downtown Las Vegas.

“It definitely feels a little more normal,” Sferrazza said.

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A survey by the data firm Numerator shows that’s exactly what’s happening. 36 percent of people said they planned on dining out for Valentine’s Day, up from 17 percent last year. It’s climbing towards the pre-pandemic number of 45 percent in February 2020. Liam Dwyer, owner of 7th and Carson Downtown Kitchen says his brunch and dinner reservations are packed.

“For our team, our community, the downtown experience, it’s been a long time coming. We needed to be safe and we were and now we move to the other side,” he said.

Sferrazza is hopeful Las Vegas will continue to move forward.

“Cautiously optimistic I guess you could say but it definitely feels a little bit more normal,” he said.