Jon Taffer isn't a man short on generosity. He's been saving bars across America for eight seasons, invented NFL Sunday Ticket, and now, he's coming home to Las Vegas to save businesses hit hard by the pandemic. Our correspondent Rachel Smith talked with Taffer about navigating those emotional waters.
Smith: How special is it to return here with these episodes that are here at home?
Taffer: Oh, it's unbelievable. Not only is this my home, but you know, you think about us with 35 percent unemployment, shutting down, I remember the strip boarded up, everybody riding bicycles up and down the strip. You bet, to be able to help ten local bars, who really serve the employees that take care of our tourists is pretty terrific.
The restaurant industry and casinos were two of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic, and functioning at the intersection of the two cannot be an easy task. Taffer discussed the joy in watching the human spirit triumph over these difficulties.
Taffer: You know, what was amazing about this season is it really shows the character of Las Vegas, and the people in it. The pandemic has impacted everyone so much but in every case, we rise, and it's a really heartwarming season, I'm very proud of it, Rachel.
Smith: What surprised you most about yourself in doing this season that you haven't seen in years past?
Taffer: This is really personal to me. Not only is this my hometown, I'm also rescuing some restaurants and bars that I've been in, with my wife. Their businesses were sort of taken away from them. So, they're so deserving of a rescue for that reason. They didn't mess this up, they were doing great.
And watching these businesses thrive is going to be a joy to watch! You can watch along with us every Sunday night on the Paramount network!
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