LAS VEGAS (AP) – Is anyone going to CES this year? A long-simmering question in the tech world will finally get its answer as one of the world’s biggest gadget shows returns to the Las Vegas strip after a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sprawling exhibition floors open Wednesday during another winter of ongoing wariness about the safety of indoor crowds and international travel as the omicron variant spreads around the world.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) by late December was anticipating between 50,000 and 75,000 attendees for this week’s conference, down from more than 170,000 who came for the last in-person gathering two years ago.