This time I can fully agree with your post. I'm certainly not trying to say all the businesses are doing just as well or better than before, but they're not hurting either.
The businesses designed to cater to Chinese tourists and farang tourists are hurting, no question about that. The shopping malls, grocery stores, mom & pop shops, etc. - they were not built to cater to Chinese and farang tourists. They were built to cater to local Thai residents and they are doing quite well. It's not that these places aren't full without tourists. They are full. It's only that with tourists they're fuller.
I wish those who doubt what I'm saying could come here to see for themselves, but obviously that's still a long way off.
Firecat69 is definitely right on one thing - businesses that cater primarily to gay farang are in real trouble. They were going through very hard times long before Thailand closed the doors on tourism. Now without tourists and having to rely mainly on local expats, that situation is much worse and, quite frankly, I'm worried about whether Pattaya's gay scene can survive at all if it is going to be a long time before tourists can start coming again. Even if Thailand opens up to farang tourists this afternoon, I'm wondering how many gay farang will even go to Pattaya any time soon or how much money they'll spend once they get there. Businesses catering to gay farang are there to make a profit. They're not there to break even, just barely squeak by, or operate at a loss. Gay expats do go to the places that are open, but not all of us. I, for one, won't even set foot in Boyztown because of the prices they charge - and I'm not alone in that. Even some who do go have said the bars, particularly the go-go bars that are open, don't have all that many boys and seeing the same few boys over and over again is getting boring to the point that some have stopped going very often or even at all.
I don't dispute that Pattaya's gay scene is in serious trouble and I'm not so sure that once tourists can start coming back there will still be much of a gay scene to come back to.