Las Vegas posted its highest visitation numbers since the beginning of the pandemic in July, according to the latest data. Tourists flocked en masse to the gambling hub, despite rising inflation and fears of a potential recession. Nearly 3.5 million visitors picked Las Vegas as their destination, amid strong demand for gaming and a jam-packed event calendar.
The figures were provided by the Research Center at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Numbers point to a strong recovery: overall hotel occupancy at the 151,000 hotel rooms throughout the destination surpassed 83% in July, four percentage points ahead of July last year. Weekend occupancy exceeded 91%, up 3% from last year, while midweek occupancy was up 4.5% to 79% amid a steady return of meetings and conventions.
According to the Authority, Las Vegas hosted approximately 307,000 convention attendees, roughly double that of last year, with tradeshows including Las Vegas Market at the World Market Center, Cosmoprof at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the American Culinary Federation at Caesars Forum. A number of upcoming “significant tradeshows” –among them the mobile and telecom industry tradeshow Mobile World Congress and the airlines-oriented Routes World– further demonstrate this continued recovery, says the LVCVA.
But the strong visitation numbers also punctuate the return of international travel, with record-setting daily passenger counts at Harry Reid International Airport. A total of 31 airlines currently serve 146 markets, both domestic and international. “Harry Reid International Airport is the most recovered of the top 20 largest airports in the U.S. based on a percentage of pre-pandemic seat capacity,” a statement from the Authority claims.
The figures were in line with the impressive figures Nevada posted for gaming in July, with the state extending its $1B+ in revenue streak to 17 straight months, at $1.31 billion. Las Vegas was a major driver in this achievement, and the renowned Strip saw its second highest-ever revenue performance in July.
But gambling is not all that Las Vegas had to offer to its 3.49 million visitors, with a full slate of entertainment experiences at their disposal. Among them are residencies such as Luke Bryan at Resorts World, Shania Twain at Planet Hollywood and Usher at Park MGM; and a dynamic restaurant scene buzzing with the recent openings of The Bedford by Martha Stewart at Paris Las Vegas and Carversteak at Resorts World Las Vegas.
While the Harry Reid Airport has yet to release its July passenger statistics, the Nevada Department of Transportation has already published its figures for the month. An average of 18,275 vehicles daily on highways into Las Vegas was reported, a 4% decline against July 2021. NDOT does not determine how many vehicles are local and how many contain visitors.
Still, resorts had much to celebrate in July from the recovering visitation numbers. Joseph Greff, gaming industry analyst at J.P. Morgan, said the combination of room inventory, 1.7% above 2019 levels, room occupancy and the average daily room rate on the Strip resulted in revenue-per-available room being up 16% above 2019 levels, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.