Post-pandemic life is slowly bringing back a strong flow of visitation to Las Vegas, which has recorded nearly 3.2 million tourists in August, showing signs of recovery after COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported visitor volume has risen 6.4% compared to August last year, a time when casinos were not operating to the fullest. However, the figures are still down 10.5% compared to the same period in 2019, before the coronavirus outbreak.
Convention attendance also continued with an upward trend, with 406,500 people attending conventions and trade shows. That figure is up 20.5% year-over-year, but down 38.2% from August 2019. Hotel occupancy was 76.8%, and the average daily room rate was $148.09, while occupancy on weekends was 90.1%.
“Longer term, we see the return of conventions and a strong sports and event calendar in the next couple of years to provide some level of support for Strip gaming revenue and non-gaming revenue,” said Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon in a research note this month.
Next year’s scheduled NCAA March Madness Regional Championship round in April, Formula 1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix in November, and Super Bowl LVIII in February 2024 at Allegiant Stadium are expected to act as huge tourism drivers to Nevada.
In July, Las Vegas recorded just under 3.5 million visitors, with overall hotel occupancy at the 151,000 hotel rooms throughout the destination surpassing 83%, four percentage points ahead of July 2021. Extending into August, for the first eight months of the year, more than 25 million people have visited the city.
If these trends continue through the end of the year, Las Vegas will likely surpass last year’s total of 32 million visitors. In pre-pandemic 2019, the city welcomed more than 42 million tourists.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported this week August's financial results, showing the state's winning streak shows no sign of slowing down, reporting its 18th consecutive month of more than $1 billion in gambling revenue. Nevada collected $1.2 billion from its casinos in August, a figure 26.7% up from the same month in pre-pandemic 2019.