The Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority (LVCVA) website is a great resource for learning about Las Vegas. Some of the information is specific while other information, like the Las Vegas Visitor Profile, is intended to paint a picture. There should be visitor profile out in a few weeks and I suspect there will be plenty of interesting data to keep an eye on.
The LVCVA recently released their preliminary year-end data on visitation to Las Vegas in 2017. The snapshot of data offers some fairly interesting information on Las Vegas hotel rooms. The number of visitors to Las Vegas was down in 2017 from 2016. Approximately 42.2 million people visited Las Vegas in 2017. That’s a decrease of -1.7% from 2016 when 42.9 million people visited.
Citywide room occupancy was down slightly from 89.1% in 2016 to 88.7% last year. The number of hotel rooms occupied fell from 48.4 million in 2016 to 47.6 million in 2017. Overall, the total number of rooms occupied in 2017 was a decrease of approximately 1.7%. You can see the preliminary report here.
Hotel Room Rates On The Rise
More occupancy at a hotel usually leads to cheaper prices. That wasn’t the case in 2017 as there was a sharp increase in convention travelers to Las Vegas. Convention attendance increased 5.2% in 2017. This helped lead to an increase of hotel room rates.
The average daily hotel room (ADR) rate in 2017 was $129.45. That was an increase of 2.8% from 2016 when the ADR was $125.97. The actual cost of a room is probably even higher as the LVCVA price doesn’t include resort fees, taxes or parking charges according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Convention visitors don’t have time flexibility to shop around for the best dates for hotel rates. They have to be in Las Vegas at a specific time and often stay at a specific hotel convenient to the convention or meeting. Since the employer usually pays for this expense, it’s usually a little less of a burden on business travelers booking their hotel rooms.
Hotel room rates may continue to rise regardless of the number of visitors overall. Visitors coming to Las Vegas for meetings and conventions often spend more money on hotel rooms than leisure customers on vacation. MGM Resorts International will open new meeting and convention spaces at Aria, MGM Grand and Park MGM this year.
The trend will continue as more convention space is under construction. The Las Vegas Convention Center is expanding to the Vegas Strip and Caesars Entertainment is building a meeting and convention center near Flamingo, Harrah’s and The Linq.
Conventions are no joke in New Vegas. I noted that room rates for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) were higher across the board than for New Year’s Eve. Rates for CES are always high and that continued. Meanwhile, vacationers seemed to be staying away from Las Vegas during the holiday despite the traditional A-List talent performing in every casino.
Nobody likes the potential of hotel room rates increasing. Let’s try to find something good here. It’s possible that room upgrades may be easier to come by in the future if there’s lower occupancy. Here’s some information on using the $20 Trick for sweet hotel room upgrades.