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CES room rates are high but not as pricey as in previous years

Getting a room on the Strip when CES comes to town next month will still cost you a tidy sum, even with a smaller crowd expected for the annual consumer electronics trade show.

CES 2022 will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center Jan. 5 through Jan. 8. Consumer Technology Association, which puts on the show, has said it doesn’t expect typical pre-pandemic attendance for this year’s return of the in-person convention after going entirely online in 2021.

It is typically the largest annual convention for not only Las Vegas, but also for the nation, with previous shows drawing 170,000 or more guests from across the globe. But amid concerns over the ongoing pandemic, especially with the omicron variant causing spikes in cases across the U.S., the show could be even smaller than initially expected, and several of the show’s biggest brands announced this week that they were pulling out of attending the show in person.

Booking a room at some resorts for the length of the show, including the Aria, Wynn Las Vegas, The Venetian and The Cosmopolitan, will run you $600 or more per night, according to rates listed on Hotels.com. Those and most other resorts on the Strip see a sharp price drop-off the following week, including some by as much as 80 percent.

The rate increase for CES compared with less busy travel weeks isn’t shocking. Prices for rooms in Las Vegas ebb and flow throughout the year, with rooms costing more when major events and conventions such as CES, New Year’s Eve and the National Finals Rodeo come around.

Still, if you’re looking for a cheaper stay, there are plenty of Strip resorts with rates that are easier on the wallet. Rooms at Harrah’s, Luxor, New York-New York or Excalibur can be had for less than $150 per night while CES is in town, and several others are offering rates of less than $200 per night.

Overall, room rates for the week of CES are lower than they have been for other in-person CES shows, in large part because there will simply be fewer attendees coming to town, said Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs for Las Vegas-based Global Market Advisors.

“Demand isn’t as high, so you just don’t have rates going as high,” Bussmann said.

It’s unclear exactly how many people will attend this year’s event. There were “tens of thousands” of registered attendees as of late November, CES Executive Vice President Karen Chupka said last month.

The show will have a digital-only option for those who can’t or don’t want to make the trip to Las Vegas, an option that several major tech companies, including T-Mobile, Twitter, Amazon and Meta, are switching to amid growing concerns over the rapidly spreading COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“After careful consideration and discussion, T-Mobile has made the difficult decision to significantly limit our in-person participation at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. While we are confident that CES organizers are taking exhaustive measures to protect in-person attendees and we had many preventative practices in place as well, we are prioritizing the safety of our team and other attendees with this decision,” T-Mobile said in statement this week.

Even with those cancellations and a suppressed turnout because of concerns about the new variant and restrictions on international travel, CES will still have a significant presence in Las Vegas. Roughly 2,200 exhibitors and are scheduled to attend in person, and more than 2,400 media members are registered to cover the event.

“I think we have to remember that when it comes to CES, even a 50 percent CES is still almost better than the next-closest show,” Bussmann said.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas SandsCorp., which operates The Venetian and Palazzo.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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