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Las Vegas Strip room rates falling in advance of NFL draft

Updated March 12, 2020 - 6:15 am

In January, Caesars Entertainment Corp. said it expected to be sold out for the NFL draft in Las Vegas.

But a look at Hotels.com on Wednesday — a little over one month before the draft — shows that all of Caesars’ Strip properties aside from The Cromwell are available to book on April 23, the first day of the draft.

As the spread of coronavirus puts a halt to many travel plans, room rates across the valley have dipped, with some properties charging as much as 86 percent less for a stay during the draft compared with the prices that were listed in May.

“I would expect that people are already canceling plans” said Kelly Soderlund, a travel trends expert for travel app TripIt. “I would not be surprised if the NFL limited the audience attendee size.”

‘A lot more’ rooms than we thought

The draft is set to run April 23-25 in multiple Las Vegas venues, with the main stage planned for the Caesars Forum next to The Linq Hotel.

Caesars spokesman Richard Broome declined to comment.

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis predicted in January the draft would bring in 750,000 attendees.

Several other events in Las Vegas are being postponed or canceled amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but Davis said as of now, the NFL draft is moving forward. He added that civic leaders, the league’s headquarters and the NFL players’ union are “using a very measured approach.”

“Health and safety will be at the top of the list, and if there is any type of problem, we’ll make adjustments to whatever schedule we have,” he told the Review-Journal’s John Katsilometes during a Monday interview for a PodKats! podcast episode.

But demand for Las Vegas rooms during the draft has taken a hit. Data from Hotels.com show room rate cuts are taking place across the Strip.

Oyo, formerly the Hooters Hotel, charged $999 per room for April 23 in May. Now, it’s charging $135 for the same night. A stay at The Mirage on the first day of the draft dropped 80 percent, from $499 to $99. Rates decreases at Wynn Las Vegas and The Venetian were less severe, from $699 to $593 and $412 to $389, respectively.

Spokespeople at Wynn Resorts Ltd. declined to comment. Spokespeople at MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corp. did not respond to requests for comment.

With a growing number of convention cancellations in Las Vegas, Macquaire analyst Chad Beynon said travelers may be more likely to give their personal trips a second thought.

“If you’re canceling (a trip) for work, you’re less inclined to visit for personal (reasons),” Beynon said. “There’s a lot more supply of rooms than we thought.”

Soderlund said travelers should be aware of cancellation policies at their hotel. Some have changed in recent days.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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