Tourism numbers hold firm

The number of people who visited Las Vegas in May held strong at 3.4 million, despite a 15 percent decline in the amount of money they lost gambling in Sin City casinos.

The disparity indicates people are still coming to Las Vegas; they’re just spending less money after they arrive and they’re going home sooner.

They’re also packing more people into fewer cars and cutting short business trips to Las Vegas conventions, according to the latest visitation report from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The report, released Friday, showed an increase of about 15,000 visitors compared to last May, a difference of less than 1 percent. It also showed a 6.4 percent decrease in car traffic into Las Vegas and a 4.7 percent drop in airline passengers landing at McCarran International Airport.

“Instead of staying for three days, they will stay for two days,” said Alan Feldman, spokesman for MGM Mirage, the largest private employer in Nevada with 10 hotel-casinos on the Strip.

Feldman said the company is greasing the business pipeline with specials on luxuries like limousine transportation and golf at its fanciest resorts and gift cards for gasoline at down market properties.

The result is that hotel managers are keeping rooms full, but at a greater cost in discounts and extras.

“There are deals across the board. It just depends on what you are looking to do,” he said.

Other companies are following suit.

A survey by Las Vegas Advisor says hotel rooms are at their lowest rates in five years. The site reported rooms at the swanky Wynn Las Vegas and Venetian resorts under $200, nightly rates under $100 at the Rio and Hard Rock Hotel and rates under $20 at Palace Station, a value-oriented property near downtown.

Citywide, the visitors authority reported that room rates were down 5.5 percent in May to $135 per night. It was the fifth consecutive month of declining rates.

It was a similar story for convention business.

The number of people attending conventions increased nearly 1 percent to about 509,000. But the amount they spent on food, rooms and other nongambling activity was down 2 percent to $673 million.

The number of room nights used by convention guests declined 9 percent for the month.

For the year, Las Vegas visitation is keeping pace with last year at 16.3 million visitors through May.

Although Las Vegas resorts are still attracting guests, Wall Street isn’t impressed. Shares in companies such as Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Mirage and Boyd Gaming Corp. are trading at a fraction of the price they were at in the fall.

“The market thinks things will get a lot worse,” said Bill Lerner, an analyst for Deutsche Bank. “Some investors think some of these companies’ equity may go to zero.”

Lerner said he doesn’t think the situation is that dire.

He pointed to an increase in the percentage of international visitors. Specifically, he said as many as 34 percent of guests in MGM Mirage’s Bellagio in recent months have been from out of the country.

Still, there is concern there won’t be enough business to justify roughly $30 billion in new resort development under way on the Strip, Lerner said.

That’s contributing to huge losses in stock value. MGM is down almost 73 percent this year, Las Vegas Sands down 67 percent and Boyd Gaming is down 73 percent.

“This is an extreme for some of these names,” Lerner said.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
Star Wars VR Comes to Las Vegas
Sneak peak at the new "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" VR experience at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zillow is getting into house flipping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall says flipping houses has waned in popularity after the housing bubble burst.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
Casinos to be penalized for allowing drug-impaired customers to gamble
Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo talks about an amendment making casinos subject to the same disciplinary standards of preventing people to gamble if impaired by drugs as they are for letting them play while intoxicated by alcohol.
Terrible Herbst to open large travel center in Southern Nevada
The 50,000-square-foot commercial travel center will include 96 fuel pumps and the third White Castle restaurant in Southern Nevada. Wade Tyler Millward reports.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Hooters owner talks about room upgrades at his hotel-casino
George Ruff, founder and senior principal of Trinity Hotel Investors L.L.C., owner of Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, talks about recent room upgrades at the hotel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Passengers Discuss Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air passengers voice their views on the airline at McCarran International Airport on April 16, 2018. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like