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Las Vegas reports highest visitation since start of pandemic

Updated August 30, 2022 - 4:15 pm

Last month, Las Vegas had the highest number of monthly visitors since the start of the pandemic, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Tuesday.

The LVCVA Research Center said 3.49 million visitors, including 307,000 convention attendees, came to Las Vegas in July. The number of conventioneers was about double the amount from July 2021.

The number of visitors in July was up 5.7 percent year over year and the highest since January 2020, when 3.55 million visitors arrived in a CES-enriched month.

“Las Vegas visitors have no shortage of ‘Only Vegas’ experiences to enjoy, including entertainment residencies such as Luke Bryan at Resorts World, Shania Twain at Planet Hollywood and Usher at Park MGM and a dynamic restaurant scene buzzing with the recent openings of The Bedford by Martha Stewart at Paris Las Vegas and Carversteak at Resorts World Las Vegas,” said Kevin Bagger, vice president of the LVCVA Research Center.

July’s strong tradeshow calendar included Las Vegas Market at the World Market Center, Cosmoprof at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the American Culinary Federation at Caesars Forum.

Shows planned in the next few months are expected to bolster the recovering convention and tradeshow business.

Mobile World Congress, the mobile and telecom industry’s premiere tradeshow, will be held in Las Vegas for the first time Sept. 28-30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. MWC will bring together key stakeholders from companies such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T who will make deals that will improve technology and increase connectivity worldwide.

Routes World will arrive in Las Vegas at the Convention Center Oct. 16-18 for the first time since 2013. The convention brings together decision-makers from top airlines who determine global air service with representatives of the world’s airports. Half of the world’s new airline routes are a result of meetings during the event.

With 14 million square feet of meeting and event space in Southern Nevada, the meeting and convention sector historically represents $11 billion in economic impact to the region.

Hotel occupancy in Las Vegas surpassed 83 percent in July, 4 percentage points ahead of July 2021. Weekend occupancy exceeded 91 percent, up 3 percentage points from last year, while midweek occupancy reached 79 percent, up 4.5 percentage points from last year.

The average daily room rate cooled from previous months, but was still higher than July 2021 and July 2019. Room rates for July were $160.43 a night — $170.48 on the Strip and $95.12 in downtown Las Vegas. In July 2021, the rate was $152.13, up 5.5 percent. In July 2019, it was $126.92, up 26.4 percent.

Joseph Greff, gaming industry analyst at J.P. Morgan, said the combination of room inventory, 1.7 percent above 2019 levels, room occupancy and the average daily room rate on the Strip resulted in revenue-per-available room being up 16 percent above 2019 levels.

The LVCVA has said higher seat capacity and passenger counts on flights to Harry Reid International Airport have solidified the city’s visitation numbers. Reid International has yet to release its July passenger statistics.

The amount of highway traffic into Las Vegas fell from July 2021.

The Nevada Department of Transportation reported an average 138,275 vehicles daily on highways into Las Vegas, a 4 percent decline from July 2021. NDOT does not determine how many vehicles are local and how many contain visitors. On Interstate 15 at the Nevada-California border, NDOT reported an average 52,551 vehicles a day, a 7.3 percent decline from July 2021 and 1 percent fewer than in July 2019.

Laughlin and Mesquite visitation numbers were higher than in July 2021, but well below prepandemic July 2019.

Laughlin showed visitor volume of 129,000 in July, up 8.2 percent from a year ago, but 29.2 percent below July 2019.

At Mesquite, 71,000 visited the city in July, 34.3 percent fewer than in July 2019. There are no comparative statistics from July 2021.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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