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LVCVA: October resort room rates blast past pre-pandemic levels

Hotel room rates in October were two-thirds higher than they were a year ago and nearly a third higher than they were in October 2019, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Tuesday.

The LVCVA said October saw an average daily room rate of $173.68, 11.5 percent more than in September, 66.1 percent more than a year ago and 28.3 percent more than in October 2019.

Room rates were one of the few categories outperforming 2019 numbers. Other indicators that have caught up to pre-pandemic levels: revenue per available room, average daily traffic on major highways, including Interstate 15 at the California border, and Clark County gaming win.

Tourism indicators for the month were higher than a year ago in every category.

The LVCVA said an estimated 3.39 million people visited Southern Nevada in October, 82.6 percent more than in October 2020 and 15.5 percent more than in September, but 7.6 percent fewer than in October 2019.

The increase was attributed to several special events and an uptick in convention traffic. The Electric Daisy Carnival, or EDC, returned to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for three nights, bringing an estimated 450,000 people to the area.

Tyson Fury fought Deontay Wilder III for the WBC heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 9. The 52nd annual World Series of Poker began at the Rio on Oct. 29. Performers Gwen Stefani and Lady Gaga resumed their residencies at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theatre on Oct. 22 and Park MGM’s Dolby Live theater on Oct. 14, respectively. The Raiders and the Golden Knights continued their seasons.

“With significant events and an improving convention segment, October saw the strongest visitation of the pandemic era both on weekends and midweek as the destination welcomed nearly 3.4 million visitors,” said Kevin Bagger, vice president of the LVCVA research center.

The LVCVA still hasn’t reported head counts for conventions, awaiting official numbers from show sponsors.

Occupancy rates were higher in October than in September and October 2020, but not as high as in October 2019. Citywide occupancy was calculated at 81.6 percent in October, with 90.4 percent on weekends, 77.5 percent on weekdays, 83.4 percent on the Strip and 73.6 percent downtown.

“Weekend occupancy continues to outperform convention and group, skewing midweek; weekend occupancy for the month was 90.4 percent vs. weekday 77.5 percent — we note that midweek occupancy improved sequentially, coming in near the post-pandemic high at 77.5 percent (up 11.4 points month over month), while weekend occupancy improved modestly to 90.4 percent (up 1.3 points month over month),” gaming industry analyst Joe Greff of New York-based J.P. Morgan said in a Tuesday report to investors.

“Relative to October 2019, weekend occupancy is lagging by about 7.6 points while midweek is 9.6 points lower,” he said.

Tourism indicators were down in most categories in Laughlin, which also is monitored by the convention authority.

Visitor volume was down 7 percent from a year ago to 102,900. Occupancy fell 2.8 points from October 2019 to 48.1 percent, while the average daily room rate was up 9.4 percent to $66.24.

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

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