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LVCVA: Visitors paid highest room rates in history in April

Las Vegas visitors paid more for their hotel rooms in April than any other time in the city’s history, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Thursday.

“Breaking the previous monthly record set just this past October, ADR (average daily room rate) exceeded $177, 62 percent ahead of last April and nearly 36 percent above pre-COVID levels of April 2019 while RevPAR (revenue per available room) approached $149 for the month, dramatically ahead of April 2021 (107.4 percent) and 25.4 percent over April 2019,” said Kevin Bagger, vice president of the LVCVA research center.

Rates soard in Las Vegas for two weekends when Korean pop group BTS played four sold-out shows at Allegiant Stadium early in the month. The NFL draft drew high demand at the end of the month. Sandwiched between those events was the five-day National Association of Broadcasters trade show.

Visitation in April was considerably higher than a year ago and much closer to prepandemic 2019 levels. The LVCVA calculated 3.38 million visitors came to Las Vegas in April, 31.4 percent more than in April 2021, but 4.5 percent shy of April 2019 levels.

In Laughlin, visitation declined 2.7 percent in April to 111,000 while Mesquite reported visitation of 87,000 for the month.

For the first four months of 2022, visitation counts are 54.5 percent ahead of 2021 to 7.638 million people, which is 14.8 percent fewer than in 2019.

Gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli of Deutsche Bank said in a note to investors that attendance at the NFL draft was less than expected with attendance under 300,000, instead of the more than 600,000 anticipated.

Santarelli made his conclusion based on meetings with Las Vegas Strip casino executives last week.

The smaller turnout was also reflected in a slight downturn in traffic on major highways leading to Las Vegas. The Nevada Department of Transportation estimated 134,941 vehicles per day were on highways, down 0.9 percent from last year.

On Interstate 15 at the Nevada-California border, traffic was estimated at 48,589 vehicles per day on average, a 4.1 percent decline from April 2021, but a 4.2 percent increase from April 2019.

The department doesn’t differentiate between tourist and local traffic.

Hotel occupancy levels continued to be strong on weekends with 93.2 percent of rooms filled, 9.7 percentage points better than a year ago, but 3.5 points off April 2019 levels.

Midweek occupancy was at 79.4 percent for the month, a reflection of the convention and meetings industry not being back to full strength after the coronavirus pandemic.

Strip occupancy for April was 86.7 percent, 20.4 points better than a year ago, but 5.9 points below April 2019. Downtown Las Vegas occupancy was 70 percent in April, 14.9 points better than a year ago, but 17.5 points below April 2019.

Harry Reid International Airport’s 4.26 million passenger arrivals and departures in April were 46.4 percent ahead of April 2021 counts. International arrivals are rising with 200,113 passengers for the month, a 541.1 percent year-over-year increase.

Southwest Airlines continues to dominate passenger counts at Reid with 1.5 million passengers in April, a 43.6 percent change over last year. Spirit Airlines is now the No. 2 carrier at the airport with 498,566 passengers in April, a 47.2 percent increase.

Air Canada dominates the international side with 47,973 passengers in April. The airline discontinued service last year.

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

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