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More than 300K to say goodbye to summer vacation in Las Vegas

Updated August 31, 2023 - 2:28 pm

More than 300,000 people will say their farewells to summer in Southern Nevada as they make their way to Las Vegas for the three-day Labor Day weekend.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority expects 331,000 visitors — 5.4 percent more than Labor Day last year — to arrive Friday and Saturday for what traditionally has become the last hurrah of summer before kids go back to school and businesses gear up for fall.

Harry Reid International Airport and Strip attractions are expected to be busier than usual for the weekend.

The LVCVA anticipates an occupancy rate of 92 percent for the weekend, 1.5 percentage points higher than last year, and that visitors will spend $382.6 million directly, for a total economic impact of $676.2 million on the community.

High room rates

Room rates for the three-day weekend are on track to be well above normal averages based on a survey of rates of 118 Southern Nevada properties.

A survey conducted Tuesday for existing rates for a stay Friday, Saturday and Sunday night averaged $221 a night. Rates listed on Hotels.com were used to calculate the average.

In September 2022, the average hotel room rate was $187.18 a night, according to LVCVA statistics, with a rate of $199.49 on the Strip and $117.95 at downtown Las Vegas resorts.

For the Labor Day weekend, only a handful of hotels offered rates under $100. The highest rates advertised were at Caesars Palace’s Nobu, $1,032 a night; Caesars Palace, $815; MGM Grand’s Signature Suites, $584; Wynn and Encore Las Vegas, $572; Bellagio, $562; and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, $543.

Most of the city’s performance venues will be busy over the weekend and traffic around them will be heavy before curtain time, normally around 7 or 8 p.m., according to Clark County’s resort corridor project update website.

Among the performers and venues are Adele at Caesars Palace on Friday and Saturday, Drake at T-Mobile Arena on Friday and Saturday, Jelly Roll on Friday and LL Cool J on Saturday at MGM Grand Garden, Weezer on Friday and Jeff Dunham on Sunday at Planet Hollywood, Lady Gaga on Saturday and Sunday at Park MGM, Tom Segura on Friday and Saturday and Brent Faiyaz on Sunday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Luke Bryan on Saturday and Sunday at Resorts World Las Vegas.

In addition, UNLV’s football team kicks off its season against Bryant University on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Allegiant Stadium.

Airport parking

Reid International is expected to be busiest Friday and Monday, but airport officials said demand was high for airport parking beginning Thursday and extending through Tuesday.

The Terminal 1 long-term and economy lots and the Terminal 3 economy lot were expected to be near capacity beginning Thursday night. Airport officials recommend using the Terminal 3 long-term parking garage if departing passengers don’t need to check a bag through an airline that uses Terminal 1.

They also recommend using the remote parking lot off Gilespie Street just east of the Reid Rent-A-Car Center. Departing passengers who use that option should park earlier because of the extra time needed to ride a shuttle bus to the terminal.

Airport officials are recommending that passengers arrive at least two hours ahead of their scheduled flight time.

Flight delays

A Florida-based transportation company, Price4Limo.com, citing Bureau of Transportation Statistics, said Reid International is the 17th-worst airport in the nation for Labor Day flight delays. The bureau said, historically, 15 percent of Labor Day flights are delayed at the Las Vegas airport.

In addition, the report said Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air has the second-worst record of on-time departures with 18 percent of flights delayed. The airline with the worst record is JetBlue Airways at 20 percent.

The airport’s busiest carrier, Southwest, is fourth on the list with 17 percent of its flights delayed.

Spirit Airlines, the No. 2 commercial carrier at Reid, had the highest flight cancellation rate during Labor Day.

Reid officials say travelers should monitor their flight status with their airline and be prepared with any essentials they may need in case of a delay — medications, child care items and chargers for their devices.

The transportation departments of both Nevada and California are warning motorists that traffic will be heavy on Interstate 15 between Las Vegas and Southern California, especially Monday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. near the California-Nevada border.

Caltrans recently opened a “part-time” travel lane open to traffic between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sundays and Mondays to ease the journey from Las Vegas to Southern California.

Labor Day is also the most treacherous holiday to travel by car, according to AutoInsurance.com.

Traveling by car over the Labor Day weekend results in an accident rate 15 percent greater than on an average day, the New York-based organization said in a report.

U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which maintains a census of fatal traffic accidents called the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Data was collected between 2016 and 2020 and are based on two days before and two days after the actual holiday.

Nationally, fatal car-crash rates are 13 percent higher than normal on the Fourth of July, 9 percent more on Memorial Day and 4 percent higher on Thanksgiving.

Rates are lower than average on other holidays: They are 6 percent lower over New Year’s Eve and Day, 7 percent lower on Christmas and 10 percent lower on St. Patrick’s Day.

Accident rates surge higher than the national average in Nevada on the Labor Day weekend with fatal accidents 22 percent greater than on an average day. In California, the surge rate is 5 percent more than normal and in Utah, it’s 13 percent more, but in Arizona, it’s 1 percent less.

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

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