96°F
weather icon Clear

Room-tax collections up in Las Vegas despite lower visitation rates

Room tax collections are at record levels despite tourist visitation being below 2016’s record pace.

The reason: Room rates are well above average, occupancy rates are at near-record levels, and more and more rooms are coming on line.

The combination of greater visitation levels, higher rates and more rooms bodes well for 2020 when the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is projecting record visitation with new amenities set to debut and a favorable convention calendar that will include two of the largest nonannual shows coming to the city during the year.

LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill told members of the organization’s board of directors Tuesday that room-tax collections are strong with six out of eight months of collections so far in 2019 achieving record levels.

“In fact, we have set a record for room tax receipts at the LVCVA eight of the last 10 months, and we came pretty close in the other two,” Hill said after the meeting.

Since October, room tax collections are up 4.4 percent ($244.1 million) with February collections up 11.7 percent and November, 10.1 percent, from their previous years.

March was the only month in which collections were less than the previous year.

“Frankly, I think what’s happening in Vegas now is the entertainment that has come the last couple of years has added buzz, the NFL coming, everything that’s been happening with the (Vegas Golden) Knights and sports has created new excitement around the destination,” he said.

Hill explained that factors figuring into room tax collections are visitation, occupancy rates and room rates.

In the first seven months of 2019, visitation is 0.6 percent above 2018 levels. In 2016, Las Vegas had record visitation of 42.9 million people.

So far in 2019, citywide occupancy is running at 89.6 percent for the year; record citywide occupancy was achieved in 2007 at 90.4 percent.

Room rates citywide are averaging $133.99 a night this year. The 2018 average was $128.85 and in 2017, it was $127.35.

The LVCVA reported its best year for room tax collections was 2018 when Clark County collected $282.6 million for the LVCVA.

When tax collections run ahead of projections, the LVCVA board can vote to augment its current fiscal year budget. Hill indicated Tuesday that the board could opt to buy furnishings for the Convention Center expansion rather than use bond money for those transactions.

The expansion is scheduled to be ready in late 2020 in time for the 2021 CES in January.

The LVCVA has projected 2020 to be a record year for visitation with nearly 5,000 hotel rooms being added to the inventory by the end of the year with the completion of Resorts World Las Vegas and Circa.

Currently, there are 148,739 hotel rooms in Southern Nevada. The highest total Las Vegas had was in in 2013 when Las Vegas had 150,593 rooms. That total was reduced with the closure of hotels and some properties taking rooms out of service for renovations.

The visitation in 2020 also is expected to be impacted by a major special event: the NFL draft April 23-25.

The city also will start realizing visitation from the completion of Allegiant Stadium, scheduled in less than a year. The Las Vegas Raiders could host eight home football games and two preseason games. The stadium also would house UNLV football and concert events.

The 2020 convention calendar also should be robust with the city hosting two shows that aren’t annual events.

ConExpo-Con/Agg, a construction industry trade show, will be March 10-14 at the Convention Center with attendance expected to be 129,000. The National Mining Association’s MINExpo 2020 is scheduled Sept. 28-30, 2020, and is expected to draw 50,000 people to the convention center.

In other business Tuesday, the board unanimously approved a pair of sponsorships for events that will bring meeting and trade show planners to Las Vegas.

The city will host more than 2,000 meeting planners from 48 countries for the three-day International Association of Exhibitions and Events’ Expo! Expo! Dec. 3-5. Board members approved spending up to $192,000 for the show.

More than 6,200 people, including 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers, are expected to attend the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW 2020 May 30-June 3. Board members agreed to spend up to $1.65 million on that event.

The board also approved spending up to $165,000 in a two-year contract with TQC Group Expression of Paris for a Las Vegas representative office in France.

The LVCVA is increasing what was a $60,000 annual contract because Level International Airline Group will begin non-stop flights between Paris and McCarran International Airport on Oct. 30 and TQC will increase marketing Southern Nevada to residents of France in advance of the new flights.

Board members also reviewed R&R Partners’ “Hypervegas.3” marketing campaign designed to convince travelers to make more leisure and business trips to Southern Nevada.

Last week, the LVCVA’s five-member marketing committee received details of the campaign in a two-hour presentation.

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
North Las Vegas company prepares for Mars - VIDEO
Robert Bigelow and his Bigelow Aerospace manufacturing facility played host to eight NASA astronauts and 60 engineers this week getting to know the company’s B330 autonomous, expandable space station. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas developer talks about a new apartment complex called “the yoU”
Frank Marretti lll, founder of G2 Capital Development, talks about his new apartment complex called “the yoU” near UNLV. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Steel cables will hoist roof at Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
Stainless steel cables are being put into place at Allegiant Stadium to begin the process of putting the roof on the 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. Stadium Chief Operating Officer Don Webb explains how the cables will be used to get the roof put on the future home of the Raiders and UNLV football. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The last remaining Sigma Derby game in Las Vegas
Derek Stevens, owner of the D Las Vegas, talks about the last remaining Sigma Derby horse racing game in Las Vegas inside his casino floor. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich Review
Janine Blake of Las Vegas gives her review of the new Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich at the restaurant’s location on west Bonanza Road on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019,
SuperZoo 2019 takes over Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
SuperZoo 2019 show for pet retailers brought pet products of all description to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MSG Sphere at The Venetian to cost $1.2B plus
Scheduled to open in 2021, it is expected to be busier than Madison Square Garden in New York. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Favorite products from SuperZoo 2019
Some of the fun and interesting pet products on display at the SuperZoo in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Convention Day 3
The fashion trade show MAGIC, held Monday through Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Las Vegas - Day One
The biannual MAGIC convention show opened Monday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant celebrates naming deal with tailgate party
Allegiant Air employees celebrate with a tailgate party after the company’s naming deal with the Raiders for the new Las Vegas stadium.
Nevada's sportsbook operators welcome competition
Sportsbook operators from near and far are looking to get into in the established Nevada market, experts say. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
There's a new place to play board games in Las Vegas
Matt Smiciklas, co-owner of Boarding School Games, talks about the new Las Vegas business that he co-owns with Emily Labejof. Dedicated tabletop gamers can choose from more than 500 games to play for free in-store. The doors open to the public Saturday, July 20, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Renovations at the STRAT
Analysts say the $140 million renovation project at The STRAT, formerly the known as the Stratosphere, could help the hotel-casino compete with the evolving north side of the Las Vegas Strip. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
SLS Las Vegas will become Sahara Las Vegas
Owner Alex Meruelo announced during a special event at the SLS Las Vegas that the hotel-casino will become Sahara Las Vegas in its next iteration. Meruelo said $150 million dollars will be spent to renovate the current property. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Aircraft hinge maker moves to "business friendly" Nevada
Doug Silva, president of Aircraft Hinge, Inc. in Las Vegas, makes every type of hinge for every type of airplane. Silva talks about his company and why he moved it to Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Daytime fireworks mark the opening of Encore Boston Harbor
The opening of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass. included a three-minute fireworks show launched by Fireworks by Grucci Sunday, June 23, 2019. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @RickVelotta
Elaine Wynn talks about the opening of Encore Boston Harbor
Elaine Wynn, co-founder and largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts, talked during opening festivities of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass. Sunday, June 23, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
People line hours ahead of opening for Encore Boston Harbor
Guests arrive as much as 17 hours early for the 10 a.m. opening of the $2.6 billion, 671-room resort in Everett, Mass. Sunday, June 23, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @reviewjournal.com
Allegiant Discusses Investments In Golf Course Software And Game Rooms - Video
Allegiant Discusses Investments In Golf Course Software And Game Rooms.
Crews working 24/7 to complete Circa downtown - VIDEO
Owner Derek Stevens goal is to open the doors to the 1.25 million-square-foot project by December 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST