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New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas means hefty room rate markups

Staying on the Strip for New Year’s Eve will cost top dollar, even more than it will for CES just one week later.

The usual high-end names have the highest price tags for New Year’s Eve: $749 at Delano, $614 at Bellagio, $579 at Encore and $574 at Caesars Palace.

Not a single property had room rates under $100, according to a Monday survey of prices offered on hotels.com. As of Thursday, several Strip hotels were already sold out and updated prices were not listed online.

The average rate for a room for Monday, Dec. 30, through Wednesday, Jan. 1, was $319.85 a night, excluding taxes and resort fees that can range from about $15 to $50 a night.

On Monday, a hotel guest could get a room this Friday and Saturday night for an average of $155.82 — not far off the average daily room rate of $156.53 tabulated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in January 2019.



“This is supply and demand 101,” said Jeremy Aguero, a principal for Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis, which compiles reports on several aspects of the Southern Nevada economy, including tourism.

“We have more hotel rooms than anywhere else, but we still have a fixed number of hotel rooms,” Aguero said. “When you have 300,000-plus people in town, the demand for those assets continues to rise.”

Comparing prices for this weekend with those for the holiday, about half of the properties surveyed at least doubled their rates. The off-Strip Palms had a 218.8 percent cost markup to $271 a night for New Year’s Eve and $85 Friday and Saturday. Downtown’s Fremont prices rose 209 percent to $275 for the holiday.

Similar markups are occurring for CES, the huge consumer electronics trade show with programming Jan. 5-10 that attracts more than 170,000 people to Las Vegas.

The average rate for Jan. 5-8 is $295.89 a night, excluding taxes and fees.

Some room prices for CES are skewed by a property’s proximity to one of the multiple convention venues. The Westgate, for example, is next door to the Las Vegas Convention Center, and rooms for CES are going for $885 a night, but are $140 a night for New Year’s Eve. The Venetian and Palazzo, home of the Sands Expo and Convention Center, is offering rooms for CES for $630 a night, but $428 for New Year’s Eve.

Aguero said higher than average room rates will continue through what is expected to be a good year for the Las Vegas meetings industry.

“2020 is going to be a strong convention year overall,” Aguero said. “There are more hotel rooms online as a result of renovations ending last year and being prepared for this year.”

One of the reasons the year is expected to be so strong is that two huge conventions — ConExpo-Con/Agg in March, which meets once every three years, and MINExpo in September, which gathers every four years — will both be in Las Vegas in 2020.

While supply and demand can be be attributed to most of the higher hotel rates, Aguero said it’s also a sign of full recovery from the Great Recession.

“If you think about where we were as an economy and where our tourism industry was seven or eight years ago and where it is today, I think it’s a real testament to the industry and this community’s resiliency,” Aguero said.

“We’re coming out of a period where people questioned Las Vegas’ staying power as a whole,” he said. “From an analyst’s perspective, there’s a certain degree of excitement that comes along with seeing it happening.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Sands operates The Venetian and Palazzo.

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

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