Las Vegas Visitation Soars In January As Room Rates Continue To Rise

 

Written By Marc Meltzer on March 8, 2023
Las Vegas visitation, hotel room rates continue to rise in January

 

Nevada casinos enjoyed another solid month of gaming revenue in January, collecting over $1 billion from gamblers for the 23rd consecutive month.

The big month was spurred, in part, by increased gaming revenue on the Las Vegas Strip. Coincidentally or not, Harry Reid International Airport saw a big spike in traffic. Not coincidentally, Vegas hotel room rates continued their assent.

While overall visitation to Las Vegas was trending slightly behind the 2019 pace as December ended, there was a big increase in January as visitors returned en masse to Las Vegas.

Harry Reid International Airport set passenger record in 2022

Visitors to Las Vegas, and to Nevada, flock to the state’s many casinos to try their luck on slots and table games. Nevada online gambling is limited to sports betting and poker, as online casino play is still illegal in the state.

Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas set a record for the number of passengers in 2022. The year ended with a 32.6% increase in passengers in December.

More than 52 million people flew in and out of the airport last year. Not only was that a significant increase over 2021, it blew away the 2019 record of 51.5 million passengers. The airport broke three single-month passenger records in 2022. October was the first time LAS served more than 5 million passengers in a month.

Airport saw more than 4 million passengers in January

Similar to rising gaming revenue in January, 2023 is off to a solid start at the busy airport near The Strip, said Rosemary Vassiliadis, Clark County director of aviation.

“We are no longer talking about an air travel recovery at Harry Reid International Airport. This is undeniably a period of growth that we expect will continue in 2023. From sporting events to concerts, dining to gaming, there truly is something for everyone in Las Vegas.”

According to the first monthly passenger report of 2023 from LAS, the airport is on pace to break last year’s record. In January, LAS served 4.4 million passengers, a 39.5% increase over January 2022.

The biggest increase was from international passengers. This segment was 151.8% higher than last year, when travel restrictions were still in place from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of these international visitors returned to CES (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show) for the first time since 2019.

Nearly 80% of Las Vegas rooms full in January

All of these visitors have to stay somewhere when visiting Vegas. The average daily hotel room rate in Las Vegas has been increasing over the last year along with the increase in passengers at the airport.

In January, out of the 4.4 million people who passed through LAS, around 3.2 million of them stayed in Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Occupancy in January was up 32.3% year to year. It was slightly behind 2019. The 513,000 visitors who came to attend conventions in Las Vegas were up a whopping 72% YoY.

Overall, 79.1% of all hotel rooms in Las Vegas were occupied by guests in January. This was nearly a 19.8% increase over January 2022.

Hotel room rates still on the rise

Hotel room rates often rise with increased capacity, and that’s exactly what happened in January. The average daily room rate in January was $191.62. This average includes weekdays during conventions and weekends for leisure travelers.

Overall, the room rate was a 32% increase over January 2022. It was also higher than in 2019 by 22.4%.

Hotel room rates have been increasing over the past year as conventions bring more visitors during weeknights and entertainment brings more visitors on the weekends. Don’t expect Las Vegas hotel room rates to slow down anytime soon. Casino and venue operators are back to packing weekends with residencies, limited engagements, national concerts and major sporting events.

This increased focus on additional entertainment is bringing large-scale events like Taylor Swift arena concerts and the Las Vegas Grand Prix. The latter is such a big deal financially, it’s expected to have twice the economic impact on Las Vegas than the Super Bowl in 2024.

A big part of the F1 economic impact is in hotel room rates. Caesars alone expects a 5% increase in earnings during the F1 race that’s being held during what used to be one of the least busy weekends of the year in Las Vegas.

 

Photo by John Locher/AP File Photo
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He’s the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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