Visitor numbers are better in 2021, but not at pre-COVID-19 levels

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Las Vegas attendance improved in 2021 but was still below 2019 pre-pandemic numbers, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Thursday.

LVCVA researchers reported 32.2 million visitors for the year, 69.4% more than the 19 million who came in 2020, but 24.2% less than the 42.5 million who came in 2019 before the first indications that COVID-19 and its main variants would have an impact on the tourism industry.

The record number of visits of 42.9 million people was set in 2016.

The city’s December numbers weren’t as high as November’s, but they were much better than December 2020 and, in some categories, December 2019.

Visitor volume was 3 million for the month, up 140.9% from December 2020, but down 3.5% from November and down 13.3% from December 2019 .

Convention attendance of 126,700 was down from November, December 2020 and December 2019. Hotel occupancy of 72.6% was down 5 points from November and 12.5 points from November. compared to December 2019. The average daily room rate of $150.88 was down 3.2% from November, but up 50.7% and 20.6% from December 2020 and 2019, respectively .

Almost all categories of tourism indicators showed the same pattern of numbers – higher numbers in 2021 compared to 2020, but lower numbers than 2019.

The average room price is increasing

But there were a few exceptions.

The key category of room occupancy rates in 2021 was higher than in 2020, but lower than in 2019. But the average daily room rate in 2021 was above both 2020 and 2019 levels.

“Overall hotel occupancy approached 67% for the year, well ahead of 2020’s 42.1%, but below 2019’s level of 88.3%,” said Kevin Bagger, vice president. -president of the LVCVA research center.

“Partly due to the contested convention groups segment, midweek annual occupancy reached 60.5%, up 23.1 percentage points from 2020, but down 25, 8 points compared to 2019,” he said. “Compared to midweek activity, weekends saw a stronger recovery, topping 87% in seven of 12 months and ending the year at 81.3%, up 28.5 points from compared to 2020, but down 13.6 points compared to 2019.”

The number of rooms available in the Las Vegas market increased by 0.7% compared to 2020 to reach 150,487, or 5.1% more than in 2019, mainly due to new Circa sites in 2020 and Resorts World Las Vegas and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in 2021.

It’s also worth noting that Clark County’s gambling earnings — the amount casinos earned from gamblers — were higher in 2021 than in 2020 and 2019, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported Thursday. Gambling payout patterns were the same for the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas.

Total gambling winnings for Clark County reached a record high of $11.5 billion in 2021. The previous record high of $10.9 billion was set in 2007. This matched gambling winnings across of 2021, which had a record high of $13.43 billion, surpassing the previous 2007 record of $12.85 billion.

The convention industry is making a comeback

The convention industry, while rebounding, is still well below 2019 numbers.

“Amid the challenges of COVID, active and evolving safety and health protocols across the destination have enabled Las Vegas conventions and meetings to continue in 2021 with an estimated attendance of 2.2 million for the year, that’s about a third of pre-COVID levels,” Bagger said. .

Since June, Bagger said the Las Vegas Convention Center has hosted 52 trade shows and events with more than 700,000 attendees, demonstrating the value of conducting business in person and showing the trades’ confidence in how organizers can organize. meetings safely and efficiently. This included the return of iconic shows such as World of Concrete in June, which represented the first major show to meet in the United States since the start of the pandemic, and SEMA, an automotive industry show which attracted more of 100,000 attendees. .

For 26 consecutive years, Las Vegas has remained the top trade show destination in North America, according to the Trade Show News Network, the world’s leading resource for the trade shows, exhibitions and events industry.

The convention industry was bolstered by the completion and opening of the Convention Center’s billion-dollar West Hall for World of Concrete. The concrete and masonry industry trade show returned to Las Vegas for its 2021 event last week.

Important special events

The convention authority relies on big special events — concerts, residencies, and sports — to draw people to Las Vegas on a regular basis.

The LVCVA Board of Directors has approved investments of approximately $27 million to host special events in Las Vegas through June 2022. And the destination shows no signs of slowing down.

It is set to host the National Football League Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in February and the NFL Draft in iconic areas of Las Vegas in April. Las Vegas will also host the Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in 2024.

One of the keys to the city’s success is getting visitors to Las Vegas, according to a research note released Thursday by New York-based JP Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff.

“Compared to 2019, average daily automobile traffic in December was 8% higher on all major freeways and 12.2% higher on Interstate 15 at the Nevada-California border,” Greff said. “Total air passengers were 3.87 million, down 3% sequentially and 9% from 2019.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. To follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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