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Las Vegas visitation numbers improve in June, short of 2019 levels

Updated July 29, 2021 - 4:20 pm

Visitation continued to climb at local resorts in June, though not at the levels prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Thursday.

It was the sixth straight month of improved visitation figures. Most of the key tourism indicators were better than May’s numbers and 2020 figures, but most were not as high as those from 2019.

The authority reported 2.971 million visitors in June, beating May’s 2.878 million by 3.2 percent and June 2020’s 1.065 million by 178.9 percent. But the total was still 17.6 percent behind June 2019’s 3.607 million.

Visitation statistics for June are incomplete and are expected to be revised because the authority hasn’t received head counts for eight shows and events in June, including the World of Concrete trade show, the first major trade show in the U.S. since the pandemic began.

“Hotel occupancy continued to improve, reaching 75.9 percent as weekend occupancy neared 90 percent and midweek occupancy reached 70.9 percent,” said Kevin Bagger, vice president of the authority’s research center.

Those overall figure is 5 percentage points better than May and 35 percentage points higher than June 2020, but off 15.8 percentage points from June 2019’s 91.7 percent occupancy.

One category that hasn’t faltered is the average daily room rate, reported this month at $127.90 by the authority. That compares with $126.69 in May (up 1 percent), $104.07 in June 2020 (up 22.9 percent) and $120.43 in June 2019 (up 6.2 percent).

The authority calculated that the average daily room rate on the Strip was $134.71 a night and $88.71 in downtown Las Vegas.

Another category that has remained strong is auto traffic.

The authority, relying on Nevada Department of Transportation statistics, said there was an average of 142,450 vehicles a day on major highways leading to Las Vegas. That compares with 137,046 in May, a 3.9 percent increase, 111,805 in June 2020, a 27.4 percent increase, and 129,006 in June 2019, a 10.4 percent increase.

The Department of Transportation acknowledges that it doesn’t discern tourist traffic from local traffic.

For the first six months of 2021, Las Vegas has reported 13.487 million visitors, a 38.6 percent increase over 2020, but a 36.2 percent decline from 2019.

Hotel occupancy over six months was calculated at 57.1 percent, 14.2 percentage points better than the first six months of 2020, but 32.2 percentage points below the first six months of 2019.

The average room rate over the first six months of the year was $112.61, 18.1 percent below the $137.53 reported in 2020, and 16.7 percent below the $135.23 in 2019.

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

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