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Las Vegas visitation still climbing, but not yet at 2019 levels

Updated August 27, 2021 - 7:54 am

Las Vegas visitation continued to climb in July but has yet to reach 2019 levels, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Thursday.

The LVCVA said 3.302 million visitors were in Las Vegas in July, 129.7 percent more than in July 2020. But the total is 10.4 percent less than in July 2019.

Much of the reason for the decline is the continued lack of convention business. The convention authority posted zero attendees in July 2021 and 2020. While some groups have met in Las Vegas in July of this year, the LVCVA doesn’t post statistics until it receives attendance numbers from the show’s organizers. In 2019, 498,800 conventioneers were in Las Vegas.

“July marked the strongest visitation month since the pandemic began as the destination hosted 3.3 million visitors, up 11.2 percent month over month (from June),” said Kevin Bagger, vice president of the LVCVA research center.

Bagger noted strong average daily room rates for the month at $152.13, 45.7 percent ahead of July 2020, 19.9 percent greater than July 2019, and 18.9 percent more than in June.

It was the third-highest average daily room rate for a month on record. Higher averages were recorded in January 2020, $153.40, with the all-time highest in January 2019, $156.53. Both of the higher room rate averages were the result of CES and other January conventions those years.

The LVCVA reported the average daily room rate on the Strip was $160.71, and in downtown Las Vegas, it was $101.54.

For the first seven months of 2021, visitation is at 16.79 million people, 50.3 percent ahead of the first seven months of 2020, but 32.4 percent behind the first seven months of 2019.

Other tourism indicators showed double-digit percentage increases from a year ago and mixed results compared with uly 2019.

Hotel occupancy was calculated at 79.4 percent in July, 3.5 percentage points better than in June, 36.9 percentage points better than July 2020, but 11.7 points behind July 2019 totals.

The total number of passengers at McCarran International Airport in July, reported this week by the Clark County Department of Aviation as 4.151 million, was 9 percent more than in June, 155.7 percent greater than in July 2020, but 7.9 percent less than in July 2019.

The Nevada Department of Transportation’s traffic count on all major highways leading to Las Vegas showed an average 144,010 vehicles per day. That’s 1.1 percent more than in June, 17.8 percent more than in July 2020 and 6.1 percent more than in July 2019. NDOT does not distinguish between out-of-state drivers and local residents in its traffic counts.

One of the rural tourism markets monitored by the LVCVA showed similar patterns to Las Vegas. Laughlin reported visitor volume of 119,200, 6.2 percent more than in June, 24.8 percent ahead of July 2020, but 34.6 percent behind July 2019.

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

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