The number of visitors to Las Vegas is increasing, with more people arriving by air than in recent months. As this occurs, Las Vegas tourism officials have launched an ad campaign letting people know the city is opening up again.
In March, more than 2.2 million visitors made their way to the Las Vegas Valley, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. This is an increase of almost 46 percent over February’s visitor volume of 1.5 million.
With COVID-19 vaccinations and stimulus checks rolling out nationwide, more visitors are arriving at McCarran International Airport. The airport is near the southeastern end of the Las Vegas Strip. In March, the number of arriving and department passengers at the airport was up 25 percent from the previous month.
Without conventions in Las Vegas, hotel occupancy remains slow during the middle of the week. Conventions are seen as vital in filling up the area’s massive hotel towers during the midweek days. In March, no conventions were held in Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
This year in March, the hotel occupancy rate was 55.5 percent, or 13.5 percentage points higher than the previous month. The March 2021 figure includes a weekend hotel occupancy rate of 77.7 percent, but a weekday rate of 47.8 percent.
Also in March, the average daily room rate was $100.11, up only 2 percent from the February rate of $98.03.
Boost in Vehicle Traffic
Another sign that tourism is picking up is the vehicle traffic on Interstate 15, the main route from Las Vegas to Southern California.
In March, 45,872 vehicles a day used I-15, an increase of 67 percent from March 2020, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation. The department does not indicate whether the vehicles are local or from out of town.
Tourism officials are hoping a high-speed train from Apple Valley, Calif., to Las Vegas will clear up some of the Sunday traffic congestion on I-15 and bring larger numbers of people to Las Vegas from Southern California. Construction on the train is slated to begin by the end of June.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has launched a new national television advertising campaign to attract tourists to the city.
The 30-second “Vegas You” ad features a woman bringing excitement into an apparently drab life by being in Las Vegas. The ad features dancing and ends with an announcer saying, “Let out the Vegas in you.”
The new ‘Vegas You’ campaign reminds travelers that Las Vegas is open, ready and excited to welcome them,” said Kate Wik, LVCVA’s chief marketing officer.
On Saturday, casinos in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, will be cleared to go from 50 percent capacity to 80 percent, officials said. However, casino games are not the focus of the LVCVA ad campaign.
The new ad features non-gaming locations at resorts on the Strip and at Circa Resort in downtown Las Vegas. The ad never shows casino floors or gaming tables.
Casinos no longer are the biggest money maker at Las Vegas resorts. Since 1999, the resorts have made more money from conventions, and from hotels, entertainment and restaurants, than from gambling, according to the Wall Street Journal.
As far back as August 1998, a casino executive complained in a Las Vegas Sun story that the LVCVA ad campaign was not explaining how the city was transitioning from a gambling location to a destination for entertainment, shopping, and fine dining.
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