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March 28, 2013 / BSP Marketing

Las Vegas Tourism 2013: Hotel Industry Statistics, New Attractions…

Have you Visited Las Vegas Lately?

Las Vegas, Nevada is unlike any other city in America. If it has been more than a few years since you last visited, you may be surprised by the number of new hotels and attractions that have been added to this ever-evolving, always exciting travel destination.
There are very few people around today who can remember when Las Vegas was just a small desert town with a few hotels and saloons that served the workers who built the Hoover Dam. From its humble beginnings, Las Vegas hotels started to sprout up in greater numbers as the now famous “Strip” was developed. Hotels, controlled by Mob interests, prospered in the 1950s and 1960s during the heyday of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.In the early 1970s, corporate America got in on the action and replaced privately owned properties with mammoth new hotels and casinos. Themed hotels and casinos such as Circus-Circus and Caesar’s Palace were built and they were followed by newer hotels like the Mirage and the Venetian. Older hotels like the Dunes and the Sands were demolished to make room for the new properties.Today, the skyline looks quite different than it did just twenty years ago, but one thing remains constant. Millions and millions of people travel to Las Vegas every year from all around the United States and the rest of the world. Las Vegas survives and thrives on tourism. What does Las Vegas look like today and what will it look like in the future?

Statistics Reveal Slight Year-Over-Year Growth

Each year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) gathers a variety of data that is used to measure the health and growth of the economic engine that drives the Las Vegas economy. Figures are compared and analyzed in a number of categories that relate to the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Listed below are some key statistics comparing the performance for the year ending December 31, 2012 to the year ending December 31, 2011.

Visitor Volume

People travel to Las Vegas for business and pleasure. They travel by car and by plane. They come from California and they come from China. No matter where they come from or how they get to Vegas, there are always a lot of people in this very unique metropolis.
A total of 39,727,022 people came to Las Vegas in 2012, representing an increase of 2.1 percent over the number of visitors in 2011.

Total Number of Hotel Rooms in 2012

There were 150,481 rooms available for guests visiting Las Vegas, a slight increase of 0.2 percent over the number of rooms available in 2011.

Hotel Occupancy Rates

Overall, the citywide occupancy rate for 2012 was a stellar 84.4 percent. When broken down into figures for hotels versus motels, hotels fared much better. Hotels enjoyed an 87.4 percent occupancy rate, while motels registered a 58 percent rate. The disparity can be explained because the majority of visitors to Las Vegas stay in “Strip” hotels, where the action is, and not on the outskirts of town, where there are more motels. Hotel occupancy rates remained basically unchanged over 2011 figures while motels gained 2.0 percent.

Occupancy is also quite different when you compare weekend stays to weekday stays. Many people from California, Arizona and areas within a few hundred miles of Las Vegas plan short weekend excursions for a little gambling and a lot of fun. The surge starts on Friday and ends as guests check out on Sunday. In 2012, the weekend occupancy rate was 90.8 percent compared to the mid-week rate of 81.6 percent.

Las Vegas room rates are very price elastic. They go up on the weekend and down during mid-week based on occupancy rates.

Average Daily Room Rates (ADR)

Up 2.8 percent from 2011, the ADR for 2012 was $108.08.


In 2012, there were 4,994,014 people who attended 21,615 conventions and meetings held in Las Vegas. Attendance was up a small 1.6 percent over 2011, but there were 13.6 percent more conventions and meetings actually held in 2012. A quick analysis suggests that while there were many more conventions and meetings held in 2012, the average attendance of the individual events was lower than that

Gaming Revenue

Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, Boulder and a number of other cities where there are casinos, reported $9,399,882, 000 (9.39 billion) in casino gaming revenue, with most of that revenue coming from casinos on the several mile long “Strip” area of town.

The Las Vegas Strip accounted for $6,207,229,000 (6.2 billion) while the down town (Fremont Street) area added $509,144,409 (509 million) to the total. The remaining casino gaming revenue came from Boulder casinos and other gaming venues within Clark County. Year-over-year, casino gaming revenue was up by a little more than two percent.

Major Construction and Renovation Projects

Since the local economy bottomed out in 2009, Las Vegas has been showing strength not only in the increase of people coming to the city, but also, the number and size of new construction, construction recently completed and projects planned for the near future.
Major Hotel Activity Completed in 2012

  • Caesars Palace opened the new Octavious tower rooms, adding 668 new rooms to its total inventory. The cost of the project was $400 million.
  •  The Bellagio spent $70 million remodeling its rooms.
  • The Flamingo spent $10 million remodeling its rooms
  • MGM invested $160 million on revamping and renovating its casino, concession stands and guest rooms.
  • The Four Seasons completed a complete remodel at a cost of $30 million.

Other Major Projects in 2012

  • McCarran International Airport incurred a $2.4 billion expense building the new 14-gate Terminal 3.
  • Las Vegas welcomed a brand new cultural facility with the opening of the Smith Performing Arts Center. The Center cost $470 million and will host Broadway performances, ballet, dance and a host of other culturally enriching events.
  • A new attraction that is devoted to a very important part of Las Vegas’s history was completed. The Mob Museum cost $42 million to complete.
  • The Neon Museum house a collection of some of the most beautiful and historical neon signs that lit up Las Vegas. The project cost $3 million to complete.

There are quite a few hotel projects, new attractions and more retail space planned to open in 2013 and 2014. Renovations are in the works for the Tropicana, Hooters, Mandalay Bay, the Palms and several other properties. The Cosmopolitan is scheduled to add 65,000 square feet of convention space by the fall of 2013.

Two water parks, Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas and Wet’n Wild should be ready by May of 2013 and a new Zipline attraction will be up and running on Fremont Street.

New retail space will be added when the SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel opens by Mandalay Bay in the fall of 2013 and The Ling is another attraction that will bring retail and dining to the area around Harrah’s.

Las Vegas has some of the most beautiful hotels in the world. It is a place that never stays the same. You will always have plenty to do when you visit this vibrant city. The only way to see what you have missing is to make your plans and come for a visit.

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  1. City Vip Conierge / May 30 2013 7:48 am

    Get all the the little things TO do in Vegas in one place here: from simple pool parties to nightlife here at fair prices

  2. Joe Paul / Jan 6 2014 11:34 pm

    I just looked up the U.S. casino hotels industry size, and according to Pell Research it’s valued at $51.6 billion back in 2007. Like you said, it’s only been growing each year. I’m wondering what share of the market is concentrated is in Las Vegas.

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