The number of visitors to Las Vegas exceeded 32.2 million in 2021, which was 10.7 million below the peak number of visitors in 2016. However, gaming revenue in Clark County in 2021 was $11.5 billion, which was approximately $600 million above the prior peak achieved in 2007. Occupied rooms in Las Vegas grew 70.7% in 2021, compared to 2020, from 21.2 million to 36.2 million; total occupancy for the year was 66.8%. Although the number of occupied rooms in 2021 was still 25.1% below that of 2019, ADR for the market in 2021 was a record-setting $137, and total RevPAR was $92. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Las Vegas economy has continued given the market’s reliance on visitation and conventions. Continuing development of numerous gaming, lodging, and entertainment venues enables the market to retain its status as a premier entertainment destination. This article examines the trends and market developments affecting the Las Vegas hospitality market.
On March 1, 2022, Clark County reported 148 new cases of COVID-19 and ten deaths over the preceding day; the county’s 14-day average of daily new cases as March 1, 2022, was 153. The county’s 14-day test positivity rate, which tracks the percentage of people tested who are found to be infected with COVID-19, was 8.1% at the end of February. The number of daily new cases in the county has been trending downward since mid- January 2022, indicating that the Omicron variant surge is subsiding. As the Omicron wave of COVID-19 cases began to recede, the Southern Nevada Health District announced that the new variant known as BA.2, a sublineage of the Omicron COVID-19 mutation, had been detected; early evidence suggests that this variant can spread from person to person even more easily than the Omicron strain. In Clark County, only 56.6% of residents five and older were fully vaccinated as of March 1, 2022.
Nevada’s most recent mask mandate was lifted on February 10, 2022, although masks are still required to be used in certain places, including airports, planes, public buses, and school buses. Use of technology that helps to alleviate crowded lines and limit human interactions, such as self-service kiosks, QR codes, cashless transactions, and electronic table games, has increased in the market because of the pandemic. Considering the need for contactless or low-touch technologies, guests are ready and willing to adopt new delivery systems, which are changing the guest experience; guest adoption has been greater than before given that technology is such a large part of everyday life. Moreover, the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Black Fire educational project, a “living lab” complete with mock hotel rooms, casino floors, and kitchens, is a collaborative program between students and businesses that focuses on a variety of innovative projects, such as health and COVID-19 safety, artificial intelligence, and cyber security, which will benefit the future of the industry.
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