Las Vegas remains one of the biggest tourism cities in the United States. Unfortunately, the tourism industry has been struggling for almost the entire year. Things are improving, yet tourism spending in Las Vegas is considerably lower this year than it was in 2020.
It’s not what city and state officials had hoped to hear. Many felt that by late-August, we’d be back to normal. Now is the perfect time to take a look at how much money visitors to Las Vegas are spending right now.
Let’s get into it!
Casino Revenue is Slowly Increasing in Nevada
In early June, after months of deliberation between state leaders and gaming officials, casinos in the state of Nevada were finally given permission to reopen. At first, only a few of the major casino-resorts in Las Vegas began to open back up. As time went on, more of these massive gambling venues started to reopen.
In 2020’s second quarter, casino revenue was almost non-existent. Wynn Resorts saw its revenue during this time fall by 95% when compared to 2019. Las Vegas Sands was even worse with an astounding 97% drop in its Q2 revenue.
This wasn’t surprising, though. In April, and May, and June, most casinos in the state of Nevada were completely shut down. The only money these properties were making came from their online operations. Things immediately began to improve in quarter three of 2020.
July was certainly a better month than June. August is likely to be an even better month than that. Unfortunately, the revenue that casinos in Las Vegas and the rest of Nevada are earning is still considerably lower than what was being made in 2019.
It’s now becoming clear that tourism is down, as well. Reports are beginning to come out that show how many visitors are heading to Las Vegas, and how much they are spending. Things are a little worse than many had hoped.
Here’s where things stand.
Tourism Spending in Las Vegas is Still Down Heading into September
A huge number of employees in the city of Las Vegas rely on tourists. The closure of casinos has resulted in a major dip in tourism and things have still not completely recovered. It now appears that many visitors here are still unwilling to spend as much as they would have prior to March.
Jeremy Aguero, principal for Applied Analysis, claims the state is getting a different kind of tourism and, as a result, spending is down.
“While there’s no doubt that some high-valued consumers have found their way back to Las Vegas … there’s a broad mix of consumers that are ultimately coming back,” he said. “You’re getting a lot of drive-in traffic … (which) is going to be a bit different in terms of spend profile than what you would normally see.”
Macquarie Research just released a report that details how much spending in Las Vegas has dropped in 2020. The report shows that 40% of Las Vegas visitors would spend less money than they would have in 2019. 50% of visitors claim they would spend the same amount of money.
Interestingly, 37% of the people surveyed claim they would spend less time in Las Vegas amid the pandemic. 60% claim the pandemic would have no impact on the amount of time they spend in the city.
This is a tough blow for the employees that rely on tips and generous spending. Hope is that rates of tourism and spending begin to increase as the year goes on.
Casino Worker Layoffs Are Still Taking Place Around the US
Individual employees aren’t the only ones being affected by the drop in spending in Las Vegas. Major casino companies are feeling the dip in revenue, as well. This is leading to many companies being forced to lay off large numbers of workers.
We’ve been seeing this since March. That month, a huge number of workers were informed their jobs would be lost. Many of these jobs returned in June, only to be taken away as revenue earnings failed to bounce back.
Many of the top casino companies in Nevada are doing everything they can to avoid these layoffs, though. In late July, Las Vegas Sands announced a new plan to pay their workers. The Sheldon Adelson-run company claims it will continue paying all employees until at least October 31st.
Hopefully, things have improved in a major way by then. The trend seems to be heading that way. Several states have begun seeing large casino revenue increases. No one can really say how things will look by the end of 2020.
It may take years before spending in Las Vegas is back to the way it was in 2019. We’ll continue to offer updates on tourism rates and revenue here over the next few months.
Are you surprised to hear that spending is down in Las Vegas? When do you expect things will return to normal? Let us know in the comments section below!