McCarran Airport Had a Record-Breaking 51.5 Million Passengers in 2019

Airplane Flying Over Las Vegas StripMore than 51.5 million passengers touched down into McCarran International Airport last year, county officials said on Wednesday. It’s a new record for the ever-bustling Las Vegas airport. According to a press release from the Clark County Department of Aviation, it’s also the third straight year the airport has broken their record for passenger traffic, and the ninth straight year of year-over-year traffic increase.

Last October saw the airport’s busiest month ever, with 4.61 million passengers passing through its doors.

“The record passenger volume we’re seeing here at McCarran speaks to the widespread appeal of Las Vegas as a destination,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, director of aviation for Clark County, Nevada — where Las Vegas is located — in a statement. “They’re coming for leisure, for sporting events and concerts, and they’re coming for business meetings and conventions.”

Passenger numbers are not only rising for the city of Las Vegas, but they have been steadily rising on the national level for the past several years. The national record hit the 1 billion annual passengers mark for the first-time ever in 2018, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data.

Domestic and International Travel Trends

Domestic Demand

The growth in Las Vegas is largely driven by strong domestic demand. Domestic travel was up 3.9%, from 44.86 million people in 2018 to 46.91 million in 2019, according to new figures.

Bargain carriers including Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Sun Country Airlines are among those growing the fastest at McCarran. Seats were forecasted to increase nearly 39% on Frontier, nearly 24% on Spirit, and a whooping 82.5% on Sun Country year-over-year in 2019, according to Cirium schedules.

Some recent additions include new Frontier service to seven more cities, including San Diego, Detroit, Dallas, Houston and Philadelphia. Sun Country also expanded its Las Vegas network to 13 nonstop routes, including Anchorage, San Antonio, Providence, Minneapolis, and Portland.

Nonstop International Routes

International travel ticked up in 2019, from 3.76 million fliers in 2018 to 3.81 million last year. Several carriers began offering international routes, including nonstop flights to Amsterdam, Paris, Israel, and Germany.

Landing a nonstop to Japan is airport officials’ main focus, with McCarran’s chief marketing officer Chris Jones describing a flight to Japan as “hugely important.” Currently, nonstop flights to Japan are only available from Dallas’ DFW airport and Los Angeles’ LAX airport.

International guests are big business, too, as international visitors typically stay a full day in Las Vegas longer than domestic visitors do.

International visitors make up approximately 17 percent of Las Vegas’ total visitors, but represent 20 percent of visitor spending, with 57 percent staying for four or more days.

Soaring into a Bright Future

The steady passenger growth has inspired Las Vegas officials plan to begin studying a new airport for the city. Environmental studies are set to begin next year on a facility that could open by 2040.

“As an industry sustained by passengers we are so grateful to the locals and visitors who chose to travel in 2019.

I’m excited to see what’s in store for 2020 and beyond as even more projects come online that we know will draw additional travelers to Southern Nevada,” said Vassiliadis.

Las Vegas Changes Its Iconic ‘What Happens Here, Stays Here’ Slogan

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada SignSin City’s infamous, award-winning campaign that countless visitors have worked into their own Vegas narratives, is now getting a major facelift this year. “What happens here, stays here” will reportedly change to “What happens here, only happens here.”

The new catchphrase is scheduled to have its world debut in a 60-second ad during the broadcast of the Grammy Awards on Jan. 26, ABC News Las Vegas affiliate KTNV reported.

The president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), Steve Hill, announced the update last Friday. The organization’s new branding was revealed at the Vegas Chamber’s Preview Las Vegas event at Wynn Las Vegas.

Hill said the goal is for people to see how Las Vegas has transformed itself to be more than the Entertainment Capital of the World, KTNV reported.

And the change comes at the perfect timing, during one of the most exciting years in Vegas’ 115-year history. It’s the year the city officially got a NFL team, a new billion-dollar stadium, was crowned host of the 2020 NFL Draft, and is opening up a slew of new entertainment options.

What Happens Here, Stays Here

The original slogan that visitors have associated with the city for years, was first imagined in 2003 by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and advertising agency R&R Partners. The idea behind the branding was to showcase all that Vegas had to offer, outside of being a gambling destination. They wanted a slogan that would promote the themes of adult freedom and empowerment, too.

And it worked. Millions of tourists have worked the slogan into their own storylines from their Vegas trips, sharing some details, but leaving some for themselves. It’s somehow infused the essence of the Vegas experience.

A survey in USA Today called the famous campaign the “most effective” of 2003. The phrase has even been referenced throughout the entirety of mainstream pop culture. Just two years after the campaign’s anticipated debut, then-First Lady, Laura Bush, used the tagline in a discussion with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. The slogan then became the name of the 2008 American comedy What Happens in Vegas. It also inspired a song of the same name by Usher, and contributed to a number of themes in the popular film series, The Hangover.

What Happens Here, Only Happens Here

R&R Partners are the brainchild behind Vegas’ brand new slogan, too, in what they hope will become as effective in the mind of visitors and locals alike. The advertising agency reportedly spent several years working on the campaign.

A spokeswoman for the agency told ABC News:

“It’s kinda been the baby of the company for a long time.”

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has an annual budget of $360 million. They spend over $100 million a year on all advertising efforts, and sources tell FOX Business that the latest rebranding will be taking a “significant” part of that million-dollar advertising budget.

The new slogan aims to represent all of Las Vegas’ history, including its most recent changes. The city itself has been evolving drastically over the past decade alone, and it’s been a long time coming. Visitors and locals are starting to see the wheels turning and the transformation of the city as a whole happening. Pretty soon everyone will know, what happens here, only happens here.

Convention Attendance in Las Vegas Could Set Records in 2019

Las Vegas is known for being the convention hub of the United States. This year, convention attendance in Las Vegas could set new records. It’s clear that individuals continue to value this city as a business center.

Las Vegas Convention Center

There’s a lot to be excited about in Las Vegas right now. Today, we’re going to look at how much rates of tourism and convention attendance have increased this year.

Gambling Revenue Continues to Surge in Las Vegas

At the beginning of the year, casinos in Las Vegas were struggling to increase their gambling revenue. For several reasons, visitors to the city were not gambling as much as initially projected. This led some to claim that Las Vegas’ best days were in the past.

Much of this has to do with the rise in competition around the country. In the past, Vegas was one of the only areas of the country that allowed full gambling and sports betting options. This is no longer the case.

Many states now have fully operational commercial casinos and sportsbooks up and running. New Jersey, in particular, is experiencing a huge surge in tourism and revenue thanks to its expanded gambling options. Amazingly, New Jersey’s sports betting revenue has even surpassed Las Vegas’ on several occasions this year.

Gambling revenue has been increasing in Las Vegas for months now. September was one of Nevada’s best months in recent memory. Overall, casinos here generated more than $1 billion.

Unsurprisingly, Las Vegas generated the vast majority of this money. Clark County, in which Las Vegas lies, brought in $913.6 million. Baccarat helped to generate serious revenue for casinos in the city.

New reports now claim that convention attendance in Las Vegas is reaching an all-time high.

Tourism and Convention Attendance in Las Vegas Are Increasing

An increase in gambling revenue generally indicates an increase in tourism, as well. This theory is proving to be correct. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has just released reports that show tourism in this city is strong.

As of the end of September, more than 31.9 million people have visited Las Vegas this year. It’s 0.6% higher than the visitor volume in 2018. There’s still a chance that 2016’s record of 42.9 million total visitors will be broken this year.

Convention attendance in Las Vegas is where things get really surprising. New reports indicate that as of now, more than 5.165 million convention attendees have visited Las Vegas this year. There’s a great chance that Las Vegas manages to break 2017’s total record of 6.646 total convention attendees.

Hotel occupancy numbers are also looking solid so far this year. The current room inventory in this city stands at 149,050. That’s not too far behind 2013’s record of 150,593. Currently, Las Vegas’ hotel occupancy level is at 89.2%. This could indicate that another record is set to be broken.

Overall, Las Vegas is having a fantastic year. We’ll simply need to wait and see how 2019’s fourth-quarter plays out.

Las Vegas Property Sales Continue

Never before have so many major Las Vegas hotel-casinos gone up for sale. It’s a fascinating time in the city. Amazingly, more major property sales are likely to take place over the next few months.

MGM Resorts claims that it’s still interested in putting properties up for sale. Not long ago, this company sold both the Circus Circus Hotel & Casino and the Bellagio Casino-Resort. The latter proved to be the largest hotel-casino sale in Las Vegas history.

Caesars has also been looking to sell some of its LV venues. The company sold its Rio Hotel & Casino to Imperial Companies earlier this year. Caesars Entertainment is scheduled to merge with Eldorado Resorts sometime in 2020.

Officials within Hard Rock International have recently claimed that they’re interested in purchasing a Las Vegas Strip property. It would be fitting, considering the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas has now been taken over by Virgin Hotels.

There’s clearly a lot going on here. Convention attendance in Las Vegas is up and could soon break the all-time record.

Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few months!