Big Events, Soaring Room Rates Bolster Las Vegas

Las Vegas is Las Vegas again.

Judging by the lack of hotel rooms and the rates on ones that are available, anyway.


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The return of big events and subsequent sold-out hotels are bolstering the city’s return to normalcy after more than a year of struggling for business in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But as the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, this weekend was the quintessential Vegas weekend – the three-day Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) from October 22-24 that drew hordes of music lovers to the dance festival and jacked up room rates. How high?

Well, the R-J noted that whatever rooms were still available were going for double, sometimes triple, the normal room rate. Take the Excalibur, for instance. Generally considered a fairly reasonable hotel compared to high-end places such as Aria, the Cosmopolitan and Bellagio, among others, the Excalibur was showing a room rate of $509 a night.

The room rate for this coming Halloween Weekend at Excalibur is $199 a night.

Las Vegas has long been ‘America’s Playground’ – among other nicknames for the gambling and entertainment mecca – an attraction unlike any other that drew 42.5 million tourists in 2019.

Some come to gamble, some for the food, some for the A-List entertainment, others to go nightclubbing. Lost in the shuffle is the festival, convention and event business that draws tens of thousands – sometimes hundreds of thousands such as for a NASCAR race – for a single weekend.

It was something Las Vegas missed at the height of pandemic when festivals and conventions were canceled.

“Room rates are showing their resiliency for events such as EDC. We saw the spike in downtown rates during Life is Beautiful,” Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs for Las Vegas-based Global Market Advisors, told the newspaper referring to the Life Is Beautiful Music & Arts Festival held last month. “But when you have a citywide event with the attendance that EDC draws, it helps all the ships with the rising tide.”

Also helping is the first full season with fans for the National Football League’s Las Vegas Raiders, who not only draw locals to their gleaming new Allegiant Stadium but also thousands of fans of visiting teams looking to package a Sunday football game with a long Vegas weekend.

“When you have large event weekends like this with EDC and the Raiders, you are going to see room rates spike because of the number of visitors to the destination. It’s good for the long-term benefit of the destination but ultimately for the short term as we continue to recover,” Bussman added.

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