April 29, 2021 Casino, Land-Based

March gives Las Vegas highest visitation since start of pandemic

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The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported 2.2m visitors in March, the highest since February 2020, the last month before travel was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

March visitor volume was up 45% from the month prior and up 46% year-on-year. Las Vegas casinos closed three weeks into March 2020. Travel to Las Vegas was still down 40% from March 2019.

Hotel occupancy last month was 56%, up nearly 14% from February. Weekend occupancy was 78% while weekday occupancy was 48%. Strip hotels saw room occupancy of 56% compared to 48% downtown.

Las Vegas benefited in March from the always-popular NCAA Tournament, which lifted the state’s sportsbooks to handle of $641m. March Madness coincided with millions of Americans receiving their Covid-19 vaccinations, leading to increased travel.

Average daily auto traffic grew 17% month-to-month, reaching 127,000 in March. That’s an improvement of 49% year-on-year and a 5% jump from 2019.

Auto traffic has returned at far greater numbers than air travel. Deplaned passengers were down 53% in March compared to the same month in 2019.

Las Vegas casinos are expected to benefit from increased capacity over the next two months. Clark County officials have allowed for casinos operate at 80% capacity beginning May 1. Capacity will then be increased to 100% by June 1 according to orders from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.

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