Room rates on New Year’s Eve spike, but fall short of 2019 prices

Las Vegas room rates have trended well below average this year, but prices listed for New Year’s Eve are skyrocketing.

The average daily room rate in October was $104.54, down 23 percent compared with the same month last year, according to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority data. On Dec. 31, some resorts are charging more than three times that.

A stay at the Aria the night starts at $399. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ rates that night start at $500. Circa, downtown’s newest property, requires a minimum three-night stay starting at $315.

Even though higher prices generally indicate an increase in demand, the number of visitors to Las Vegas over the holiday are expected to fall short of 2019 numbers.

“I have to believe the town will be ‘full’ based on the (casino) capacity that is being allowed, but at 25 percent, that’s a scant number of people compared to what we’re used to,” said Alan Feldman, distinguished fellow at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute.

300K visitors last year

Last year, New Year’s Eve drew together crowds of more than 300,000 in downtown Las Vegas and the Strip. With demand surging, resorts were able to put high price tags on their rooms: $749 at Delano, $614 at Bellagio, $579 at Encore and $574 at Caesars Palace, according to Hotels.com.

But this year’s celebrations will be limited. There are no nightclubs, and restaurants cannot sit more than four at a table. The state has forbidden public events with more than 50 people, and private gatherings must be limited to 10 people from no more than two households. The Strip’s midnight fireworks show and the Fremont Street Experience’s annual party downtown have also been canceled.

“I think it’s a little hard to tell (how many visitors we’ll get this year), which is an odd thing to say when we’re only a couple of weeks away,” Feldman said. “It’s going to pale in comparison to anything like last year.”

Visitation numbers have already been underperforming due to the pandemic, and resorts are required to limit their casino floor capacity at 25 percent through Jan. 15 under Gov. Steve Sisolak’s statewide pause.

NYE prices below last year

Room rates on New Year’s Eve may be higher than the average day in 2020, but fall short of 2019 prices. A stay at Caesars Palace starts at $299, according to a Monday search on its website — 48 percent lower than prices listed for the same holiday last year. MGM Resort International’s website showed a stay at the Bellagio dropped 29 percent over the year to $439.

“It’s a balancing act, trying to get revenue where you can, trying to get customers who will spend money on different aspects of the business,” Feldman said. “I suspect (New Year’s Eve) will be among the top two or three days of these past few months (in terms of visitation), but unfortunately that’s not saying much. … It’s going to be tough.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at [email protected]. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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