Expect a lot of people to be in Las Vegas this Labor Day weekend.
The traditional summer holidays are usually one big last affair for people whose children are settling into the school schedule. And while none of the major tourism organizations have released estimated visitor numbers, all signs are pointing to a busy weekend, with dozens of sold-out hotels and above-average room rates, both signs of high demand.
Long weekends and holidays typically draw more than 300,000 people to southern Nevada, and resorts and event planners make sure their venues and dayclub pools are ready to accommodate the crowds.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is upbeat about Labor Day weekend and expects the trend of rising attendance to continue. It also issued a press release detailing concerts, celebrity appearances and special events taking place throughout the weekend.
Earlier this week, the agency reported its visitation statistics for July, showing that 3.49 million visitors made the trek to Las Vegas, the highest monthly total since the pandemic began in March 2020.
According to the LVCVA, 2.94 million people visited southern Nevada in September 2021 – the monthly totals have fluctuated between 3 million and 3.4 million every month since then.
The clearest indicator that Labor Day weekend will be robust was illustrated in an informal survey of room rates by the Review Journal on Wednesday.
Visitors will spend well above average compared to last year’s Labor Day weekend for a three-night stay beginning Friday, based on average room rates for hotels in Las Vegas on hotels.com.
A survey of 145 motels and hotels found an average price of $216.30 per night. That’s well above the average daily room rate of $155.80 reported by the LVCVA in September 2021, and above the average of $172.49 per night for the first seven months of 2022.
Additionally, according to hotels.com, 68 hotels were sold out for the weekend and there were only two hotels with rates under $100 a night.
The highest nightly rates were found at the Bellagio ($579), Green Valley Ranch ($539), Red Rock Resort ($529), Nobu at Caesars Palace ($499), and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas ($495). These rates do not include resort fees and taxes.
The expectations are high
While AAA reports travel numbers for Memorial Day weekend and July 4th, it does not provide estimates for Labor Day weekend.
“What I can tell you is that based on hotel and flight reservations, we expect travel to be about 22 percent higher than last year, still down about 16 percent from 2019,” AAA spokesman said John Treanor.
Treanor said the organization is forecasting an increase in roadside assistance calls from 460,000 last year to about 500,000 this year.
Earlier this month, the average price of gasoline nationwide fell below $4 a gallon, $1.11 a gallon from its peak in mid-June.
But nearly two-thirds of US adults said they’ve changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March, according to an AAA poll.
The shift did not appear to have affected Californians, who travel Interstate 15 from the Los Angeles Basin to Las Vegas. While the number of vehicles crossing the California-Nevada border is down on their respective months in 2021, the number of vehicles has been rising steadily each month since January, with minor dips in May and June, according to the Department of Transportation Nevada.
Passenger traffic to Harry Reid International Airport has been stable, with the highest number of passengers ever to use the airport – 4.86 million – arriving in July.
Airport spokesman Joe Rajchel said the airport expects a large number of arrivals and departures over the bank holiday weekend, perhaps up to 150,000 a day, the average from July.