Update: Return of conventions and midweek occupancy gives Las Vegas highest visitor count since start of pandemic Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports · November 30, 2021 at 1:55 pm Led by a 30.4% gain on the Las Vegas Strip over 2019 and the highest visitation since the pandemic began as convention business boosted midweek hotel occupancy, Nevada’s gaming revenue in October matched a record by surpassing $1 billion for the eighth consecutive month. Nevada’s $1.22 billion for October is a 48.5% statewide increase in gaming revenue over the $822.2 million in October 2020, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. October’s statewide win total was 19.5% higher than October 2019 prior to the pandemic. The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority reported Tuesday there were 3.39 million visitors in Las Vegas in October, a gain of 15.5% over September and 82.6% in October 2020. It surpassed the 3.30 million visitors in July. The number, however, is 7.6% below the 3.66 million in October 2019. The 4.18 million passenger count at McCarran International Airport, though the highest in 20 months, is still down 9.3% from the 4.6 million in October 2019. The previous pandemic high was 4.15 million passengers in July. It was 1.98 million passengers in October 2020. The growth in visitation in October comes as stock investors are jittery about the new COVID omicron variant spreading overseas and its potential impact on American cases, hospitalizations, and travel to destinations like Las Vegas. COVID hasn’t slowed down the gaming recovery yet in 2021. So far this year, Nevada gaming revenue is 9.2% higher than the first 10 months of 2019. Only North Las Vegas and Laughlin are down over that period. The Las Vegas Strip is 3.5% higher compared to 2019. In October, the Las Vegas Strip reported $702.1 million in gaming revenue, an 86.8% increase over October 2020, when it was $375.7 million. It was $538.5 million in 2019 when Strip properties were operating at 100% capacity. Deutsche Bank reported Strip baccarat revenue rose 63.2% in October compared to October 2019. Slot revenue rose 20.7% over the same period. Table revenue, excluding baccarat, was $243 million, which was up 36.7% versus 2019. Revenue at Las Vegas properties that serve local residents hit $225.5 million in October, a 3.2% increase over the $215.6 million in October 2019, according to Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank said locals’ revenue would have been about 11% higher than October 2019, but given that the month ended on a Sunday, slot revenues will be recorded in November. Downtown rose 43.9% from $52.8 million in October 2020 to $76 million in October 2021, the Control Board reported. Reno reported $62.4 million in October, a 10.7% increase over October 2020. Compared to 2019, downtown gaming revenue rose 11.3%, while Reno rose 17.5%, according to Deutsche Bank. Overall, Southern Nevada’s Clark County recorded $1 billion in gaming win in five over the last six months. Prior to this, October 2007 was the only time Clark County recorded $1 billion in win, according to Michael Lawton, a senior economic analyst with the state of Nevada. Lawton said that matches the longest streak all-time for the state; the last time Nevada recorded $1 billion in monthly gaming win in eight consecutive months was October 2006 through May 2007. “Strong demand across markets, the continued rebound of leisure travel and the return of special events and entertainment continued to propel gaming win past 2019 levels, which are now 9.2% above (the first 10 months of 2019),” Lawton said. “This month specifically had a very full calendar of events listed below. Additionally, the month of October benefited from having five weekends compared to four in 2019.” Lawton pointed out that the World Series of Poker ran through Nov. 23. Tyson Fury fought Deontay Wilder III for the WBC heavyweight title at the T-Mobile Arena on October 9. Lady Gaga’s residency at the Park Theater resumed on October 14. The Electric Daisy Carnival returned to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway after last year’s cancellation with 450,000 people in attendance for the three-day concert. Gwen Stefani resumed her residency at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theatre on October 22. The higher visitor count led to an 80%-plus hotel occupancy in Las Vegas for the first time since the pandemic began. The October occupancy was 81.6%, surpassing the 73% mark in September and 46.9% in October 2020. It’s edging closer to the 90% occupancy rate in October 2020. The weekends were especially strong, with 90.4% occupancy. The weekend occupancy was 98% in October 2019. The reason for the jump in occupancy, however, was midweek occupancy with the return of larger conventions such as the Global Gaming Expo. The LVCVA did not list convention attendance during the month. It surpassed 525,000 in October 2019. Midweek occupancy was 77.5% in October, up 11.4% from 66.1% in September. It was 36.6% in October 2020. Prior to the pandemic, it was 87.1% in October 2019. The Strip occupancy was 83.4% in October, up from 74.5% in September. It was 91.3% in October 2019. Downtown occupancy continued to grow reaching 73.6% after recording 61.9% in September. It was 84.8% in October 2019. The higher demand continued to boost room rates past 2019 averages, with the average daily room rate in October at $173.68, up from $155.80 in September. It was $105.44 in October 2020. Back in 2019, the average daily rate was $135.33. The average daily room rate on the Strip was $184.65, some 12.1% higher than September and 26% higher than the $146.50 in October 2019. It was $111.54 in October 2020. The average daily room rates downtown continue to accelerate with the addition of the Circa Las Vegas that opened a year ago. The average daily room rate in downtown was $110.95, down from $119.20 from September but 62.7% higher than the $73.78 in October 2019. The average revenue per available room was 16.4% higher than October 2019 and 189% higher than October 2020. The average daily traffic on I-15 at the California and Nevada border was 46,574 in October, a 2% decline from September, but 3.3% higher over October 2019.