Las Vegas closed out December with 3.3 million visitors, which brought the total for the year to 38.3 million, topping 2021 by 20.5%, but remaining below the 42.5 million in 2019 by 8.7%.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported the year-end numbers Tuesday, the same day Nevada announced the final number that set the all-time record for gaming revenue.
Visitor volume in December was 10% higher than the 3 million visitors in December 2021 and fell only 4.6% shy of the 2019 mark prior to COVID.
Convention attendance for the year approached 5 million, substantially more than the pandemic‐suppressed volumes of 2021 and about three‐quarters of 2019’s tally of 6.6 million attendees, according to the LVCVA. There were 2.2 million convention attendees in 2021.
Overall hotel occupancy reached 79.2% for the year, an increase of 12.4% year over year, but down 9.7% versus 2019. For the year, weekend occupancy reached 89.3%, 8% over 2021, but 5.6% lower than 2019. Midweek occupancy reached 74.7%, up 14.2% versus 2021 versus 2021, but down 11.6% from 2019, according to the LVCVA.
Strip occupancy was 81.6%, 13.6% higher than 2021, but 8.8% below 2019.
Strong room rates continued throughout 2022, as annual average daily rates reached $171, 24.5% higher than 2021 and 28.9% ahead of 2019. Revenue per available room reached about $135 for the year, up 47.6% year over year and 14.9% over 2019.
The Las Vegas Strip benefited from the 10% increase in visitation in December as it set an all-time monthly gaming-revenue record of $814 million, 37.6% higher in December 2019 when there were more visitors.
By comparison, casinos that cater to local residents saw revenues increased only 3.5% compared to December 2019, according to J.P. Morgan.
Locals’ revenue fell by 1.7% in December compared to December 2021. For the fourth quarter, Deutsche Bank reported local casino revenue was up 1.6% year over year.
The one negative in visitation was the number of tourists coming from Southern California. The LVCVA reported an average of 45,694 vehicles a day at the California-Nevada border, down 5% from 48,047 in December 2021.
Relative to 2019, however, December average daily auto traffic was 8% higher on all major highways and 9% higher at I-15 at the California state line.