Las Vegas visitors getting younger and more diverse – and spending more

March 14, 2023 7:30 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
March 14, 2023 7:30 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

Las Vegas continues to attract younger and more diverse visitors, and they’re spending more on their visit.

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Those are just a couple of the findings of the 2022 “Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study” issued by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. For the first time and for a broader reach, the study was conducted via online interviews in addition to the traditional in-person interviews. More than 6,200 interviews were completed.

The average age of visitors was 40.7 years, down from 43.2 years in 2021. Some 48% were Millennials, 27% were Gen X, and only 12% were Baby Boomers, a number that continues to decline during COVID. Another 13% were the youngest Gen Zers.

Visitors in 2022 were also more likely to be single, roughly 33%, significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. Also higher were employed visitors, in part due to a decrease in retirees and homemakers. More visitors were under the age of 40 than in previous years.

Higher rates of Asians and Asian Americans and Latinos are visiting. Some 62% of all visitors were white, 16% Hispanic, 12% black, and 7% Asian. By comparison, 72% of Baby Boomers were white, 9% Hispanic, 9% black, and 8% Asian, meaning the younger generations were more diverse.

While the percentage of domestic visitors remains similar to past years, international visitors (9%) remain below pre-pandemic levels, up from 3% in 2021.

The report said that in 2022, Las Vegas showed a strong recovery from the effects of the COVID, while continuing to attract new visitors.

With the pandemic gradually receding over the course of the year, visitor planning horizons, activities, spend, and satisfaction evolved from the COVID era. Visitors were also more likely to visit downtown and paid Las Vegas attractions, and attend sporting events.

More than three-quarters (77%) of visitors to said they were “very satisfied” with their trip to Las Vegas, up from 70% in 2021. One in five (20%) said they were “somewhat satisfied.” Only 3% of visitors were dissatisfied with their visit.

Las Vegas met (53%) or exceeded (41%) expectations among the majority of visitors. Nearly nine in ten (87%) are extremely or very likely to return to Las Vegas for vacation or leisure.

Among other findings, 75% of visitors gambled during their stay; the average amount of time they spent gambling was 2.6 hours, down from 3 hours in 2021. The overall gaming budget among gamblers was $761.22, up significantly from pre-pandemic figures.

The average number of days (4.4) and nights (3.4) stayed in Las Vegas was down from 4.6 and 3.6 in 2021, but the same as 2018 and 2019 figures.

Las Vegas visitors went to an average of 4.3 casinos during their stay, down from 5.7 casinos in 2021. They gambled at an average of 2.2 casinos, down from 3.2 last year.

Per-trip spending increased significantly across most categories, particularly for lodging, food and drink, and shows and entertainment.

Among all Las Vegas visitors, spending on food and drink continued to increase every year since 2018, reaching its all-time high of $527.13 in 2022. Shopping has decreased from 2021 spending levels, returning to levels comparable to 2019. Local transportation ($138.74) was higher than pre-pandemic results.

Spending on shows and other entertainment significantly increased from $177.21 in 2021 to $309.76 in 2022.

Local transportation spending in 2022 ($189.79) was also up significantly from past years, while spending on sightseeing ($64.16) decreased.

Three in ten (30%) visitors attended shows or entertainment during their visit, up from 19% in 2021, but still less than 51% in 2019.

Visitors who went to paid attractions (37%) increased from pre-pandemic years, ranging from 20% to 28% and from 35% in 2021. One in six (16%) visitors viewed sporting events at a sportsbook, watch party, or on TV.

More than half (54%) of Las Vegas visitors planned their trip more than a month ahead, up from 48% last year. About one-third (35%) planned their trip from a week to a month in advance, down from 43% last year, while 11% planned their trip less than a week in advance.

The average party size (average of 2.5 adults) was higher than last year, and one in six (16%) visitors said they were traveling with people under 21 years old in their party, down from last year, but still up significantly from pre-pandemic results.

One in four (24%) Las Vegas visitors were making their first trip to Las Vegas, up from 20% in 2021.

The average number of visits to Las Vegas in the past year for all visitors was two in 2022, up from 2017-2019. Among repeat visitors, the average number of visits was 2.3, up from 2017-2019. Over one-half (52%) of repeat visitors made more than one visit to Las Vegas over the past 12 months.

More than one-half (58%) of 2022 visitors said the main purpose of their trip was for vacation/pleasure, up from 2017-2021.

More than one-quarter (26%) said they’d come to Las Vegas for a special personal occasion — 48% for a birthday, 33% for an anniversary, 17% for a romantic getaway, and 10% for a wedding.

Nine percent said they attended or worked at a convention, trade show, association or corporate meeting, rebounding from 4% in 2021 and in line with 2017-2019.

Among those who attended a convention or corporate meeting, 63% were more interested in attending the event because it was in Las Vegas, a big increase from pre-pandemic results.

Upwards of 58% of those who attended a convention or corporate meeting said they extended their stay for leisure purposes, up from 44% in 2021. Among all convention visitors, the mean length by which they extended their stay was 1.7 nights, up from 1.2 nights in 2021.

Fifty-one percent arrived in Las Vegas via air. In past years, the majority of visitors arrived by ground transportation. Nearly six in 10 visitors drove either their own (44%) or a rental vehicle (14%) during their visit., while 40% used a ride-sharing service, continuing a steady increase.

Visiting downtown were 58%, showing a steady increase compared to past results. Half went downtown to see the Fremont Street Experience; more visitors than last year said they were sightseeing (9%), shopping (6%), or to meet friends or relatives (3%).

About 16% visited nearby destinations before or after their trip to Las Vegas, up from 12% in 2021.

Fully 90% stayed at a hotel, down from 96% in 2019, while 8% stayed with friends or relatives.

While two out three visitors stayed on the Strip, more lodged at a variety of locations beyond the tourist corridor compared to recent years.

Similar to 2021, more visitors (73%) booked online compared to pre-pandemic, fewer through travel agents or in-person. One in six (16%) booked by calling the property directly, up from 13% in 2021.