LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A little vacation splurge, multiplied by millions of tourists annually, keeps Las Vegas’ dazzling strip lights shining.
Officials anticipate that splurging to be even more so over the next five months, during what the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) refers to as an “unprecedented event season.”
The marketing organization has a total of 16 special events, large tradeshows and new resort openings from October through February including:
- IMEX America (October 17-19)
- PBR Teams Championship (October 20-22)
- SEMA Show [Specialty Equipment Marketing Association] (October 31-November 3)
- UFI Global Congress (November 1-4)
- Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (November 6)
- Las Vegas Grand Prix (November 16-18)
- Durango Station (November 20)
- Pac-12 Football championship game (December 1)
- NBA In-Season Tournament (December 7-9)
- Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) (December 7-16)
- Fontainebleau Las Vegas (December 13)
- Las Vegas Bowl (December 23)
- New Year’s Eve Fireworks (December 31)
- Consumer Electronics Show [CES] (January 5-8)
- World of Concrete [WOC] (January 23-25)
- Super Bowl LVIII (Week of February 5-11)
With a blend of longstanding Las Vegas events to brand new conventions never held in America, LVCVA President/CEO Steve Hill attributes the booked schedule to the city’s growing popularity, infrastructure and marketing. Opportunities, he said, came knocking.
“If we become stagnant, it’s a very easy thing to then start to slip,” Hill said on a patio of the Convention Center Friday morning. “It’s not so much that there are events we will allow or won’t. It’s really having the venue and the capacity to respond to all of the demand there is right now for Las Vegas.”
In total, he estimates a $10 billion to $15 billion economic impact to Clark County and Nevada more than what would typically be received those weekends without the events. Some, he acknowledged, are anticipated to leave a larger blow.
“There’s a lot of tax revenue that is generated through Formula One. We’re estimating $87.5 million in taxes, that everybody throughout Nevada will benefit from,” Hill said. “$25 million that will go to K-12 education, simply because of the race. Around half of the economic impact translates into jobs and wages for citizens in Las Vegas.”
Nicholas Irwin, an assistant economics professor at UNLV, also points to spending from visitors out of the country. Hill says 15% of current tourism in Clark County is from international travelers, which is expected to grow during some of the internationally recognized events.
“The international spending really saved us during the great recession,” Irwin said, sitting in the UNLV amphitheater Friday afternoon. “Those extra visitors always are spending more dollars in our restaurants, they’re spending more money in our shops.”
Irwin says it’s also different types of visitors: those coming for one event may not come for the other, and vice versa. But, with so much activity in such a short time, he adds other cities in similar positions may experience “congestion effect.”
“Congestion effect is when there’s so many people there that each additional person impacts everyone else’s enjoyment,” Irwin said. “If, you know, the Strip is so crowded, you can’t walk up and down Las Vegas Boulevard, or all the restaurants are full, that impairs everyone else’s enjoyment of it.”
But, with over 150,000 hotel rooms and thousands of restaurants to pair, Irwin predicts “we definitely can handle it,” while other cities in similar positions without the same amenities may choke under the constant foot traffic.
Hill also acknowledged that hotel prices are now coming down for some event weekends to fill leftover space.
“Formula One will fill, you know, about half of the hotel rooms in Las Vegas on that weekend. All of the hotel rooms were priced very high, anticipating that potentially, those rooms would be filled by F1 customers. But now that tickets have been sold, those packages have been sold, the city needs to fill the other half of the rooms,” Hill said. “Those prices need to get back to what’s commercially reasonable for our customers to come for different reasons.”
F1 and Super Bowl LVIII combined could bring in over $2 billion, according to estimates. While there are no projections for upcoming conventions, LVCVA reports almost $800 million brought to Clark County collectively between the last SEMA, CES and WOC shows.