TORONTO — Las Vegas is back, bigger and better than ever before, with “100% capacity and 100% occupancy,” says David Han, Senior Account Representative for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Anyone visiting Las Vegas “will feel like they’re back in 2019,” Han joked, noting that all larger-than-life attractions, dining venues and hotels that make the destination so famous and so popular are already firing on all cylinders at pre-pandemic levels.
“While other destinations were ramping back up, Las Vegas was already taking those next steps to welcome the next generation of travellers,” he said.
Not surprisingly, the LVCVA’s marketing message right now is ‘Vegas ON’.
Han hosted last night’s LVCVA industry dinner event at Parcheggio in Toronto, for a gathering of tour operators, airline reps, trade media and more.
The LVCVA’s outreach to the trade includes its Vegas Reward Program, exclusively for travel advisors.
Agents can register at TrackMyLasVegasBookings.com and enter their bookings into the system, up to 24 months retroactively, to earn points and win prizes. Points can be redeemed for hotel accommodation, merchandise, show tickets and more.
“We care about the travel trade community,” said Han, adding that agents should keep an eye out for upcoming FAM trips.
INT’L RECOVERY & AIRLINE LIFT
While Las Vegas has fully recovered its domestic travel market, international will take longer to come back. But the numbers are increasing month by month.
From the Canadian market, Han estimates that 50 – 60% of 2019’s numbers will be regained by the end of 2022. “But we do need more flights, guys,” he said to laughter.
Representatives from both WestJet and Air Canada were at last night’s event.
WestJet is the largest international carrier flying into Las Vegas, said Shannon Cunningham, WestJet area sales manager. This summer WestJet will have 48 flights weekly into the destination, from Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
Air Canada will have daily flights from Toronto as well as service from Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, says ACV area sales manager Dianne Pedroso. Clients can connect from dozens of cities across Canada, from $49. And ACV packages to Las Vegas start at $599. “We have definitely seen an uptick in demand,” said Pedroso, especially for Group bookings.
The 777-room Circa Resort & Casino is the first newly-built hotel in Downtown Las Vegas in more than 40 years. Its year-round ‘aqua theatre’, known as Stadium Swim, is hugely popular.
The 1,500-room Virgin Hotels Las Vegas sits on the site of the former Hard Rock Hotel, and opened in March 2021. It’s a short walk to the Strip, and that will work well for many clients, plus it’s location offers great Strip views, says Han. Meanwhile of course Hard Rock Hotels is busy transforming The Mirage site into a guitar-shaped property that will once again transform the Las Vegas skyline.
Also new is Resorts World Las Vegas, the massive 3,500-room development encompassing the Las Vegas Hilton, and the Conrad Las Vegas. It opened in June 2021 and boasts more than five acres of pool space, along with no fewer than 40 dining and drinks venues. Resorts World originated in Asia and is gaining traction in North America with several properties.
But Han notes that because the brand is still under the radar for many Las Vegas visitors, travel advisors can often find “really compelling and competitive” rates for their clients at Resorts World Las Vegas.
NEW ATTRACTIONS & UPCOMING EVENTS
Of all the new attractions awaiting Las Vegas visitors, Area 15 is getting more than the usual buzz. Billed as an “immersive entertainment and events district”, Area 15 offers a mash-up of gaming and fun all in a kaleidoscope of colour and LED lights, with everything from arcade games to axe-throwing to virtual golf to zip lining. Visitors can spend hours here in the blink of an eye, says Han.
Meanwhile Las Vegas has two big events on its calendar. Starting in 2023, for a three-year engagement, Formula One racing will return to the streets of Las Vegas. And on Feb. 11, 2024 Las Vegas will host Super Bowl LVIII.