You’ve probably seen, and maybe been annoyed by, a slew of commercials touting Las Vegas as the place where anything goes but stays in Las Vegas. Coupled with the Cosmopolitan’s “just the right amount of wrong” campaigns, the advertising has worked its magic and helped propel Sin City tourism to near-record heights last year. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the city welcomed nearly 40 million visitors in 2013, a little more than 50,000 short of an all-time record.
While many still think of Las Vegas as a land of high rollers, trade shows and conventions, the growth is wide spread. Thanks to new shows and attractions, non-gambling revenue has outpaced gaming for more than a decade, and will likely grow even faster for years to come. However, trade shows and conventions are still a mainstay; the city drew more than 5 million conventioneers in 2013, the most in five years.
Las Vegas is not just for celebrities and high rollers, either. The average room rate is just $111, up about $3 since last year, which helps account for the industry’s highest 84% occupancy rate. That means, if you’re thinking of a Vegas Vacation, you should make reservations early. On the other hand, the waiting game might pay off as several new properties should be opening this year, including Caesars Entertainment’s new resort, The Cromwell, a zipline called SlotZilla over the Freemont Street Experience, a handful of new hotels, and the world’s largest observation wheel, High Roller, in the shopping and entertainment district called The Linq, which is opening in phases this year. (High Roller will reportedly open with a star-studded gala in April. We know first hand that the weather in Las Vegas is close to perfect in April!)
Photo: Las Vegas skyline courtesy of Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority.