Crowds Coming Back to Las Vegas

Anthony Curtis’ nationally syndicated weekly column.

April 6, 2011

The 2010 visitor tally indicates that people are coming back to Las Vegas, but not as rapidly as hoped for. According to official visitor-volume statistics, a total of 37,335,436 people came to Las Vegas in 2010. It was an increase of 2.7% over the 2009 total and reversed a three-year trend of declines, but was still only equivalent to the 2004 tally. The trend continued with the first reporting month of 2011, as visitor volume was up 8.6%, marking the biggest monthly increase in seven years. But while more people are coming to town, spending continues to be down, including in the casino, where numbers continue to show slight declines despite the positive visitor news.

Profile: So who are these visitors? According to the just-released Visitor Profile Study for 2010, 80% of Las Vegas visitors gamble and have a gambling budget of $466.20, down from 87% and $651.94 in 2006. Average per-person trip budgets apportion $256.82 for food and drink, $122.80 for shopping, $49.28 for shows, and $79.64-per-night for a room. All of these numbers are down from recent years.

Once Moorea: Mandalay Bay’s Moorea Beach Club, which was one of Las Vegas’ first “European-style” pools, but switched to a non-topless policy last year, is back to being “toptional.” Admission to Moorea Beach is $10/$20 on weekdays and $20/$50 on weekends, with the higher fees charged to men.

Absinthe Strong: The new show-in-a-tent, Absinthe, has debuted at Caesars Palace. It’s a good one, melding burlesque-style comedy with an amazing array of specialty acts. But be forewarned, it’s also extremely racy. Ticket prices begin at $93.30.

Question: Is Steve Wynn getting married again? Is he re-re-marrying his ex-ex-wife?

Answer: He’s marrying his girlfriend of the past two years. Barring any change of plans, Steve Wynn will wed Andrea Hissom on April 30 at Wynn Las Vegas. It will be the third for Wynn, who married his long-time wife Elaine twice.

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