CES No In-Person Event Causes A Plunge in Las Vegas Hotel Room Rates

The hotel-casino room rates in Las Vegas have taken a significant drop compared to the previous year, due to this week’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) being held virtually. The rates have dropped by hundreds of dollars compared to what it used to be.

In January 2020, the Wynn Las Vegas hotel room rate was $1,032 per night during the Consumer Technology Association’s CES convention. This year has seen the resort on the Strip charging as low as $99.

Last year’s in-person convention in Las Vegas was held from January 7 – 10, with numerous innovative products from tech companies on showcase. The 2021 event is to run from Monday, January 11 to Thursday, January 14, and due to the Covid 19 pandemic, it will be held online only. Last year convention saw Circus Circus on the Strip charging $309 per night, but this week, the resort has resolved to charge $17. The same can be said for the Sahara Las Vegas, which dropped from last year’s rate of $752 to $28 this year. The D Las Vegas on Fremont Street had their room rate pegged at $262 last year, and this year their resort in downtown Glitter Gulch has the rates sitting at $51.

According to the CES 2020 Attendance Audit Summary, the 2020 convention attracted 171,268 people, which includes 6,517 media crew. The event generated $291 million for the Southern Nevada economy and featured 4,419 companies showcasing their numerous products.

The Closing of Casinos

Due to the low rates of midweek occupancy, some resorts on the Las Vegas Strip have resolved to close their hotel towers during the slow midweek days, while some have resulted in closing entirely during these low return days.

Experts have concerns about whether or not the Las Vegas economy can rise from the pandemic given the slump in the convention business. A former casino executive and a fellow in responsible gaming at the University of Nevada Las Vegas’s International Gaming Institute, Alan fieldman stated that they hope that existed during the start of the pandemic was that by this time, things would be on the mend, which he affirms does not seem likely. The use of Zoom for conducting meetings and the ease it affords could lead to lesser in-person conventions and in turn lesser revenue generation.

The founder of the Las Vegas-based RCG Economics, John Restrepo, is of the opinion that the convention industry is passing through a change phase as the business travelers demographic becomes younger. He stated that the demographic is used to the use of technology, and as such, they do not subscribe to the use of in-person interaction.

This revelation could create problems for cities that are highly dependent on the convention business. Over the years, conventions and events that pull large gatherings have been crucial to the filling up of Las Vegas hotel rooms in midweek. Of recent, the midweek occupancy rate has been at its lowest.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.