The LVCVA’s annual Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study is reliably unreliable, but that doesn’t mean there’s no entertainment value.
The statistically dubious 2019 Las Vegas visitor survey was just released, and we know you’re not going to read the 82-page report, so we’ve plucked out some nuggets for you.
We are a noted nugget-plucker from way back.
The LVCVA (Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority) conducted in-person interviews with 3,600 randomly selected visitors to compile this data.
Let’s see what the survey turned up before Las Vegas surveys were tainted by this whole COVID-19 mess.
1. In 2019, 76% of visitors had visited Las Vegas before, down from 82% last year. Translation: Las Vegas had more virgins in 2019.
2. Of those surveyed, 14% said they were in Las Vegas primarily to gamble, the highest proportion in the past five years. The other 86% said they were in Las Vegas primarily to complain about resort fees.
3. Forty-nine percent of visitors to Las Vegas in 2019 arrived by air. Typically, in planes, although dirigibles are expected to make a comeback in 2021.
4. Forty-two percent of respondents said they had visited downtown Las Vegas on their current trip. Which means less competition for our favorite slot machines, so we’re good.
5. In 2019, visitors stayed an average of 3.4 nights and 4.4 days in Las Vegas. Yes, there were partial days and nights. Thanks a lot, Jagermeister.
6. Twenty-nine percent of visitors arrived in Las Vegas on a weekend. About 3% visited Las Vegas because of this video by The Weeknd.
7. Among all visitors, the average expenditure on food and drink in 2019 was $410.74, up from the past four years. In some cases, that $410.74 was spent on an individual cocktail at Mr. Coco at Palms. Just saying.
8. Eight in 10 (81%) visitors said they gambled while in Las Vegas, the highest proportion in the past five years. And by “gambled,” we trust they mean “engaged an escort who may or may not have been an undercover policeperson.”
9. Among those visitors who gambled while in Las Vegas, 63% gambled on average per day two hours or less. Slackers.
10. The average number of casinos visited was 6.4. That’s because a lot of people hit Ellis Island. While Ellis Island may be .4 of a casino, it’s all the best parts.
11. Among those visitors who gambled in 2019, the average trip gambling budget was $591.06. Welcome to a little something we like to call triple zero roulette.
12. Fifty-one percent of visitors attended shows during their stay. Remember when shows were a thing in Las Vegas? Those were the days.
13. Visitors in 2019 were likely to be married (73%). Why do you think they need to get away to Las Vegas?
14. More than one in five visitors (21%) were retired. That number looks wonky, but nobody is allowed to question the LVCVA’s study. It’s the law.
15. The average visitor’s age was 46.2. Average age they claimed to be in casino bars: 32.2.
16. Over three-quarters (77%) of 2019 visitors were white. If the LVCVA could stop randomly surveying mostly white people, that’d be great.
17. Nine percent of respondents were in Las Vegas to attend a convention, trade show or corporate meeting. Note: Please refer back to #13. They didn’t say those married people were here with their spouse. Hello, Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club.
18. About 21% of Las Vegas visitors came from California. Which explains why so many casinos are using these annoying paper straws.
19. Just 18% of visitors took taxis when traveling around Las Vegas. About 9% tried walking and really, really regretted that decision.
20. In 2019, 14% of visitors were from foreign countries, the smallest proportion over the past five years. Ditto 2020, times infinity.
We just saved you 82 pages of skimming! We trust you are expressing your appreciation to your computer or smartphone right now.
We can only imagine what these numbers are going to look like in the next annual report.
While the Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study has its faults, it’s often a way to see trends as they’re unfolding.
For example, the number of people from California visiting Las Vegas has dropped 10% over the last four years. Las Vegas casino companies need to come to grips with the fact increased competition (since the advent of legal gambling across the U.S.) is eating away at our visitation.
Visitation was in trouble even before the COVID-19 kerfuffle, yet prices continue to rise.
On the bright side, in 2019, 99% of visitors said they were satisfied with their visit to Las Vegas. That satisfaction rate was just 76% in 2017. That was the year the Cosmopolitan started charging for parking. Just saying.
If you’d like to read the entire 2019 Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study (.pdf format), the Internet is here to help. The official survey has considerably less snark. Nobody’s perfect.