It’s become an annual ritual. The Las Vegas Convention Visitors Authority releases its “Visitor Profile Study” and we cut and paste some of the juicier tidbits and call it a blog post.
This year’s study had some genuine surprises and more than a little WTF, so let the cutting and pasting begin! Here are some fun facts about Las Vegas visitors.
1. Of those visiting Las Vegas in 2016, 27% were first-time visitors, up from just 16% in 2015.
2. Of those surveyed, 65% said they visited Las Vegas just once in the past year.
3. When asked about the primary reason for their Las Vegas visit, just 4% said gambling (down from 10% in 2015), while 52% said “vacation or pleasure.”
4. Forty-six percent of Las Vegas visitors in 2016 arrived by air, the highest percentage in five years.
5. More than half (56%) of visitors said they decided where to gamble after they arrived in Las Vegas.
6. Thirteen percent of visitors used a travel agent to plan their trip to Las Vegas. This definitely qualifies as a “surprising fact,” as we were not aware travel agents still exist.
7. Among those surveyed, 65% said they used the Internet to plan their trip. Of those travelers who used travel review apps or Web sites, 6% used “other,” which we’re going to interpret as “smart-ass blogs.”
8. In 2016, 53% of visitors said they had visited downtown Las Vegas during their trip, up from 32% in 2015. This, by the way, is what’s known in professional survey parlance as a pile of steaming guano.
Here’s the thing. That’s an increase of 66%, year-over-year. Trust us, if downtown casinos had increases of 66% in room occupancy or gambling revenue in a year, we would personally be carried down Fremont Street on their collective shoulders. (Our day gig is in digital marketing at Fremont Street Experience, so we know of which we speak.)
Wonky stats like this have sparked controversy about the accuracy of the LVCVA’s survey for years. So, let’s consider some of these “facts” more for entertainment purposes than anything else. Moving on.
9. Of those surveyed, 21% said they’d ventured outside Las Vegas to nearby places. Of those, the most frequently visited places were the Grand Canyon (65%) and Hoover Dam (57%).
10. The average party size of Las Vegas visitors in 2016 was 2.4 persons. Twelve percent traveled with people under the age of 21.
11. In 2016, visitors stayed an average of 3.4 nights in Las Vegas.
12. Nineteen percent of Vegas visitors in 2016 were part of a tour group.
13. The average number of Las Vegas hotel room occupants was 2.1 in 2016.
14. The average expenditure on food and drink in 2016 was $318.09, up from $292 in 2015.
15. A modest 69% of all visitors said they gambled during their Las Vegas visit, down from 73% in 2015. We’re looking at you, millennials. And don’t even get us started about the Amish.
16. Among those who gambled during their visit, 71% gambled for two hours or fewer, up from 50% in 2015. The average amount of time spent gambling per day was 1.9 hours, just to bug the people with OCD.
17. The average number of casinos visited by those taking part in the LVCVA survey was 6.3. We’re thinking the .3 was Slots-A-Fun, but that’s just us.
18. Among those who gambled, the average gambling budget was $619.01.
19. Of the Vegas visitors questioned, 52% saw a show during their stay. That’s the lowest percentage in five years (and down from 61% in 2005). About 30 shows closed in Las Vegas during 2016, by the way.
20. Seventy percent of Las Vegas visitors in 2016 were married. Shout-out to the 2% who were widowed.
21. Of those surveyed, 73% earned an income of $40,000 or more.
22. Seventeen percent of Las Vegas visitors in 2016 were retired.
23. The average visitor’s age was 44, down from 47.7 in 2015.
24. The percentage of Las Vegas visitors who came from California in 2016: 31%. Expect that percentage to increase substantially in 2020, thanks to the Raiders.
25. Nineteen percent of Las Vegas visitors in 2016 came from foreign countries. Thanks, as always, Kyrgyzstan.
Fun, right? Surprising, right? Memorize these tidbits and you’ll win yourself a bar bet someday.
You can check out the complete LVCVA Visitor Profile Study 2016 (.pdf) on the very same Internet 65% of Las Vegas visitors said they used to plan their Las Vegas visit. Is there anything the Internet, and Las Vegas, can’t do?