25 Surprising Facts About Las Vegas Visitors, 2016 Visitor Profile Study Edition

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.

Las Vegas Visitors Survey 2016

Las Vegas visitors are super interesting, and we’re not just kissing up so they’ll share this blog post on their Facebook page.

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.”


We don’t get the difference between “gambling” and “pleasure,” but we are a blog, not a survey expert.

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.)

Fremont Street

Downtown, though.

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.

LVCVA visitor survey

Good going, dubious survey result. Everything is ruined.

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.

Caesars Palace high roller suite

You know, just your typical Las Vegas hotel room. Assuming you’re a whale staying at Caesars Palace.

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.


Because Slots-A-Fun is one of the smallest casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. Please don’t make us explain these jokes, especially when we’re sober.

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.

Retired Las Vegas visitors

Retired visitors may be small in number, but they are a powerful force in slot machine play and Rascal rentals.

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?

13 thoughts on “25 Surprising Facts About Las Vegas Visitors, 2016 Visitor Profile Study Edition

  1. Darren Mallette

    Interesting. We just planned our 4th Vegas vacation – we always go downtown!! Also, we stay for 7-10 days and always get out of town (Valley of Fire, Goodsprings, etc.)

  2. EnuffBull

    No percentages of pizza lovers: New York handtoss vs. Chicago deep dish “casserole”???

    Always stay downtown. Prepping a midlife bachelor party in a couple months, to feature a great steak dinner and cocktail crawl thru the downtown area. Can’t wait!

    1. VegasSlushy

      Why do these unfunny jokes about pizza persist. I thought Scott was banning people for this ridiculousness. Are pizza jokes back on the table?

  3. Colin Hunter

    “visiting” freemont street is not the same as staying in a hotel freemont street. Just saying.

    1. John D

      This. I’ve never stayed downtown because I need an easy ride to the LVCC. But I like to play down there because the strip hotels have become so stingy.
      Trying the Strat on the next trip so I don’t have to pay to park.

  4. Thomas Zufan

    I believe that visitations downtown are up 66%. Its seemed much more crowded every time Ive been there this year. I like the vibe downtown but it will take an upgrade in the room and amenities of the downtown hotels to get me to spend the night there.

  5. nervys_neely

    Not sure if the “rooms need to be updated downtown” crowd, have actually stayed there. Way cheaper and better payouts than the strip.

  6. JJP

    Judging from the comments on the TripAdvisor forum for Las Vegas, I suspect the majority of the people using travel agents are from Europe.

    1. Alex

      Las Vegas has lots of business travelers for conventions and meetings. Large companies often use corporate travel agents. Also, tour groups are often run through travel agencies.
      Those two plus the international guests you mention are the likely source of the 13%.

  7. Bouldersteve

    If you have never been to Las Vegas it would a good idea to use a travel agent for some advice so you don’t wind up at a Budget Suites

  8. VegasSlushy

    3. 4 percent seems about right. I’ve got a casino 10 miles from my house. I don’t go to Vegas for the gambling, explicitly.

    6. I also am surprised more than 10 percent of people use a travel agent. I know a few still exist, but I assume they exist mostly for the wealthy who don’t want to be bothered with constant Orbitz searches and corporations who need somebody to book flights and hotels for the well scrubbed execs that treat the working stiffs like dirt.

    8. Yeah, it seems hard to believe visits to downtown, whatever teh circumstances, could jump that much in one year.

    12. How do they define tour group? No way 20 percent of visitors are with tour groups.

    19. 52 percent still seems impressive to me. What defines a show. Are we counting a celebrity DJ? If wallet raping counts as a show, then 52 percent seems plausible.

    I’m sure they work hard to make this a statistically legitimate survey. Good thing for the LVCVA they don’t have to sell it to me. I’m not buying.


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