The past weekend marked some of the busiest days Las Vegas has seen since the start of the pandemic. Judging by room rates, that level of demand could continue over the weekend.
After seeing room rates spike dramatically during the first weekend of March Madness, some properties are gradually increasing prices during the second weekend of the NCAA tournament. Others have already sold rooms for this weekend.
“Things are looking up,” said gaming consultant Debi Nutton, a former executive at Wynn Resorts Ltd. who now consults for Resorts World Las Vegas. âLooking at the room rates, it shows the demand. “
The price of the rooms between last weekend and this Saturday varies according to the establishment.
Some are slightly cheaper than last Saturday. A stay at Aria has gone from $ 349 to $ 329, and starting prices at Wynn Las Vegas have jumped from $ 399 to $ 359 during that time, according to Hotels.com.
Gaming consultant Josh Swissman of The Strategy Organization said a slight drop follows similar trends seen in NCAA tournaments in previous years. He said room rates would remain “relatively equal” between the first and second weekend of the tournament, despite significantly fewer teams playing.
While it is “not uncommon” to see hotels sell out on the second weekend of March Madness, Swissman said the price hike this year suggests demand for Las Vegas visits remains high.
Rates at Excalibur started at $ 139 last Saturday. On Monday, Hotels.com posted room listings starting at $ 238, a 42% increase. The Flamingo is expected to jump 32% from $ 175 to $ 259 during the week. And the Caesars Palace website shows that the Strip property is already fully booked on Saturday.
âWeek one of March Madness is always great because of all the games,â Nutton said. âYou’d think next week wouldn’t be as good, but when we talk about pent-up demand and great weather in Las Vegas, now is a great time to go. â¦ I think people feel comfortable coming back.
Representatives of Caesars Entertainment Inc., Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. did not respond to requests for comment on the trade demand over the weekend. MGM Resorts International, Red Rock Resorts Inc. and Boyd Gaming Corp. declined to comment.
Reasons behind the tariffs
Swissman believes there are several reasons why room rates could be higher this weekend.
It’s possible that last weekend was even busier than expected, he said. Now that operators realize how much demand is for rooms again, they may adjust the rates accordingly.
“I bet some operators were maybe a little skeptical about whether the volume of visits would be as large as it was,” he said. “(There could have been) a little bit of rate compression to account for this slight hesitation.”
Walk-in business – customers who book a stay on the day they arrive – could have been a segment that disrupted demand estimates.
âPeople didn’t have that much time to plan their trips because there was so much uncertainty,â Swissman said. He thinks operators could bet on more walk-in deals this weekend and increase tariffs in anticipation.
The overlap of spring break travelers could also increase rates, he said, along with a growing sense of pent-up demand among travelers.