Vegas News January 14, 2024
Superbowl and Fontainebleau
Since our last Vegas News, I was finally able to spend substantial time at Fontainebleau. My thoughts on the property are mixed, but I had a great time. Even though it has been a rather slow start to the year, we’ll begin with some “chatter” about Fontainebleau and Super Bowl Info.
It’s not difficult to enjoy two consecutive days in a huge Vegas Strip casino. There’s so much to see and do even if all you do is eat, drink, and gamble.
I’m not going to repeat the details of my visit. You can read about my 48 hours at Fontainebleau here. Also, be sure to check out our overview and more info in The Daily Mail (Travel Mail): From cozy rooms to an ‘airport vibe’ and BLANK restaurant menus: Travel expert delivers his verdict on the $3.7billion Fontainebleau – the tallest hotel on the Vegas Strip.
Fontainebleau – “Another One Bites The Dust”
Since that visit, Fontainebleau has been shedding executives at a blistering rate. You can read about the most recent departures here.
Throwback – From Hipster To Mainstream – Cosmo
Related to Fontainebleau – I was discussing changes at The Cosmopolitan from a losing-money hipster casino to a more mainstream but still cool casino that is profitable. As I said, after spending 48 hours at Fontainebleau, it takes time for a casino to find its identity (pun intended). Read more here.
Let’s jump into the Vegas News. Since it’s a slow news week, I’m going to detail some information a little more than usual before we get to Quick Hits. This is sort of a throwback for the longtime Vegas News readers.
November Gaming Revenue
There’s been a lot of anticipation for the November visitation and gaming revenue data. The results will shed some insight into the impact of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The gaming revenue results were good for the big Vegas Strip casino operators. It was the second-best November gaming revenue month ever for Vegas Strip casinos.
Baccarat – 208% Increase
Baccarat led the way with an increase of 208.66% from last November. Vegas Strip casinos won more money from baccarat than any other table game in November.
Baccarat Players Don’t Play Slots
This might come as a surprise, but international baccarat players don’t play slot machines. Vegas Strip slot machine revenue was down.
You can see the Nevada gaming revenue report here. It’s a good way to see how different games performed in various parts of Nevada.
While Vegas Strip gaming revenue was up nearly 23%, downtown Las Vegas gaming revenue fell nearly 2%. While not good for the area, it’s a far cry from a catastrophe. You can see the breakdown here.
Las Vegas Visitation In November
Visitation was up less than 1%. That’s pretty much flat compared to last year.
F1 organizers said the increase would be greater but the people who visited essentially replaced those with smaller budgets. More on this later.
Between the F1 race and the SEMA show, hotel room rates in Las Vegas set a record high. The average hotel room rate in Nov. was $249.31. That’s about a third higher than last November.
Vegas Strip hotel room prices averaged $270.17 in Nov. This was a 35.0% compared to last year.
Downtown Las Vegas hotel rooms averaged $98.25. The 10.6% increase was marginal but the bump was good for the operators who weren’t necessarily catering to the F1 crowd.
Like overall visitation, hotel occupancy was up marginally to 81.9%. Despite the high prices and traffic Vegas Strip occupancy was up 1.7%. Downtown Las Vegas occupancy was down 5.2%.
I’m curious to see how the off-strip casino corporations fared during the quarter. It seems as though the Vegas Strip companies were able to generate revenue as expected. Boyd Gaming will offer the only insight into downtown Las Vegas since the other operators are privately held companies and don’t report earnings.
Replacing small-budget visitors
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to TravelZork readers, but Las Vegas casino operators have been looking for a way to increase low-revenue customers for years.
Hosting events like the Las Vegas Grand Prix is another way for casino corporations to do this.
Much like reduced or harder-to-obtain casino rewards program benefits, expect the big casino corporations to continue luring big events to Las Vegas to drive prices up.
Every casino operator has mentioned the city and their casino hosting more events as a priority on earnings calls over the past year.
While we’re on visitation and prices – January is a heavy convention month with CES, SHOT show, and World of Concrete. The Super Bowl will take place in February. These events mean higher hotel room prices and corporate customers willing to pay higher prices.
Get used to this.
You can read an overview of the info here. Let’s get to the recent news in and around Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Quick Hits
Remember the mountain being built over The Mirage volcanos? Get used to the weird commercialization of your favorite Las Vegas landmarks leading into the Super Bowl. The Luxor Dorito is one of my favorites.
In other Vegas news… the Luxor is officially a giant Dorito. pic.twitter.com/W0LYyTHRIf— Las Vegas Issues (@VegasIssues) January 3, 2024
- Las Vegas is always busy during the Super Bowl. There will be waaaaaaay more parties than usual leading up to the Big Game. Taco Bell has something big happening. Read more here.
- The new Rio food hall opens on Jan. 19. Read more about it here.
- Rockabilly Weekend returns to The Orleans in April. Read more here.
- Venetian Rewards is Replacing Grazie at The Venetian in March. Read more here and here.
- Circa paid more than $15 million to football contest winners. Read more here.
- Circa is now operating the sportsbook at Silverton. Read more here.
- Speaking of sportsbook news, there will be a new BetMGM sportsbook app in NV on Jan. 23.
- Paris Versailles Tower rooms are now available. See them below.
Here's a look at the newly remodeled "Versailles Tower" guestrooms at Paris. They're some of the largest standard rooms on the Strip according to Caesars, and a few have 55-square-foot balconies. pic.twitter.com/yRocHPBh7w— Las Vegas Locally 🌴 (@LasVegasLocally) December 28, 2023
- WSOP will take place at Paris Las Vegas and Horseshoe from May 28 – July 17. Read more here.
- Bobby Flay’s new Brasserie B at Caesars Palace Las Vegas is taking reservations for January. Read more here.
- The South Point is having a bowling tournament during Super Bowl week. Read more here.
- Allegiant Air is opening a hotel in FL. What do you think an Allegiant Casino & Hotel would look like in Las Vegas? Read about the FL hotel here.
- Speaking of hotels and airlines, were you aware of Fontainebleau Aviation? I wasn’t. Read more here.
- T-Pain will have a residency at the day/nightclub at Resorts World in 2024. Read more here.
- There’s going to be a pickleball game in Las Vegas during Super Bowl week. Read more here.
- I’m not sure who the market for Mean Girls Gymnastics is, but it’s not me. The event will take place at The Orleans. Read more here.
- Topgolf will have a Super Bowl party with Lil Wayne and T-Pain. Read more here.
- The billboard at Waldorf Astoria has a 3D advert. For some reason, the embed feature isn’t working for this. You can see it here.
- This is old news, but the newspaper is reporting that MGM purchased land it used to lease between Bellagio and The Cosmopolitan. Read more here.
- Two casinos in Henderson were sold. Read more here.