Hotel occupancy rates maintained a moderate pace in September, but Las Vegas Resort Operators managed to push room rates to the highest level in the pandemic era, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported. Occupancy rates averaged 73 percent for the month with weekend occupancy at 89.1 percent, just below the norm, but midweek levels were at 66.1 percent, underscoring the absence of convention traffic. Despite average occupancy rates, resort operators have pushed the average daily room rates up by double-digit percentages. The Convention Authority reported an average room rate of $155.80, 11 percent higher than in August and 44.1 percent higher than in September 2020. The Strip average daily room rate was $164.78 for the month, up 10.9 percent from August and 40.4 percent from more than a year ago. Downtown Las Vegas rooms were strong with a rate of $110.20, 28.7 percent more than August and 84 percent more than a year ago. The Life is Beautiful Music and Cultural Festival took place, September 17, 18 and 19, and resulted in higher demand for downtown rooms in the middle of the month.
With stronger weekends but declines midweek vs. August 2021, September visitation saw some stabilization at approximately 2.9 million visitors (down 2.1 percent month over month and down 15.5 percent from September 2019) after seeing sharper declines in August as the COVID delta variant surged. All this is filling the Las Vegas Resorts pockets with money similar to pre-COVID. There is one group that isn't happy. Culinary Union Members are upset with about 35 percent of the 60,000 union members, or about 21,000, having not returned to their previous jobs.