Last week, I had the privilege to spend four days in Las Vegas to celebrate my mother’s birthday. We left my husband and son in charge of the house and our dog, Sasha, and ventured to Sin City.
The last time I visited the jewel of Nevada was 2007. That year, according to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the city received 39,196,761 tourists who accounted for a record revenue of $10.8 billion.
Eleven years later, in 2018, the number of tourists were 42,116,800 and the revenue was $10.2 billion. By comparing the numbers, I reached a conclusion that was evident during our stay.
Even though the number of visitors increased by almost three million, the revenue decreased more than $600 million. Why? The current tourism in Las Vegas does not revolve 100% around gambling, but rather entertainment.
One factor that has contributed to this change is the marketing of the hospitality industry. They are targeting young families with little children and teens, as well as single people.
My mom and I saw countless couples with babies in their arms or in strollers; during the late evening hours, they were walking through the halls and gambling tables breathing the second-hand cigarette smoke of the players.
Another factor is the effect of social media and apps that have created a “traveling savvy community” which teaches people to save money on food, accommodation, and transportation.
I am sure that the catchy motto, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” is pretty much alive for forbidden experiences, but the stories and memories of a big segment of the visitors are family-oriented and don’t need to be kept secret.
Today, Las Vegas is known as the world capital of entertainment, with shows tailored to every desire and budget. Whatever one is interested in, culinary, sports, singers, illusionists, comedians, etc., the city has it all seven days a week, 365 days a year.
However, if your wallet is on a diet, walking through the casinos and hotels is a plan in itself. Anyone can enjoy the lavish decorations and stores, as well as the street shows happen on every corner. But keep in mind that you will be surrounded by large crowds people in 100 degree heat, so the experience can turn into torture, quickly.
Another option is connecting to nature by visiting the Hualapai (people of the ponderosa tree) Nation. A ten-hour guided tour through the Mojave Desert, with temperatures reaching the 115 Fahrenheit, is a prerequisite to marvel at the majestic Grand Canyon, which is simply breathtaking.
In the past, Las Vegas was considered an expensive and sometimes a morally reprehensible destination. Not anymore. The price of luxury is more affordable than ever and without sin.
One last warning: if you have an addictive personality, beware of the seductive glow of the casinos. Gambling lures the most susceptible and could end up loosing the kid’s college fund of the mortgage payment.
Thanks for reading and sharing,