Las Vegas Visitor Volumes Decline as Delta Variant Spikes
With the COVID-19 Delta variant spiking in August, the number of people visiting Las Vegas declined for the first time in eight months. After visitation rose for seven consecutive months, reaching a pandemic-era peak in July, visitors to the Entertainment Capital of the World dropped by 9.2% in August to just under 3 million visitors. Compared to the pre-pandemic level from August 2019, the number of visitors to Las Vegas was down 16.2%. Year-to-date through August 2021, 19.8 million visitors have traveled to Las Vegas, a 55.7% gain from the first eight months of 2020, but 30.3% less than the same period in 2019. Despite the recent downturn in visitors, jobs in Las Vegas continue to bounce back. The Las Vegas market added 85,400 jobs in the year-ending August 2021, with 36,900 of those positions returning to the Leisure/Hospitality Services industry. In addition, the market’s 9.7% job growth rate over the past year was the leading performance among the nation’s 50 largest apartment markets. However, the Las Vegas job base still has a way to go before a full recovery. As of August, the overall job base was nearly 7% below pre-pandemic levels, the fifth-worst outcome among the top 50 markets, topping only New York, Oakland, San Francisco and Orlando. Jobs in Leisure/Hospitality Services, the hardest hit employment sector in Las Vegas during the pandemic, are still nearly 23% below pre-pandemic norms.