No New Year’s Eve Fireworks on Las Vegas Strip, But Room Rates Soar

Posted on: December 17, 2020, 02:34h.

Last updated on: December 17, 2020, 03:16h.

Hotel room rates in Las Vegas have been lower overall this year. But rates are much higher on New Year’s Eve, according to a newspaper analysis. These Dec. 31 rates are occurring even without a fireworks show on the Las Vegas Strip this year.

Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan towers over the Las Vegas Strip on the west side of the famed resort corridor. Room rates in Las Vegas are higher for New Year’s Eve than the normal daily average. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Room rates at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on the Strip start at $500 for New Year’s Eve. At the Aria, on the west side of the Strip near the Cosmopolitan, rooms start at $399, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal analysis.

At the new Circa Resort in downtown Las Vegas, the starting room rate during this period is $315, with a minimum three-night stay, the newspaper reported.

These rates are higher on average than regular prices. In October 2020, the average daily room rate in Las Vegas was $104.54, or 23 percent below the same month last year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Last New Year’s Eve, an estimated 300,000 visitors attended the annual fireworks show on the Strip. Room rates reflected that influx. Rooms were $614 at the Bellagio and $574 at Caesars Palace, both on the West side of the Strip. At Encore on the east side of the Strip, rooms were $579, the newspaper reported.

By early March, the first coronavirus cases were reported in Nevada. For nearly three months after that, casinos were closed statewide. Though casinos reopened in June with health measures in place, tourism has remained sluggish. With the current surge in COVID-19 cases, casinos are only allowed to operate at 25 percent floor capacity.

Alan Feldman, distinguished fellow at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, told the newspaper that New Year’s Eve will be among the top days in recent months for hotel-casinos. But, he added, “Unfortunately that’s not saying much.”

‘Ominous’ Low Rates

In November, some of the properties in the Las Vegas Valley lowered their room rates going into the Thanksgiving holiday. Rates fell by 40 percent or more at some resorts.

At the time, Feldman told the newspaper this was “ominous,” since local and state governments rely on tax revenue from these properties.

Some visitors to Las Vegas are finding cheaper rooms by booking through Airbnb and other short-term rental sites. People who own condominiums inside Las Vegas hotel-casinos are advertising the savings advantage by booking this way. These bookings also avoid resort fees that can be $40 a night or more.

Virtual Fireworks Show

The annual fireworks show on the Strip at midnight will be conducted virtually this year. The event will include the explosion of a 2020 sign. The celebration will be shown live on the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. The Strip is south of downtown, outside Las Vegas city limits.

In downtown Las Vegas, the Plaza Hotel and Casino plans to put on a fireworks show. The Plaza is on Main Street where the now-demolished passenger train station stood. The resort, which opened in 1971, is across the street from Circa Resort.

The Fremont Street Experience is evaluating options for celebrating New Year’s Eve on the pedestrian mall in downtown Las Vegas, according to a statement emailed to Casino.org.

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