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Room rates soaring for BTS, NAB, NFL Draft events in April

With four concerts by K-pop band BTS, the National Association of Broadcasters trade show and the National Football League Draft on Las Vegas’ event calendar in the next three weeks, the city’s resorts are gearing to capitalize financially.

Average daily room rates during the days of those events are four to five times higher than April 2021’s average rate. Some hotels are asking more than $1,000 a night for a stay.

“The numbers didn’t surprise me that much because we’ve got good events that will fill the destination, which means you can command a higher room rate and you’re going to get a higher room rate because as the capacity increases, the rate increases,” said industry analyst Brendan Bussmann, founder of Las Vegas-based B Global.

“There are a lot of factors that go into it, but it’s no different than New Year’s Eve having high rates or CES or anything else,” he added. “It’ll be interesting to see how much ADR (average daily rate) is impacted when first-quarter earnings results come out, solely because CES had such low rates this year.”

A survey of room rates listed on hotels.com determined that the average rate among 58 properties for Friday and Saturday — the dates of the first two of four concerts by the popular Korean boy band — was $476.38 a night.

The average rate from April 23-27, the dates of the broadcasters trade show, among 48 properties is $338.50 a night.

The average rate of 51 properties from April 28 to April 30, the dates of the NFL Draft, is $403.25 a night.

The rates were surveyed on hotels.com Wednesday and included Strip, downtown and off-Strip properties. Some resorts that are already sold out weren’t included in the survey.

The average daily room rate in April 2021, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, was $109.36 a night. On the Strip, the average was $113.77, and in downtown Las Vegas, $86.03 a night.

Aria Sky Suites had the most expensive rates with the website showing $1,720 a night for the first BTS weekend, $2,159 a night during NAB and $1,787 a night during the NFL Draft.

Rooms selling for under $100 a night were hard to come by. A guest could stay at the Oyo during the NAB show for $81 a night and $107 during the draft. The off-Strip Silver Sevens property was offering rooms during NAB for $82 and during the draft for $108.

Even the famously inexpensive Motel 6 properties in Las Vegas are commanding high rates. The Motel 6 near Allegiant Stadium was offering rooms for $338 a night during the first BTS concert weekend, with the Tropicana Avenue site priced at $308 and the Motel 6 near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway going for $326.

Amanda Belarmino, an assistant professor at UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, explained how resorts arrive at their room rates.

“When hotels set their prices, they use what we call demand-based pricing,” she said. “This means that the rates fluctuate based on what is going on at the property or in town. For most hotels, they set an initial price 6-12 months before arrival and then make changes based upon booking.

“For our market, if the rates are this high, then the demand is that high,” Bellarmino said. “ADR not only takes into account these rates that we see on the hotel websites but group rates, casino rates, complimentary rooms, and discounts to different distribution channels like tour and travel companies. All of those rates are typically lower.”

The highest rates this weekend are the Aria Sky Suites, followed by MGM Signature Suites ($1,443), the Four Seasons ($1,263), the Delano ($1,124), Caesars Palace ($1,074) and Wynn Las Vegas ($1,019).

The NFL Draft is still three weeks away, and rates could climb even higher as the first night of the event draws nearer, but as of Wednesday, the highest rates are at the M Resort, which bills itself as the official hotel of the Las Vegas Raiders ($2,897 a night), the Aria Sky Suites ($1,787) and the Palms Place Stripview suites ($1,424).

The resorts closest to the NFL Draft location at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road are higher than last year’s average but relatively moderate compared with other places.

Bussmann anticipates more major jumps in room rates when the Las Vegas Grand Prix Formula 1 race returns in November 2023 and the NFL’s Super Bowl comes here in February 2024.

Bellarmino said the hotel room product also has evolved to a higher standard.

“As we have seen the hotel room product evolve and become more luxurious over the past decade, hotel rates have needed to increase as well,” she said. “While we are still a value destination compared to other locations and depending on the day of the week, price is also looked upon as an indicator of quality by many consumers.

“Therefore, rates that are too low may indicate that a property has fallen off. Pricing is a delicate balancing act between doing what is profitable to help increase wages and staffing level while still making decisions that are responsible for the guests,” she said.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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