Las Vegas’ efforts to attract millennials are beginning to pay off

  • Under-35s made up a third of tourists to Las Vegas in 2016
  • Biggest increase in first-time visitors since the mid-1990s

According to a new report on tourism to Las Vegas, it seems that the US casino Mecca’s efforts to attract younger visitors are starting to pay off.

Efforts to bring a younger generation appear to have been paying off.
Efforts to bring a younger generation appear to have been paying off.

The survey, which sampled the views of 3,600 visitors during the course of 2016, was conducted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and the findings make encouraging reading for the city’s authorities and business leaders.

Around a third of all visitors to the city were aged between 18 and 35, which represents a huge increase on 2015, when millennials represented less than a quarter of tourists in Las Vegas.

Along with the fact that 27% of visitors in 2016 were first-timers, this evidence suggests that the attempt to refresh the city’s image among younger people, who tend to be less interested in casino games than older generations, has worked.

A new Las Vegas

Reacting to the report, Vegas expert Bo Bernhard said that the city now had a product that was appealing to younger people and that they were able to enjoy a new Las Vegas that was very different to that enjoyed by previous generations.

A number of businesses have taken steps to change the casino environment in order to appeal to millennials.

Several years ago, MGM Resorts International set up a committee to design a more millennial-friendly experience, and the result has been the introduction of more social amenities, including an interactive gaming venue at the MGM Grand called Level Up.

Nightclubs, social dining areas, concerts and sports events have helped to drive up millennial interest. A new eSports arena has even been announced, tapping into the trend for watching professional video game players in action.

The report also suggested that, combined with the gradual recovery of the US economy, the changes had led to an increase in the number of first-time tourists that was comparable with the boom-years of the mid-1990s.

OUR VERDICT

The casino industry in Vegas is proving it is nothing if not adaptable.

And that will be key to its survival. The industry spotted its problems and has taken steps to address them and the results are beginning pay off, according to this survey at least.

With more and more revenue coming away from the tables and in other forms of entertainment, the big casino operators are perhaps showing how they can keep the players happy, as well as the investors.

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