LVCVA report provides snapshot of the prototypical Las Vegas visitor

Tourists walk on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

The prototypical Las Vegas visitor in 2011 was a 49-year-old, white, married, Southern California man who has a college degree and earns $100,000 a year or more.

He came here with someone else, spent at least three nights, paying about $84 a night for a room purchased online after some Internet research. He drove here and spent about $275 for food and beverages, $135 for shopping, $65 for transportation, $48 for shows and $11 for sightseeing.

More than likely, he didn’t venture downtown.

He spent about three hours a day gambling with a budget of $448 — he’s gradually spent less gambling over the last five years and has become less likely to return to Vegas because there are casinos closer to home.

That’s the snapshot the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority captured in its 2011 Visitor Profile Study using the resources of its marketing research staff and San Francisco-based GLS Research.

A summary of the report was presented Tuesday to the LVCVA’s board of directors.

The report was developed from 300 interviews a month through the year by GLS researchers questioning Las Vegas visitors.

Kevin Bagger, the LVCVA’s senior director of marketing, said the information provided in the 104-page report would help the agency develop marketing strategies and enable resorts and attractions in Las Vegas to better understand their customers.

The LVCVA bases most of its budget and advertising decisions on market research. In fiscal year 2013, the LVCVA plans to spend $85.1 million for advertising and $33.4 million for marketing.

Visitor profile studies, which have been compiled for 35 years, enable the LVCVA to observe trends over time. They’ve been valuable in quantifying visitor behavior during the recession and helping resorts determine their strengths and weaknesses.

In addition to demographic profiles, the study addresses the types of properties visitors seek, how they find out about them, frequency of visits, transportation, activities, places visited, entertainment, what they thought of their visit and whether they would come back.

The survey also has started exploring how people use social media to decide what to do in Las Vegas.

Among key findings in the 2011 report:

• The proportion of visitors who gambled in Las Vegas hasdeclined from 85 percent in 2008 to 77 percent in 2011.

• Among those who gambled, their budget has gotten smaller. In 2007, average visitors said they budgeted $556 to play. In 2011, it was $448.

• Fewer people are attending shows in Las Vegas — 60 percent last year compared with 72 percent in 2008. They are more often going to lounge shows with fewer paying to see headliners or comedians.

• The satisfaction rate with Las Vegas is very high — 99 percent are either very or somewhat satisfied with the experience. The biggest reasons for not being satisfied are hotel complaints and the trip being too short or too expensive.

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  1. Ever hear the old saw, "Figures don't lie, but liars figure?" Well, the LVCVA would have us believe the 99% of visitors were "satisfied" with their visit. C'mon! They must have "cherry-picked" those polled! In just one area, I would venture to say that more than 1% of visitors would be upset. No matter what else they do, visitors have to eat on a daily basis and with long waits in lines at restaurants and service diminished by frazzled and overworked food servers, cashiers & hostesses due to understaffing, do you believe that nonsense? Let's try for a little honesty & integrity in your "reports," LVCVA!

  2. 300 interviews per month do not make for an accurate survey. The city is throwing away taxpayer money paying an outside firm to compile junk stats.

  3. "More than likely, he didn't venture downtown."

    "His" loss, and some of the real Vegas left for we the locals. The Beat rules!

    "To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson (from "Metamorphosis"?)

  4. I find it interesting how most posters always know better then the people that actually got out and found the information.

    Also those that blame the city when the city has nothing to do with the LVCVA or the funding of it.

  5. clearly this does not reflect the thousands of tourist walking the strip on a daily basis. i generally give this type of survey some margin for error, but this is way off.

    seems like some pr for what the tourist industry wishes reflected the average visitor to las vegas.

    maybe they just set up a table at the wynn and ask a few questions otherwise there may be a little embleshing of income or spending habits.

    unless these people hide in their rooms all day and night i havent seen them. i wouldnt think this profile reflects any more than 25% of the visitors

    also the income just doesnt add up with the amount spent. the $275 spent on food AND beverages over a three day time span is a joke.

    the only way this is accurate is if the socal man drives here and 1.brings his own booze 2.has seen all the shows 3. is tired of freemont street 4.knows that the house has too big an advantage to gamble too much 5. has seen all the tourist attractions 6. eats real cheap 7.doesnt bring a girlfriend, (as all the above would not apply, since most women would not come with such a cheap guy) 8. at this point why bother coming to las vegas.

    i think this this is a marketing report to try to sell las vegas to those who want these type of demographics in order to use las vegas in some way.

  6. You had me until The 99% Satisfied Survey. Then it became a "Fluff Piece" to justify an Organizations Tax Dollars.

    If the odds in Gaming Wins are the same or less in Vegas than in the Tourists Home Areas, then Casinos Must Compete otherwise.

    Most Major Artists in Casino Venues have priced themselves out of the Locals Market. That is why we need a Large Venue (at UNLV preferably), not associated with Any Casinos.

    The Convention Business is Huge for Las Vegas, however Orlando is ready to eat our Lunch AND Dinner.
    Disney, Beaches and numerous other Venues without Card Slappers, plus Pro Sports.

    Many Junket Gaming Operators will now take their Customers to The Bahamas (and even Tunica) instead of Las Vegas, since that is where most of their Customers prefer to go. I have Family that has severely reduced their Vegas Trips because they grew tired of the Trashy Las Vegas Strip and Sex Smut compared to the cleanliness of many other Gaming locations.

    There is a Reason the Credit Rating is in Jeopardy. Las Vegas Fat Cat Politicians have done Nothing to Develop a Long Range Plan for the community, even though they had plenty of warnings. You can bet they'll be the first off the ship with their Life Boats.

  7. I had a terrible experience at El Cortez recently, as they refused to give me a smoking room - which I had reserved online. Very bad attitudes and poor service. I'm staying at the Golden Nugget from now on...so consider me OUT of that 99%...