Las Vegas’ recent attempts at drawing a younger crowd are reportedly paying off after a recent study showed that more than a full third of visitors to the Nevada city last year were aged between 18 and 35 while those from the preceding Generation X demographic accounted for 27%.
According to a report from the Associated Press news service, the investigation commissioned by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority also revealed that 27% of the 42.9 million visitors to Las Vegas in 2016 were first-timers while those classed as being members of the “baby boomer” generation fell by 7% year-on-year to stand at 28%.
Although the percentage of Generation X visitors to Las Vegas in 2016 reportedly represented a 1% year-on-year drop, this was more than eased by a 10% increase in those from the “millennial” age range, which are those aged 18 to 35, to 34% while the study equated last year’s rise in first-time visitations to similar levels experienced in the mid-1990s.
“The product that we have now really appeals to “millennials” [as] nightclubs are like theater to “millennials”,” Bo Bernhard, International Gaming Institute Director at the University Of Nevada Las Vegas, told the news service. “They are experiencing a very different Las Vegas than their grandparents.”
The Associated Press reported that the results of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority study were based on a survey of 3,600 random tourists polled during 2016 with 91% declaring that they would recommend the city to others. Some 81% were found to have traveled to Las Vegas from other areas of the United States, which represented a 3% decline year-on-year, with about half of these coming from western states led by California.
“We’ve created dining destinations that are social and engaging and created food and beverage experiences ideal for sharing socially,” Jenn Michaels, Public Relations Senior Vice President for MGM Resorts International, which operates several developments in Las Vegas including the Bellagio Las Vegas, the Mirage Las Vegas and the Monte Carlo Las Vegas Resort and Casino, told the Associated Press. “And, of course, we are looking at our gaming floors and identifying how those can evolve to appeal to today’s traveler.”
The news service reported that MGM Resorts International created a committee several years ago dedicated to re-imagining the gaming experience for the “millennial” demographic while the firm has additionally opened an interactive and skill-based social gaming venue inside its MGM Grand Las Vegas property.
“Indeed, it is quite possible that the varied and targeted entertainment options and related venues currently in Las Vegas have served to attract new visitors to the destination much the same as the “new” mega resorts did in the 1990s,” read a statement from San Francisco-based public opinion and market research firm GLS Research.
However, the news was not all good as the study reportedly found that the percentage of visitors to Las Vegas that had gambled in 2016 remained static when compared with the previous five years at about 70% with gamblers spending an average of 1.9 hours on the casino floor, which was down from 2.9 hours in 2015 and more than two hours less than two decades ago.
“They are spending more time enjoying the non-gaming amenities,” Kevin Bagger from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority told the Associated Press before pointing to the city’s plethora of nightclubs, concerts, shows and sporting events.