Forbes Ranks Las Vegas as One of the Most Expensive US Cities to Visit

Sin City just got a lot pricier. According to a recent study by Forbes Advisor, Las Vegas holds the dubious honor of being one of the most expensive US cities to visit.

The iconic Welcome to Las Vegas sign in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Source: Shutterstock)

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The study, which scrutinized travel costs to America's top destinations, revealed that Las Vegas has experienced the most significant surge in travel expenses over the past five years. This increase is highlighted by a staggering 47% rise in hotel accommodation prices, a 61% hike in car rental rates and a 14% escalation in daily meal costs.

Related: Nevada Gambling Revenue Hits $12bn in January 2024

The allure of Las Vegas has always been its dazzling array of entertainment options, but these come at a steep price. In the last quarter of 2023, visitors found themselves paying an average of $252 per night for a hotel room, approximately $77 for daily car rentals, and close to $98 for three meals a day. These figures are a testament to the city's growing reputation as a premium travel destination, with costs reflecting the high demand for its unique experiences.

Forbes Advisor's methodology in ranking the 75 largest cities involved a comprehensive analysis using data from the Business Travel News Corporate Travel Index, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and AAA. The cities were scored on nine weighted metrics, with the most emphasis placed on the five-year changes in meal, hotel, and car rental prices. However, other factors such as domestic airfare, gasoline prices, and various costs across specific tiers also played a significant role in the evaluation process.

This trend of rising travel costs is not exclusive to Las Vegas. Other cities that have seen considerable increases include Tucson, Arizona; Sacramento, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; and San Antonio, Texas. These destinations, much like Las Vegas, have become more costly for travelers, indicating a broader pattern of inflation affecting the tourism industry nationwide.

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Visitors Not Deterred

The implications of these findings are far-reaching for both leisure and business travelers. However, the increased costs aren't keeping people away.

Nevada's casino industry reported a surge in gaming revenue for April, fueled by major growth in the Las Vegas area. The Nevada Gaming Control Board revealed that the state's casinos collected over $1.2 billion, marking a nearly 7% increase compared to the same month in 2023.

Looking at the bigger picture, the fiscal year ending April 30, 2024, also witnessed positive growth. Overall revenue reached $13.2 billion, reflecting a 4.7% increase from the $12.6 billion collected during the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Clark County, encompassing Las Vegas, experienced significant gains across most major gaming sectors. Compared to 2023, the county saw an overall revenue increase of 8.5%, reaching nearly $1.1 billion.

The Las Vegas Strip reported a 6.6% growth, with revenue hitting $668.1 million. This positive trend extended to both table games and slot machines. Table games on the Strip witnessed a 9.6% rise in revenue, reaching $256.8 million, while slot machine revenue climbed 5.1% to $409.3 million.


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