- Low room rates are to blame for the rise in violence on the Las Vegas Strip witnessed over the Labor Day weekend, according to CDC Consulting vice president Greg Mullen.
- Occupancy rates have plunged due to the pandemic, forcing operators to lower their rates, with others offering free rooms, in addition to travel incentives to the mass market, rather than just big spenders.
- Mullen believes the low rates and free rooms are drawing the wrong crowd.
- He is concerned that these wrong elements are going to taint the name of Las Vegas.
The rise in violence on the Las Vegas Strip witnessed over the Labor Day weekend directly results from low room rates, according to vice president of CDC Consulting Greg Mullen. Mullen believes the fall in prices during the COVID-19 pandemic is drawing the wrong people.
The plummeting of occupancy rates resulting from the pandemic-related reasons has pushed operators to offer low rates and, in some cases, free rooms in addition to travel incentives to the mass market, rather than just big spenders.
Mullen said “players that have never had free rooms in Las Vegas” are now enjoying inexpensive retails rates or no rates at all. He added that hotels are looking for players who are not lucrative from their database since it is better to have the rooms occupied than have no one in there.
Consequently, some high-end properties are experiencing all-time high destruction of rooms, according to Mullen. Meanwhile, videos with titles such as “Fight in ENCORE HOTEL LAS VEGAS LABOR WEEKEND 2020” are enjoying at least 40,000 views on YouTube.
After confirming that a serious fight had taken place at Encore over the weekend, a Wynn Resorts spokesperson said the company plans to stop the trend by raising room rates and getting more security personnel.
While addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Las Vegas Metro Police said downtown area command had apprehended 28 people on Friday alone and given 27 citations.
Head of the downtown area command Capt. Patricia Spenser said they welcome people who are coming to Las Vegas to participate in festivities. However, she said they won’t tolerate those who are coming “to prey on tourists or residents” of the community.
Mullen says operators should get a skillful balance between room rates that are high enough to keep undesired people outside, and low enough to ensure the occupancy rate is healthy. This should be in effect until the virus is under suppression to the degree that conventions and concerts come back on The Strip.
Mullen is, however, concerned that that the current situation could damage Las Vegas’ reputation for the foreseeable future.
He said that many of their higher-end profile clients are saying that their visitors won’t come to the city until this is under control. “They’re scared to walk outside their rooms, and don’t feel safe on elevators or on the casino floors themselves. It’s a bad look… You can really, severely, put a tarnish on Las Vegas,” he added.
According to Mullen, the city is in “uncharted waters.”