Retail is booming in Sin City, and that’s a trend you can safely bet on continuing.It’s often said that ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’ While that may be true, it certainly seems like visitors must be taking a whole bunch of goodies home with them.
As the Seattle Times shares, retail, and nongaming attractions brought in a staggering $11.2 billion in revenue last year. While that number includes shows, hotels, restaurants, and bars, it’s still double the $5.2 billion that table games and slot machines brought in. Retail is a hot commodity in Vegas, and one needs to only take a walk up and down the venerable strip in the heart of the city for confirmation.
Treasure Island Hotel & Casino has devoted the front portion of its property to retail, while Bally’s has converted a former garden into an outdoor mall. As Brent Pirosch, director of gaming consulting for CBRE Inc. explains, tourists are doing a lot more than browsing.
“Retail operations provide greater options for visitor spending and are a natural evolution for a destination like Las Vegas,” he said. “While gaming has been fairly flat for years, nongaming attractions jack up revenue and profits, and changing them is a cost-effective way to refresh a property.”
Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Andrew Zarnett explains that there’s something about Vegas that still sets it apart from other gaming destinations across the nation.
“There are so many more rooms in Las Vegas, and the average visit to Las Vegas is so much longer,” Zarnett said. “Given Atlantic City is primarily a day-tripper market, its ability to emulate on the retail front with Las Vegas is extremely difficult.”
For Michael Hirschfeld, co-leader of JLL’s National Retail Tenant Services, this is part of the overall evolution of Vegas. While gaming and fun will always be at the heart of it, visitors are looking for other ways to spend their dollars as well. Enter retail, and it’s becoming a popular market for retailers of all shapes and sizes as a result.
“Vegas is evolving, and retail is evolving,” he said. “The brands now want to be here because the people are here, and based on the stats, they’re here shopping.”
That’s a pretty telling assessment of the state of the retail game in Vegas, and there are no signs that this red-hot market will be slowing down anytime soon.