If you have a trip to Las Vegas booked in the next few days or weeks, you may want to double check that your accommodation isn’t resembling something from the Poseidon Adventure.
Sin City has been hit by storms of such magnitude that many of the major casinos on the strip are now flooded, while other famous landmarks – including Planet Hollywood – have suffered extraordinary damage.
If you’re going to Planet Hollywood tonight bring an umbrella pic.twitter.com/2S24ldvhiu
— Las Vegas Locally ? (@LasVegasLocally) August 12, 2022
It’s the second time in a fortnight that Las Vegas has been besieged by flooding, with more than a centimetre of the wet stuff falling on Thursday evening alone. That takes the total for the area’s monsoon season, which runs from June until September, to in excess of one foot of rainfall.
That makes this the wettest monsoon season in Vegas in the past decade, and there’s still the best part of a month to go to add to that tally.
A clean-up operation has already begun on the strip, with Caesars Palace and the Golden Nugget both reporting electrical failures – the former’s leaking roof seeing diners at the in-house restaurant doused with water. At Planet Hollywood’s casino, a water feature that they hadn’t planned for cascaded through ceiling tiles onto the gamers below.
And, the car park of one casino-hotel chain resembled white water rapids, with floods crashing down from one level to the next.
The issues have been exacerbated by previous drought conditions in the state of Nevada, with the average rainfall per year little more than four inches – some 25% of that has fallen in the past eight weeks, making floods unavoidable.
With further rain and storms forecast for the weekend, it’s likely that things will get worse before they get better in Las Vegas.
Golden Times for the Silver State
If they are to be hit with a giant bill for the damages caused, at least Las Vegas’ casinos are good for the money. The strip has just recorded its fifteenth consecutive month of revenue in excess of $1 billion, which unsurprisingly is a record as per the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s stats.
And, so successful has 2022 been so far for Sin City, the revenue generated in May was the highest amount ever recorded in the month since Vegas became a popular tourist destination in the 1960s, and the fourth best-month ever.
It’s a sign of restored confidence in international travel, with the numbers of visitors to Vegas some 19.8% higher in May than they were in the same month in 2021. However, the overall picture is still around 7% down on pre-2020 rates.
The stats suggest more international travellers are heading to the city, with weekend and longer stays the key driver behind the rise, although – as you might have suspected – that has led to hotels putting up their prices. The average room rate on the strip is now $176 per night (£145), which is up by a mammoth $50 on the May 2021 average of $126.