A lot has changed in Las Vegas but there’s one constant. Visitors love seeing shows. Whether the shows are free or if the shows cost money more than half the people who visited Las Vegas in 2016 saw a show according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Visitor Profile.
The survey shows that 52% of all visitors to Las Vegas saw a show last year. While that’s a lot of people it’s down from recent years…down a lot. In 2013 the study shows that 72% of all visitors saw a show. That number has decreased every year since that study took place.
More visitors saw big-name headliner shows and impersonator or tribute shows in Las Vegas in 2016. That’s more than any year from 2012 to 2014. Approximately one of every six visitors (almost 17%) who saw a show in Las Vegas saw a comedy show. That’s a large increase from previous years and could increase this year with the inaugural Crapshoot Comedy Festival.
According to the Visitor Profile, fewer visitors than in the past saw lounge acts. This doesn’t just represent fewer people, it was a far fewer people. In 2016, only 43% of visitors who saw a show in Las Vegas went to see a lounge act. That is down drastically from 87% in 2013.
The average expenditure on shows and entertainment in 2016 was $67.55. That’s an increase from 2012– 2015. In a different study, the Las Vegas Advisor says that the average show ticket in Las Vegas was $92 in 2016.
The same report shows the average ticket for a show at the Axis Theater inside Planet Hollywood was $195.67. That was the highest ticket price in Las Vegas last year. Axis Theater is where you’ll see residencies from Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Backstreet Boys and others.
The times are changing. This survey was the first year that the Visitor Profile tracked how many people who visited Las Vegas saw a DJ perform. More people saw a celebrity DJ perform (8%), then saw a couple Las Vegas staples. Only 6% of show goers saw a celebrity impersonator or tribute show and even fewer, 4%, saw a magic show.
With many expenses in Las Vegas on the rise, something has to give. Of the 48% of respondents that didn’t see a show in Las Vegas last year, 10% said that seeing a show was too expensive. That’s an increase from 2012 and 2014. Those people should learn about Travel Vegas and other websites that offer discount show tickets.
I’m not asked to promote this website, but this is where I send friends and colleagues looking for discount show tickets. Even though I live in Las Vegas I’ve always fallen into the 79% of visitors who are busy, don’t have time or aren’t interested in shows.
That said, Absinthe, is the one show I’d make time to see. It’s unlike any other show in Las Vegas and I loved it. Part of what makes Las Vegas special is experiencing something new and different. That’s what Absinthe offers. As much as I love Britney Spears, I can play her jams on spotify (I’m listening to it now).
If you’re looking for something the pass the time, you might want to read the entire Las Vegas Visitors Profile. It’s fascinating to see how people spend their time and money.


Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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