Las Vegas Stadium Authority on Track to Fund $750 Million Commitment, Room Taxes Outpace Projections

Posted on: March 20, 2018, 12:00h. 

Last updated on: March 20, 2018, 09:15h.

The Las Vegas Stadium Authority (LVSA) reports that after 11 months collecting an increased occupancy tax on hotel rooms in Clark County, actual revenues are 6.1 percent ahead of budgeted forecasts.

Las Vegas Stadium Oakland Raiders
There’s a flurry of activity at the Las Vegas Stadium site, future home the NFL’s Raiders. (Image: KTNV)

In preparation for its Thursday meeting, the Stadium Authority revealed that January was an exceptionally strong month in terms of hotel occupancy tax revenue.

The LVSA collected more than $4.7 million in January, or about four percent more than the projected $4.5 million. January’s take will only increase, too, as the initial reported number does not yet include occupancy taxes from Henderson and North Las Vegas.

The nine-member LVSA is tasked with overseeing construction of the $1.9 billion stadium that will become the home of the Raiders when the franchise relocates from Oakland to Las Vegas ahead of the 2020 NFL season. Nevada pledged $750 million to help build the 65,000-seat domed facility, which will be located just west of Interstate 15 between Hacienda Avenue and Russell Road.

Hotel occupancy taxes in Clark County were increased through Nevada Senate Bill 1 to pay the state’s three-quarters of a billion dollars share. The 0.88 percent surcharge went into effect in March 2017.

Nevada’s $750 million stadium obligation is the most the state will spend on the project. Raiders owner Mark Davis will be on the hook for any overages incurred during construction.

Needed Rebound

For the typical Las Vegas and Clark County overnight visitor, the less than one percent hotel occupancy tax increase equates to an extra $1.14 per night. The average nightly room rate across Las Vegas was $129.41 in 2017.

January’s outpacing hotel occupancy revenue projections by at least four percent was a much-welcomed report after income fell short of forecasts in the previous three months.

For March 2017 through September 2018, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority reported that it was five percent ahead of budgeted room tax revenue. But then the October 1 shooting happened, and visitation subsequently slowed.

Monthly income to the LVSA fell 2.9 percent in October, 4.7 percent in November, and 7.7 percent in December.

Trailing 12-month room tax revenue (March 2017-January 2018) is now 6.1 percent ahead of schedule, according to the LVSA. The stadium account holds $45,259,840, which is a $2.58 million premium on the budgeted total.

Room Revenue Up, Visitation Down

January’s elevated hotel occupancy tax wasn’t driven by strong visitation numbers. In fact, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported that volume decreased 3.3 percent compared to the same month in 2017.

Instead, higher room rates, driven by fewer available rooms due to renovations throughout Clark County, led to the 0.88 percent charge generating more money for the LVSA.

Gambling fortunes for casinos across the Las Vegas Valley also declined during January. Clark County as a whole saw gross gaming win decrease by 3.7 percent, and things were even worse along the Strip where numbers plummeted nearly nine percent.

However, Nevada Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said it was a difficult comparison, as January 2017 had one more weekend day than 2018.