The latest revenue figures from the Nevada Gaming Control Board suggest a story beyond the usual "bottom line."
For instance, the 41 casinos on the Strip received 41.9 percent of their revenue from gaming while the 18 casinos downtown reported that 60.2 percent of theirs came from gaming.
The concept that gaming now accounts for less than half of the average Strip hotel’s revenue would have been unheard of a few years ago. But operators, especially the large ones like Harrah’s and MGM Mirage, are finding that entertainment, dining and shopping are higher-margin sources of earnings and are building their facilities accordingly.
While that concept seems to have been lost on downtown, there are signs that the city of Las Vegas has seen the light and has implemented a plan to lure entertainment venues to Fremont Street. (See related story on page 1.)
To further illustrate the disparity between entertainment on and off the Strip, the resorts on the Strip spent $214.4 million on music and entertainment while the downtown destinations spent $1.2 million.
Interestingly, hotels on the Strip and downtown gained almost exactly the same percentage of their revenues from food with the Strip venues counting 13.9 percent of its revenues in that category while the downtown properties reported getting 13.8 percent of their revenues from diners.