Southern Californians May Rethink Las Vegas Plans Due to Gas Prices

Gasoline prices were over $7 a gallon at a Chevron gas station in Menlo Park, Calif.

On June 17, 2022, at 07:45h, this was posted.

There was a last update on June 17, 2022, 08:59h.

A prominent economist says that record-setting gasoline prices could affect travel to Las Vegas for people who drive from Southern California. Other factors, such as a rebound in conventions and increased numbers of foreign travelers, may help offset a potential decline in visitor volume.

Gasoline prices were over $7 a gallon at a Chevron gas station in Menlo Park, Calif.
Gasoline prices were over $7 a gallon at a Chevron gas station in Menlo Park, Calif., on May 25. Nearby Nevada has the second-highest gasoline prices in the US. (Image: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

Many people from Southern California go by car to Las Vegas. Stephen Miller, director of research at UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research said that the price at the pump could affect their plans.

But, while they are in Vegas, they may spend more than they did on a typical trip before cutting back on trips,” Miller said.

Other factors could help offset the drop in visitor volume to Las Vegas due to oil prices. There was a decrease in the number of people going to Las Vegas. Both categories of travelers have reentered the Las Vegas market after a long absence.

Miller predicted that the decline in per-person spending in the total spending calculation could be offset by the increase in visitor volume.

Price at the Pump

Nevada has the second-highest average gasoline price in the US at $5.67 a gallon. The average price for a gallon of gasoline in Las Vegas is over $5. It costs over $6.02 for diesel.

California has the highest gasoline prices in the US at $6.42 per gallon. The price of diesel is at $7.

The volume of visitors to Las Vegas could be hurt. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 20 percent of visitors came from Southern California.

Alpine County, a region in California near the Nevada border, saw regular gasoline prices of $7.80 per gallon last week, according to Forbes. It is thought to be the highest US county.

Due to rising gasoline prices, regional casinos may be vulnerable to would-be casino players rethinking driving plans.

Michael Walden, an economist with the North Carolina State University, told Casino.org that people are adjusting their vacations and spending less on non-essentials because of the high gasoline prices. The casino business could be hurt by both adaptation.

Travel Surveys

According to a survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, most would-be travelers are concerned about inflation and rising fuel costs.

More than 50% of travelers are likely to cut vacations short to save money because of higher gas prices, according to the survey. It is possible that travel may be delayed.

Travel plans for July 4
Source: The Vacationer

According to a survey by The Vacationer, 50.39 percent of respondents said that gasoline prices will affect their Independence Day travel plans. Californians were most likely to say that prices at the pump will affect holiday travel.

According to the survey, 36.99% of those who want to drive for holiday travel said gasoline prices would affect their plans. A majority of those who want to board a plane said fuel prices affect their travel plans.

Miller said that the airfares are high.

Miller said that air ticket prices seem to drop in September. Some people may wait until the fall to visit Las Vegas.

Gasoline Prices Soon May Peak

gasoline prices will peak sometime during the summer.

If Saudi Arabia decides to pump more oil, gasoline prices could go up. If the economy goes into a recession, driving will go down, as well as gasoline prices.

Miller said that inflation is more persistent than most analysts had predicted.

Miller said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and government relief to workers and businesses from the initial recession are reasons for inflation. The interest rates were raised by the Federal Reserve this week.