20 April 2011

Las Vegas show ticket prices hit highest level recorded in survey

The number of tourists traveling to Las Vegas is approaching pre-recession levels, but the average cost of a Strip show ticket has already surpassed that mark.

Las Vegas show prices are at the highest levels recorded in the 20-year history of an annual survey conducted by Las Vegas Advisor.

The average price for a Las Vegas show was $76.46 in March, up from $73.46 in April 2010 and almost flat with April 2009. That compares to an average price of $27.05 for a show in July 1992, according to the survey.

The annual Las Vegas Advisor show ticket survey indicates ticket prices have increased almost every year for the past 20 years, except for between 2000 and 2002, and from 2009 to 2010, when ticket prices dropped $2.72.

Anthony Curtis, who sends out the monthly newsletter, said the survey included all ongoing shows, including new shows like “Celine” and “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, but excludes temporary shows.

The survey uses the lowest possible ticket price available, without coupons, half-priced booth prices and other discounts, Curtis said. The prices include all taxes and fees.

This year’s survey included 95 shows, an increase of four shows from last year.

Although not included in the calculation of the survey, one of the priciest show tickets this year was a VIP ticket for “Donny & Marie” at the Flamingo for $295.13 with tax. The ticket includes front-of-stage seating and a meet-and-greet after the show. Curtis said the “Celine” Diamond Experience was priced at $1,375.

Barry Manilow’s show had the highest average price, at $190.96 for a non-VIP package, with “Donny & Marie” in second at $171.11 and “Celine” in third at $164.65.

Curtis’ report said 28 shows on the list had a price of $100 of higher.

“The culprit is that one-third of all the shows here raised their price this year," Curtis said. "Last year we saw the opposite. We saw a lot of cutbacks in shows that had lasted through the year. Also, we had the addition of a few high-priced shows."

The lowest-priced ticket on the list was $17.45 for the “Afternoon Comedy Magic Show” at the Four Queens.

Amanda Finnegan