Modest slowdown in Las Vegas seen in October, especially from VIP travelers

  • The Las Vegas Strip's leisure business has been "off a little bit" since the Oct. 1 attack that killed 58 people, according to Union Gaming analyst John DeCree.
  • "We think that occupancy rates across the Strip took a little bit of a hit the first day and first week into the second week," Caesars CEO Mark Frissora disclosed Tuesday.
  • Investors will get a chance to learn more details on Vegas trends as Las Vegas Sands reports after the bell Wednesday and Wynn Resorts on Thursday.
The casino floor at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.
Tanner | Ullstein Bild | Getty Images
The casino floor at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

A modest slowdown in high-end Asian travelers to Las Vegas following the Oct. 1 attack is showing up in early business trends for October.

"What we've seen just in terms of demand is on the higher-end VIP gaming customers that confirmed kind of what Caesars has said," John DeCree, an analyst at Union Gaming in Las Vegas, told CNBC. He added that the Las Vegas Strip's leisure business was "off a little bit," although he added that this time of year tends to be a seasonally slow period anyway for Las Vegas.

On Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment's CEO was asked about Las Vegas Strip trends during the casino company's investor and analyst meeting in New York.

Investors will get a chance to learn more details on Vegas trends as Las Vegas Sands reports after the bell Wednesday and Wynn Resorts on Thursday.

The Las Vegas attack killed 58 people and ranks as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

"We think that occupancy rates across the Strip took a little bit of a hit the first day and first week into the second week," said Caesars Entertainment President and CEO Mark Frissora.

Also, the CEO said there's been an impact on the Asian travelers coming into Vegas. Asian high-rollers from markets such as China have historically been a lucrative customer for the major casino operators in Vegas.

"Asian play has actually been less because people in Asia are very respectful of the deaths that occurred — and they believe there should be a period of mourning," said Frissora. He said that period can be roughly three to four months, based on what he's heard.

Even so, the Caesars executive said the convention and meeting business in Vegas remains "solid," adding "there hasn't been any cancellation of meetings that we've seen really for the rest of the year."

"It's fair to say we are cautiously optimistic about the rebound," said Frissola.

Meantime, Union Gaming's DeCree said despite a slowdown in some higher-end customers, or VIP customers, it was still "too early" to extrapolate what the long-term impact might be.

Caesars Entertainment, which owns or operates Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Bally's, Paris Las Vegas and Harrah's, recently emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.