Brooklyn-based KOALA, a time share vacation rental marketplace, has projected the future cost of Disney park admissions in 10 years’ time based on price increases since Disneyland in California opened in 1955.
Back then, $2.50 would get an adult through the gates. Adjusted for inflation, that ticket would be worth about $24 in today’s money. Mike Kennedy, Koala co-founder and CEO said Disney has staying power. “Despite the steep increase in price, millions of families continue to travel to the parks each year and pay a premium to experience that Disney magic. At KOALA, we’ve seen a steady rise in bookings to the Orlando area in particular — evidence that Disney’s trademark fun and R&R continues to be a lure, especially for families planning their post-pandemic ‘comeback’ vacations.”
Las Vegas scored big in March Madness, posting their biggest month in eight years, with casinos on the Strip accounting for half the state’s house winnings at $501.45 million. Casinos across Nevada raked in more than $1 billion for the first time since the pandemic began, a 73% increase over March 2020, according to a report from the State Gaming Control Board.
In April, Wynn Las Vegas reported its most lucrative slot revenue month ever, collecting $25 million in slot revenue. Wynn will move to 100% capacity at its Strip resorts after nearly 90% of its workforce have been vaccinated.
Statewide slot winnings totaled $772 million – the second-highest total in history – and slot machine volume was the highest since July 2008. Nevada sports books handled almost $641 million in March and won $39.3 million, second in the nation to New Jersey where sports pools handled $859 million and won $60.7 million.
“I’m extremely hopeful and I am extremely confident that Las Vegas is going to not only recover but is eventually going to see even greater high marks, just as it has after every single downturn in the last 40 years,” Alan Feldman, a distinguished fellow at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, told the Las Vegas Review Journal.
NYC: In 2019, 14.6 million theatergoers spent $1.8 billion on tickets with visitors making up nearly two-thirds of audience numbers. That’s almost 250,000 people seeing a Broadway show every week prior to the pandemic.
Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said, “On behalf of the nearly 100,000 people who make their living on Broadway – on stage, backstage, and throughout the city and state – we are immensely gratified by the support of Governor Cuomo today. Restarting Broadway is a complex endeavor, requiring long lead times for productions the need to reconnect with a sustaining audience from across the country and around the world. Today’s green light by the Governor to put our shows on sale now for the fall is vital to our success. Broadway is the beating heart of NYC tourism and we can’t wait for the day soon when our hearts will beat before a live joyful audience.”
- State-by-state, as hospitalizations fall and vaccination rates mount, re-openings are being announced — some conditional — through July. A list and a map are regularly updated at The New York Times.
- DC reopens at full capacity for most activities on May 21.
- Illinois is set to re-open on June 11.
- Virginia is planning on June 15.
- Pennsylvania opens on May 31.
- North Carolina planning to open on June 1.
- California is fully re-opening on June 15.
- Destination Analysts‘ weekly survey for the week of May 10, 2021 indicates that, “Over 90% of American travelers have trip plans right now, and 75% will take at least one leisure trip within the next 3 months alone. Over 70% are highly open to travel inspiration, with 35% reporting they researched travel ideas online in the last week, a pandemic-record.”
This is the TSA report on passenger throughput at U.S. airports so far in May. It’s easy to see where this story is headed.
- In North Carolina, Buncombe County collects an occupancy tax on short-term vacation rentals, and from July 2020 to date, $25 million was collected, already surpassing 2019 revenues. Short-term rental property owners reported a 42% increase in tax revenues while hotel takings were down 27% and B&Bs fell 9%.
- Celebrity Cruises has revealed the new Celebrity Beyond, their third Edge-class ship for 2,900 guests. Disney Cruise Line reveals Disney Wish, the brand’s first new build ship since spring 2012.
- Airline Weekly reports that “airfares jumped a dramatic 63.5%” over dates in May through Memorial Day, which “demonstrates what airlines repeatedly emphasized in their first quarter earnings calls: both leisure demand and fares will be at or near pre-crisis levels in the U.S. this summer.”
- Rob Torres, Managing Director-Travel at Google, recently shared this comment at WTTC in Cancun: “In our last survey, 1 in 3 U.S consumers said that they plan to take a leisure trip in July, and I think that bodes well for all of us.”
Not So Good News:
- Twelve countries are placed on the recovery green-is-for-go traffic light system introduced in the United Kingdom last week…and the USA isn’t on the list. We are stuck on amber (yellow) light. “The U.S. economy will lose $262 billion and 1.1 million jobs if its borders remain shut…to quickly create a US-UK travel corridor would be low-risk for both countries and high-reward economically,” said Roger Dow, president & CEO, U.S. Travel Association.
- Funding of the Hawaii Tourism Authority is at risk. House Bill 862, which would eliminate dedicated funds was passed last week. CEO John De Fries says the rebound of Hawaii’s economy is dependent on tourism. Gov. David Ige has until June 21 to veto.
- There’s a battle brewing around tourism marketing in Sedona. One group, Save Our Sedona Coalition, says all the tourists are hurting the environment, but merchants say they need the business. A spokesperson with the chamber of commerce said the city council will vote on the proposal to halt marketing early next month.
(Cover photo: Mickey Mouse Toy (www.flickr.com/photos/jeffchristiansen/2233930674)