Crowded Vegas Strip – Busiest and Most Expensive Days of the Year

When is the best time to visit Las Vegas?

When are the business and most expensive times to visit?

Keep reading as we dive into Las Vegas Holidays and the busiest times to visit Las Vegas.

busiest days in las vegas

Even though the Vegas strip and surrounding areas have exploded in size, there is a limit for any city.

To have the best time on your vacation to Sin City, you will likely want to avoid some of the heavier traffic times.

Things like holidays and conventions draw more people to Vegas than other times of the year, and the crowds will make it harder to see everything you want to enjoy. There are more hotel rooms in Las Vegas than any other city in the world, and the prices of those rooms skyrocket when the city is especially busy.

By carefully planning your vacation time around the Vegas schedule, you will get the best possible rates and have a great time walking the Strip and exploring all that the city has to offer.

Following is a list of some of the busiest times during the year to visit Las Vegas. While there is pretty much always something going on in Vegas, these times are the worst for the crowds.

Busiest Vegas Weekends and Holidays

New years eve in Las Vegas

New Year’s Eve – Super Busy!

The mother of all party nights, New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas is pure madness.

While this is attractive to many, it also comes at quite a price in terms of room rates and crowds. The streets and hotels become overwhelmed with visitors, and flights are also more expensive.

You will find long lines at every turn, and the overall experience of seeing Vegas will be hampered significantly.

Unless you enjoy the crazy parties that come along with NYE, you are better off picking another time to visit.

CES – First Week in January

The consumer electronics show brings in a large number of people, as well as the Adult Entertainment Expo. CES has drawn tens of thousands of people to Las Vegas.

The conference regularly receives upwards of 180,000+ attendees and features more than 1,200 speakers and 4,000 exhibitors.

AVN – Adult Entertainment Expo – Mid January

The AVN novelty Expo is the premier B2B event in adult entertainment and features adult toys, lingerie, gifts, supplements, games, furniture cosmetics, and much more. There are many opportunities for networking and workshopping at this event, which draws around 25,000+ people.

watch Super Bowl in Las Vegas

Super Bowl Weekend – Early February

Super Bowl Weekend is one of the busiest weekends in Las Vegas, with many people looks to bet and watch the game in Las Vegas. There is more money wagered on this game than any other.

Casinos are known to throw parties and offer special VIP packages for watching the big game from one of their clubs, restaurants, or bars.

The Las Vegas Convention Center notes over 90% occupancy rate for hotels in Vegas during this weekend.

Some of the more popular Sportsbooks in Vegas include MGM, Caesars Palace, The Mirage, Circa Las Vegas, and Caesars Palace.

Book early if you plan on being in Vegas for the big game.

March Madness – Mid March

This one can catch many visitors off guard if they are not sports fans.

‘March Madness’ is the nickname of the NCAA Division One Men’s Basketball Tournament, and it is high time for sports fans from all over to head to Vegas and wager on the games.

While the exact dates of the tournament vary from year to year, it is always on three consecutive weekends (usually the last two weekends of March and the first weekend of April).

By far, the first weekend of the tournament will be the busiest in Vegas, with the games being played Thursday-Sunday. Most sportsbooks will have reserved seating, and many Vegas sports bars will offer food and beverage packages as well.

If you are not a basketball fan and not interested in wagering on the tournament, you would be wise to check the dates and pick another time for your trip.

MGM Grand pool - one of the best in Las Vegas
MGM Grand pool is one of the best pools in Las Vegas and will be busy all summer.

Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend

The abundance of flights heading to and from Las Vegas makes it a great destination for a long weekend out of town. Since both Memorial and Labor Day weekends have built-in days off for most workers, they become highly popular times to visit the desert.

Also, Labor Day and Memorial Day sort of mark the end and beginning of summer, respectively, so travelers take the opportunity to get the summer started with a bang on end with one more trip.

Memorial Day Weekend is when hotels will likely kick off their pool party seasons. Visitors will often find special events and concerts or tributes scheduled during these weekends as well.

Room prices will be very high these weekends!

Vegas 4th of July weekend

4th of July

Celebrate US Independence Day in Las Vegas with all the lights and fireworks.

This weekend holiday is not as crowded as Memorial Day or Labor Day but will still be very busy and more expensive than normal weekends.

Many of the Hotels and Resorts feature fireworks shows, including The Plaza Hotel. T

You can be sure the hotels with pool clubs will be crowded, so if you still want to visit during the 4th of July, stay at a hotel without lavish pool accommodations to score a deal.

linq halloween vegas
High Roller during Halloween in the LINQ Promenade.


What better place to get dressed up in costumes than Las Vegas?

Several Vegas nightclubs have costume contests and themed parties.

Halloween in Vegas is a totally different experience.

The majority of crowds and foot traffic will be seen after dark, but there are plenty of family-friendly events during this time of year that draws international visitors as well as bring in the locals for some fall fun.

According to a study, October also has the highest average hotel prices than any other month of the year, so if you are looking for a cheap trip, travel during July or December instead.

Christmas Lights at Bellagio
Christmas decorations at the Bellagio.

Thanksgiving Weekend and Christmas

Not everyone stays home for the holidays. Thanksgiving weekend and the Christmas holiday are both times of big crowds and expensive rooms in Vegas.

Not only are airline tickets expensive due to the increase in people traveling, but hotels will quickly book as well, with people planning their holiday vacations far in advance.

The Las Vegas strip is also one of the few places that doesn’t shut down on Christmas or Thanksgiving Day, so many people are drawn to the strip during these times.

If you decide to take your family on a trip at this time, be sure to book far in advance to get a rate that is more affordable than a last-minute booking. The city will still be crowded, but at least you can save a few dollars on your room expense.

Also, if you plan to eat dinner on the strip, make a reservation weeks before the holiday.

National Finals Rodeo – Early December

While rodeo might not be on the same level as football or baseball in terms of American sports, the National Finals Rodeo event in Las Vegas is a huge production.

Early each December, the year-end championship rodeo event comes into Vegas for ten days and the city is once again packed to the brim. There is also the NFR Cowboy Christmas event going on during that time as well.

Many international travelers attend this event, with most contestants coming from the US, Brazil, France, and Canada. The competition has been held in Las Vegas for 33 years, and in 2016, 170,996 people attended the ten days of competition, with the event being sold out every year.

The total prize money to be won at this event equals $10 Million, and the excitement draws very large crowds.

Trade Shows – Throughout the Year

One of the most consistent forms of traffic in the Las Vegas area is the stream of trade shows that visit the city all year round.

When industries are looking for a place with the capacity to host a large number of clients and businesses (and entertain them as well), they often turn to Vegas. Some of the biggest trade shows can bring over 100,000 visitors to the city and inflate room rates and congestion.

The Consumer Electronics Show and AVN Adult Expo are just a couple of the countless shows that visit the city. Before planning your trip, seek out a list of the trade shows and conventions coming to Vegas and make a point of avoiding the biggest ones.

There is always something going on in Vegas.

Summary – Busiest Times to Visit Vegas

There is always something going on in Vegas.

You don’t need to look for a time with nothing going on to plan your trip because you won’t find a blank spot on the Vegas calendar.

However, sometimes are busier than others, and you can save money in Vegas and avoid headaches if you avoid those peaks. Plan ahead, consider all of your options, and you will have a great time and get a great deal on your Vegas vacation!

Author - Brian at Vegas Unzipped

Brian Eller - Vegas Local

I am a Las Vegas local looking to bring you inside tips and information that can't be found anywhere else. I'll dive into hidden gems and some of the best places to eat and visit in Las Vegas from a local's perspective.

I hope my tips and information can help people plan an enjoyable vacation and do so while saving money.

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