Britney Spears recent $30 million Planet Hollywood deal has many people wondering what the appeal of Vegas is. The simplest answer eliminates the most expensive part of touring on the artist side and increases the tourist age demographics in Vegas since it has been declining in recent years.
Since the days of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Wayne Newton on down, the biggest and smallest part of their golden years were spent entertaining tourists on the Strip, a tradition that continued through the 2000s.
But now we can thank Celine Dion for changing the tradition of Vegas residencies. When she debuted her A New Day show in 2003, it was the first to bring a fresh breeze into the stale residencies of Vegas. It was a far cry different from the lounge acts of the past; she included smoke and fire. The same model Elton John has emulated with his residences following Celine Dion at the Caesars Palace Colosseum, which makes way for Britney Spears’ Piece of Me residence at Planet Hollywood kicking off December 27th.
Britney’s arrival comes on the heels of the electronic dance music scene breaking through in Vegas now. The average age of a Vegas tourist is now 45 down from 49 over the last four years. With new nightclubs like MGM’s Hakkasan and DJs as Calvin Harris and Deadmau5 settling into their own residences at these new nightclubs Vegas is coming of age again.
Britney will be making an estimated $30 million dollars for a two-year residency, which will include 50 shows a year, and will receive a percentage of her merchandise sold. Planet Hollywood is in the midst of remodeling an 117,000 sq ft space which will seat 4,600 people and includes bottle service. Upon announcing the exclusive run Planet Hollywood had plastered Britney’s face all over town. Because she is the new act in town you can find her on the tops of taxi cabs, billboards, jumbotrons on the Strip.
Some of you are still asking why, why a residency in Vegas? The main advantage to a residence is the cost. The biggest cost on a tour is trucking and transportation. With the money saved, the artist can invest it into their show. You can do bigger and better things by not tearing it down every night, driving 500 miles and building it back up. If you want to see a Cirque du Soleil type show you just can’t do it on the road. It’s not cost effective. In the end a residency helps not just the artist but gives the fan a better experience.