Whilst the global economy may be experiencing a downturn it appears that it’s not all doom and gloom. The bright lights of the entertainment capital of the world are continuing to draw more and more visitors making the city of Las Vegas a winner in a harsh economic climate.
Back in September the situation looked promising, with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) noting a 1.8% rise in visitors against the previous year. This meant an increase from 3.29 million in September 2011 to 3.35 million in September 2012. Whist the target of 40 million visitors by the end of the year seemed a little optimistic, researchers were confident that the city would exceed its 2007 record of 39.2 million visitors.
The LVCVA’s statistics for 2012 year end show this to be an accurate assessment. During the 2012 year there were some 39.7 million visitors to the city, an increase of 2.1% against 2011.
The year-end occupancy rate for hotels and motels across the city stayed relatively flat, with an overall increase of 0.6% against 2011. With occupancy running at 84.4% in total and 90.8% at weekends, the city’s hotel industry remains buoyant. The winner here is the motel sector, however, who experienced a 2% increase in occupancy against the 0.4% experienced in the hotel sector.
The average daily room rate also grew during this period rising from $105.11 to $108.08, an increase of 2.8%. Average room rates failed to reach their 2011 peak of $114.68 though, getting to a high of $113.82 during 2012.
The nine-month figures in September 2012 showed a less rosy picture for the convention sector with the month seeing a 16.1% decrease in convention attendance. This resulted in an overall difference between 2011′s 434,374 attendees and 2012′s 364,638. Show rotation cycles were considered a contributory factor to this drop. The position had picked up by the end of the year, however, with 4.94 million convention attendees during the course of 2012, an increase of 1.6% against the previous year.
The number of conventions and meetings held during 2012 also experienced growth. The 21,615 held over the year represents an increase of 13.6% against the previous year.
Vehicle traffic (comprising of commercial, residential and visitors) experienced a marginal increase during the year, with a 0.9% increase on all major highways. This represents an average of 100,774 vehicles daily.
Year-end gaming revenue also remained buoyant. Clark County, Las Vegas Strip, Downtown and Boulder Strip saw increases of 3.5%, 5.1%, 0.7% and 2.9% respectively against the preceding year.
The visitor record for Las Vegas shows that it continues to be an attractive destination for both the tourist and convention sector. Approximately 16% of visitors in 2011 came here for the first time meaning that 84% were on return trips. It is the enduring appeal of “the gambling capital of the world” that has contributed to the city’s continued success.
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