August tourism up but room rates down in Las Vegas

1 October 2015

The dog days of summer didn't hurt visitation to Las Vegas, but room rates and revenue per room slipped in August, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Wednesday.

Visitation was up 1.6% to 3.6 million people for the month, which had five weekend dates, the same as last year.

While occupancy rates were strong in all categories, the average daily room rate fell 5.8% to $105.39 for the month. Revenue per available room also was off 5% to $93.16.

Overall, occupancy was up 0.7 percentage points to 88.4%. That broke down to 0.5 points to 90.9% for hotels, 0.6 points to 63.6% for motels, 0.4 points to 93.9% for weekends, 1.6 points to 86.1% for weekdays, 0.1 points to 90.8% for the Strip and 5.3 points to 81% for downtown Las Vegas.

The LVCVA said a 26.1% increase in convention attendance boosted August numbers. There were 532,891 conventioneers attending 1,308 conventions during the month. Officials attributed the convention traffic bump to favorable show rotations. The Las Vegas Market show, a furniture exhibition at the World Market, fell in August this year after being in July 2014. Also, ASD Las Vegas, a consumer goods trade show, attracted 53,000 attendees, considerably higher than 2014's 35,200.

Most other tourism indicators were generally higher. Passenger traffic at McCarran was up 7.2% to 4 million and Clark County gaming revenue, bolstered by 29.7% and 15% increases on the Boulder Strip and downtown, respectively, kept the county's overall win in the black with a 0.3% increase to $776.8 million.

Average daily traffic on major highways in and out of Las Vegas was up 5.7% to 116,696 and traffic at the Nevada-California border on Interstate 15 was up 2.2% to 48,761 vehicles.

Southern Nevada continues to be on a record pace for 2015 with visitation 2% ahead of last year's figures with 28.3 million visitors in the first eight months of the year.

Mesquite visitation continued to climb while Laughlin's fell.

Mesquite, a haven for golfers, saw visitation climb 6.5% to 93,277 visitors for the month. Occupancy was up 3.8 percentage points to 68.1% for the month, but the average daily room rate fell 2.6% to $51.75 in August.

In Laughlin, located at the southern tip of Nevada on the Colorado River, visitor volume fell 8.1% to 165,200. Tribal casino competition from California continued to affect Laughlin, which saw the average daily room rate drop 2.3% to $50.32 and occupancy off 1.8 percentage points to 63.1%.

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