Despite convention dropoff, Las Vegas sets tourism records for June

29 July 2015

Another month, another tourism record.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Tuesday reported a record June for visitation, despite convention attendance being off by 16.6 percent.

The organization that markets Las Vegas to the world said there were 3.6 million visitors last month, a 2.4 percent increase over June 2014. Halfway through 2015, the authority has recorded 21 million visitors, 1.5 percent ahead of last year's record pace.

Occupancy rates were at a scorching 90.4 percent for the month, but the average daily room rate was down 0.7 percent to $114.34.

Little matter. For the year to date, the average daily room rate is up 1.5 percent to $122.81.

It was the third straight month of percentage increases in visitor volume, but the second straight month of declines in convention attendance. The authority attributed the convention downturn to scheduled rotations of shows out of the city. In June 2014, Las Vegas hosted 37,000 attendees of the International Communications Industries Association show, 20,000 people for the American Library Association trade show and 27,000 for Lightfair International, none of which were in Las Vegas this year.

For the first six months of 2015, convention attendance was 3.1 million, up 1.7 percent over last year.

Only one category of lodging occupancy was down in June compared with last year — motels. Motel occupancy was off 1 percentage point to 65.5 percent.

Every other occupancy category was up, including weekends, up 0.9 points to 95.7 percent and hotels, up 0.4 points to 93 percent. Downtown occupancy climbed 0.4 points to 84.2 percent and Strip occupancy was up 0.1 points to 92.4 percent.

While traffic through McCarran International Airport soared 5.8 percent in June, drive traffic was also up significantly. The authority reported 118,271 cars per day on all major highways, a 6.8 percent increase, and 49,193 per day on Interstate 15 at the California border, a 5.3 percent increase.

While visitor volume climbed in Las Vegas, it was down in both Mesquite and Laughlin.

The authority reported 156,245 visitors to Laughlin, a 7.7 percent decline from last year, and 97,028 in Mesquite, down 0.3 percent.

While occupancy was down in both cities, the average daily room rate was up 5.7 percent to $43.37 in Laughlin and 5.1 percent to $49.84 in Mesquite.

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