Saturday, October 10, 2009

Las Vegas visitor traffic still down

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Las Vegas visitor volume fell 3.7 percent in August, the 15th straight month the number of tourists coming into the region has decreased.

Almost 3.1 million travelers came to Las Vegas during the month, compared with 3.2 million in August 2008, figures released Friday by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority show. Visitor numbers have fallen 18 times in the past 20 months.

For the first eight months of 2009, 24.4 million visitors traveled to Las Vegas, a decline of 5.8 percent compared with 25.9 million visitors in the first eight months of 2008.

Room occupancy in August was 81.4 percent, down 6.9 percent from a year ago, despite various promotional activities used by casino operators to spur visitation during the summer months.

"Occupancy levels are pretty much back to where they were. They've stimulated a lot of people to come to market with very aggressive pricing discounts," Robert LaFleur, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, told Bloomberg News. "People showed up and didn't spend anything much on the rooms so they're spending more on gaming."

For the first eight months of 2009, room occupancy levels are down 6.2 percent compared with 2008. The average daily room rate was down 21.5 percent in August, compared with a year ago, and 25.4 for all of 2009.

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