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Howard Stutz

Vegas tourist numbers could hit 41 million in 2014

31 December 2014

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas visitor volume grew 1.4 percent in November, but it seems like a moot point.

Earlier this month, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said a record-breaking 40 million tourists would come to Southern Nevada this year, toppling a record that has stood since 2012.

November just reinforced that prediction.

Almost 3.3 million visitors came to Southern Nevada in November — 3,288,596 to be exact — the convention authority said Tuesday.

Through November, 38 million visitors had come to Las Vegas in 2014, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to this same point last year.

Scott Russell, senior director of research for the convention authority, said visitation in each month of 2014 has increased over its 2013 counterpart, and 10 of the 11 months have reported record-setting totals.

In 2013, 39.7 million visitors came to Las Vegas.

With the outlook favorable for a robust New Year’s Eve holiday, analysts suggested the visitation pace could end up with a total closer to 41 million.

“We could get close, but I’m a little reluctant to make that prediction,” Russell said.

He added that Las Vegas was expecting 340,000 visitors for New Year’s Eve.

Other figures released Tuesday by the convention authority seemed to bolster healthy visitor trends in Las Vegas.

Hotel room occupancy citywide was 83.7 percent in November, an increase of 1.1 percent. For the the first 11 months of the year, hotel occupancy is at 87.7 percent, up 2.4 percent.

The average daily room rate in Las Vegas was $113.51 in November, up 3.9 percent from year ago. For the year, the average daily room rate is up 5.7 percent.

Convention attendance was down 10.4 percent in November, but is up for the first 11 months of the year by 1.1 percent. The convention authority said two November 2013 trade shows with a combined attendance of more than 27,000 didn’t come to Las Vegas this year.

The number of airline passengers at McCarran International Airport was up 2.3 percent in November and has reached more than 39.5 million through the first 11 months of the year, a 2.5 percent increase.

The revenue per available room, a nontraditional reporting figure analysts use to gauge profitability, was up 5.3 percent in November and is up 5.7 percent for the year.

“The numbers have been moving in the right direction,” Russell said.

Laughlin’s visitor volume increased 4.1 percent in November, but is still down 1.6 percent for the year. In Mesquite, visitor volume was up 14.6 percent in November and is up 15.3 percent for the first 11 months of 2014.

Tourism plays a vital role in the state’s economic health, generating $45 billion annually and supporting 376,000 jobs.
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