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LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Las Vegas visitor volume climbed 4 percent in January, the fifth straight year-over-year monthly increase in tourism numbers.
But Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority officials said Wednesday they are still not ready to claim the market has turned.
In January, 2.877 million tourists came through Las Vegas compared with 2.765 million visitors a year ago, a monthly report released by the tourism agency shows.
However, citywide room occupancy was down from 71.9 percent in January 2009 to 71.1 percent this year with the average daily room rate falling 4.9 percent to $99.75 a night.
Las Vegas had 148,891 hotel rooms in January -- 8,100 more than it did a year ago, including almost 6,000 from MGM Mirage's $8.5 billion CityCenter project, which opened in December.
"What we're seeing is encouraging," convention authority research manager Kris Tibbs said. "But there is still a lot of work to be done. We really won't be comfortable until all the categories are at zero or showing increases."
The 4 percent monthly visitor increase was "a positive sign for the destination," Tibbs said, because it came about despite the increase in hotel rooms.
Convention attendance during January was 449,917, down 16.4 percent, despite a 6 percent increase in attendance at the International Consumer Electronics Show early in the month, which drew some 120,000 to Las Vegas.
The number of conventions and meetings held in Las Vegas in January was down 12.5 percent. Tibbs said convention and meeting attendance is down nationwide.
"Las Vegas is not unique." Tibbs said.
The average daily number of automobiles coming into Las Vegas showed a 0.2 percent rise in January, from 73,859 cars a year ago to 74,029 this year. The number of vehicles coming from Southern California along Interstate 15 was off 0.8 percent.
In the rural markets of Clark County during January, the number of Laughlin visitors fell 15.5 percent while Mesquite visitation was down 4.7 percent.
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