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Chris Jones

Southern Nevada Economy: Tourism Strong in February

12 April 2005

An abundance of rainy weather couldn't stop Las Vegas' tourism industry from rebounding in February.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said Monday approximately 2.95 million visitors came to Southern Nevada in this year's second month, up 1.2 percent from the same period a year ago.Advertisement

Despite January's slight 0.2 percent decline, local visitor volume ended the first two months of 2005 just shy of the 6 million mark. That's 0.5 percent better than last year's pace, when Las Vegas hosted a record count of nearly 37.9 million visitors.

An influx of Super Bowl bettors and Asian gamblers here for Chinese New Year's likely fueled a 2.8 percentage point gain in citywide occupancy rates, which hit 89.7 percent despite a significant dip in monthly convention attendance.

The total room nights occupied category was up 0.9 percent to 3.29 million. Tourist-related stays increased by 24 percent during the month, while convention-related visits dipped by 24.3 percent.

The average daily rate paid at local hotels and motels was $101.96, up 10.7 percent from February 2004.

Year-to-date, that average topped $104, up 9.4 percent from last year's $95.11 nightly average.

Returns were poor in two nearby Southern Nevada resort destinations. Laughlin's 337,937 monthly visitors was a 5.1 percent decrease from 2004. Mesquite's 130,342 visitors was a 7.6 percent dip.

Both cities' year-to-date totals also suffered from February's falloff. Laughlin's two-month visitor total is 665,208, down 5.6 percent from the same period a year ago. Separately, Mesquite's 267,450 total marked a 3.3 percent decline.

February was plagued by 2.45 inches of rain in Clark County, or nearly 3 1/2 times the normal average as monitored by the Regional Flood Control District. In addition, this year's February was one day shorter than in 2004, a leap year.