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Gaming Guru

Richard N. Velotta

Las Vegas sees best July tourism numbers on record

29 August 2014

Las Vegas had the third-highest number of tourists in a month in its history in July, attracting 3.5 million people as the city continued its record visitation pace.

It was the best July visitation number on record, following up on last month being the best June ever.

The city’s hotels also showed increases in occupancy, average daily room rate and convention attendance in July compared with 2013, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said Thursday.

Although visitation was a 2.2 percent improvement over July 2013, it was the weakest monthly percentage increase of visitors for the year, a sign that the higher numbers are becoming the norm.

For the first seven months of 2014, visitation is up 3.9 percent from a year earlier to 24.2 million and is on track to eclipse 40 million for the year for the first time in the city’s history.

The average daily room rate for the first seven months is up 6.5 percent to $118.71 a night. July numbers were up 4.5 percent to $105.23 in a month when hotels often discount rates to lure visitors into the summer heat.

In 2007, Las Vegas recorded its highest average daily room rate with $132.09 for the year. The highest month on record was April 2007 when the rate averaged $146.53. Rates began spiraling down in November that year as the recession set in.

July’s occupancy rate was up 1.4 percentage points to 88.7 percent, with weekend occupancy up 1.1 points to 96.1 percent.

Every occupancy category was up in July — hotels, 0.8 points to 91.4 percent; motels, 6.4 points to 64.5 percent; midweek, 1.6 points to 85.8 percent; the Strip, 0.8 points to 90.9 percent; and downtown, 6.7 points to 86.5 percent.

Convention attendance climbed 14.1 percent to 333,253, primarily because of the rotation of a major show. The Las Vegas Market Show, a furniture exposition at the World Market Center, drew 50,000 people in July, but was staged in August in 2013.

The Nevada Transportation Department reported traffic on Interstate 15 at the California border had the highest monthly average of vehicles of the year at 50,723, but that was 0.1 percent fewer than in July 2013.

Traffic on all major highways around Las Vegas averaged 117,495, the highest monthly total of the year and 2.1 percent more than last July.

Highway traffic counts include local residents and tourist arrivals.

Outlying Clark County tourist destinations monitored by the Convention and Visitors Authority showed mixed results.

Laughlin, which attracted 195,854 visitors in July, had its second-best month of the year — but was down 1.6 percent from July 2013.

Mesquite, planted between two major highway construction projects on I-15, had its second-worst month of the year with 93,736 visitors, but that was up 17 percent from July 2013.