|Las Vegas Review-Journal
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Oct. 13, 2005 - Las Vegas drew 3.25 million visitors in August, a 2.6 percent increase over the same month in 2004, tourism officials said Tuesday.
For the year, the city has lured 25.92 million visitors -- an increase of 3.1 percent -- and is on a pace to break the record of 37.4 annual visitors set in 2004.
Booming convention attendance again paced tourism growth according to a statement from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Las Vegas staged 1,146 conventions in August that drew 395,747 conventioneers -- an increase of 18.9 percent over the same month in 2004. For the year, 14,869 conventions have been held and have drawn 4.51 million people to Las Vegas.
The economic impact from conventions has matched surging growth in convention attendance. In the statement, tourism officials pegged the economic impact from conventions at slightly more than $480 million in August, a 22.1 percent increase from the previous year. For the year, the economic impact from conventions is $5.58 billion -- a 16.5 percent increase compared with 2004.
Visitors are paying more for lodging in the city, too. The average daily room rate in August was $93.22, a jump of 15.5 percent over August of last year. For all of 2005, the average daily room rate is $101.74 -- a 14.3 percent increase over 2004.
Although Las Vegas visitation grew, Laughlin and Mesquite sustained losses, the tourism agency's statement showed.
Laughlin lured 336,679 visitors in August, a drop of 5.3 percent when compared with the previous August. For the year, the city has drawn 2.75 million visitors -- a 3.7 percent decrease.
Mesquite fared worse. The city near the Utah-Arizona border drew 120,311 visitors in August -- a drop of 19.2 percent. For the year, Mesquite has drawn 1.1 million visitors for a 6.7 percent decrease.
Higher gasoline prices are apparently not deterring visitors from Nevada, the tourism agency's report showed. Average daily auto traffic on all major highways to Las Vegas was up 4.6 percent. Average daily highway traffic on state Highway 163 to Laughlin was up 8.7 percent. And average daily auto traffic on Interstate 15 at the Nevada and Arizona border near Mesquite was up 4.1 percent.
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