LAS VEGAS, Feb. 24, 1998 - Last year brought another wave of growth
for the region's room inventory,
yet visitor volume in Las Vegas also increased in 1997, according to the year-end visitor statistics released by the
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
Room inventory rose by 6.3 percent in 1997, bringing the total number of hotel and motel rooms to 105,347. Visitor volume rose by 2.8 percent, with more than 30 million people traveling to Las Vegas last year.
Citywide hotel and motel occupancy was 86.4 percent in 1997. Although
overall occupancy was down from
recent years, total room nights occupied rose by 6 percent, or nearly 2 million nights, in 1997.
Both room inventory and visitor volume have grown significantly during
the last ten years. In 1988, Las Vegas
had 61,000 hotel and motel rooms and an annual occupancy of 85 percent. That same year, 17 million visitors
traveled to Las Vegas, compared to more than 30 million visitors in 1997.
"This report illustrates that Las Vegas is in the midst of a transition
period characterized by tremendous growth,"
said Rossi Ralenkotter, the LVCVA's vice president of marketing. "In 1997, we passed the 100,000-room mark, and
by the year 2000, there will be more than 125,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas. The region will offer even more variety to business and leisure travelers, and at the same time, it needs to attract more visitors to sustain this growth."
The LVCVA projects that, assuming all current factors remain constant, every 1,000 new rooms will require
275,000 additional visitors each year.
While the total number of passengers arriving and departing from Las
Vegas declined by 0.5 percent, the average
daily traffic on all major highways increased by 5.8 percent. In particular, traffic from Southern California passing
through the Yermo inspection station increased by 8.7 percent in 1997.
Other statistics of note include an increase in Clark County gaming
revenue, which rose by 6.4 percent in 1997,
and an increase in convention attendance by 6.5 percent.
The LVCVA is supported by hotel room taxes and seeks to promote regional
tourism through marketing efforts
targeted at North America and key international regions. The LVCVA also operates the Las Vegas Convention
Center, currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion, and Cashman Field Center.
For more information about the LVCVA's services and programs, visit www.lasvegas24hours.com.