1999 at 88% Compared to 1998's 85.8%
|LAS VEGAS, Feb. 18, 2000 - Las Vegas drew a
record-breaking 33.8 million visitors in 1999, according to the Las Vegas
Convention and Visitors Authority(LVCVA). The 10.5 percent increase over
1998’s 30.6 million visitors is the highest spike in visitor volume recorded
for the destination since 1994.
“Las Vegas continues to reinvent itself,” said Manuel J. Cortez, president and CEO of the LVCVA. “Several factors led to the dramatic increase in visitor volume. The buzz of the new resorts that opened in 1999 -- Mandalay Bay, the Four Seasons, The Regent Las Vegas, The Venetian, Paris and the Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas — the national accolades that area restaurants have received and the expansion and quality of entertainment all have combined to elevate national and international perceptions of the destination.” Room inventory grew by 10 percent over 1998, to 120,294. Average citywide hotel and motel occupancy stood at 88 percent for 1999, compared to 85.8 percent for 1998. For other major cities in the United States, average hotel and motel occupancy levels hover around 65 percent.
“With the area’s planned development, including new properties such as the Aladdin and expansion projects, visitor volume must increase incrementally to maintain current occupancy levels,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, vice president of marketing for the LVCVA. “The LVCVA has targeted three main areas to increase visitor volume in the coming years: international visitors, special events and conventions.” For the year, Clark County’s gross gaming revenue was up 13.6 percent over 1998, to $7.2 billion. Geographically, the Strip closed the year with the highest jump in gross gaming revenue, a 17.7 percent increase that translates to $4.5 billion recorded for the year.
Convention attendance rose 14.3 percent over 1998, from 3.3 million to 3.8 million delegates. “Facilities must exist to attract and accommodate larger convention and multiple smaller conventions, and to enable the conventions that we already host to expand,” said Cortez.
Bids for the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall expansion project will be opened later this month. The facility, which will add more than 1 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space, will be located at the intersection of Desert Inn and Paradise Road. Completion is estimated in the fourth quarter of 2001.
“The LVCVA historically has recognized the economic importance of convention business,” said Cortez. “The ripple effect of the new South Hall will be felt throughout the economy—from the companies involved in the construction, to new workers added to the completed facility, to the new convention business that will be brought to Las Vegas. This project is important to the continued strength of the local economy.”
Visitor volume to Laughlin, Nevada, located 90 miles southeast of Las Vegas on the Colorado River, was up 3.9 percent for the year, to 4.5 million visitors. Convention attendance soared to 117,758 for the year, an increase of 41.8 percent. Gross gaming revenue was also up, to $532 million, an 8.3 percent increase over 1998.
Airline passenger traffic through McCarran International Airport in November was up 11.4 percent in 1999, to 33.7 million passengers. Automobile traffic from Southern California increased 12.5 percent over 1998, to 5.7 million vehicles. Average daily traffic on all major highways was up 4.3 percent in 1999, to 68,906 vehicles per day.
or Richelle Thomson
both of Las Vegas
Convention and Visitors Authority
|Also See:||Average Las Vegas Citywide Hotel Occupancy in August Was 90.5%, Compared to 89.2% in August 1998 / Oct 1999|
|Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Releases 1997 Year-End Visitor Statistics / Feb 1998|