|By Richard N. Velotta, Las Vegas
SunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 08, 2012--Visitor volume showed a small uptick in January, despite a calendar quirk that made for a tough comparison against 2011 totals, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said.
The LVCVA reported 3.15 million visitors to Southern Nevada in January, 0.9 percent ahead of 3.13 million in 2011. But 2011's calendar had the benefit of five full weekend dates while January 2012 had only four Saturdays.
A similar quirk in the convention calendar produced another tough comparison for January convention attendance, which was down 12.6 percent to 538,552 compared to the same month the previous year.
January's 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show was robust, but the World Market Center furniture exposition, which drew about 50,000 people, was in January last year but in February this year.
The city played host to 1,493 meetings, conventions and trade shows in January, 25.1 percent more than a year earlier.
The city's average daily room rate continued to climb, but occupancy rates were off slightly from a year ago.
The LVCVA reported an average daily room rate of $113.82 in January, 6.2 percent higher than it was at the same time last year, but citywide occupancy was down 0.7 percentage points to 78.3 percent for the month.
Hotel occupancy was up 0.4 points to 82.2 percent, and midweek occupancy went up 0.7 points to 76.3 percent. But motel stays were off 8.5 percentage points to 45.2 percent, and weekend occupancy fell 3.5 points to 82.6 percent.
Earlier today, the state Gaming Control Board reported gaming revenue in Clark County was up 21.6 percent to $925.5 million for January, with Strip revenue up 29.2 percent. Strong New Year's Eve and Chinese New Year play pushed play higher and contributed to the state topping the $1 billion revenue mark for the first time since April 2008.
Vehicle traffic from California, meanwhile, was strong in January with Nevada Department of Transportation counts up 8.6 percent to 36,578 vehicles per day on average. But traffic on all major highways into the city was down 0.4 percent to an average 87,692.
The LVCVA also monitors visitor volume in Mesquite and Laughlin.
Mesquite visitation for January was up 0.7 percent to 79,962, with occupancy down 5.7 percentage points to 68.9 percent and average daily room rates down 24.6 percent to $35.47.
In Laughlin, visitation was down 8.9 percent compared to January 2011 to 163,397, while occupancy fell 4.2 percentage points to 52.7 percent. The average daily room rate was up 3.2 percent to $38.78.
(c)2012 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Visit the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.) at www.lasvegassun.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services