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Las Vegas visitation back, rises 2.4 percent

Visitation to Las Vegas is back up, after a slight decrease last month.

Total visitor volume for May was up 2.4 percent from the same month in 2011, according to the monthly Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority count . April’s decline of 0.9 percent broke the more than two-year streak of consecutive month-to-month gains.

But, Las Vegas is back on track.

In all, 3.45 million tourists came to Las Vegas in May, up from May 2011’s 3.37 million total. Year to date, 16.53 million people have visited the city, up 2.4 percent from 2011’s 16.14 million year-to-date total.

In its report, Union Gaming’s analysts said, “We think visitation trends will continue to improve going forward given the lack of room supply coupled with the recent opening of Terminal 3 at the McCarran airport.”

May’s citywide hotel and motel occupancy combined increased a modest 0.5 percent, and year-to-date it increased only 0.2 percent.

When looking at just hotels, occupancy rose year-to-date by 0.8 percent, while motel occupancy’s year-to-date count dropped 4.2 percent.

Weekend stays in May were down 0.8 percent from 2011’s numbers, and midweek occupancy was up 1 percent. Overall, Las Vegas had 4.05 million occupied hotel-room nights in May, up 2.2 percent from 2011.

May’s average daily room rate was up 3.7 percent to $112.43 from $108.47 in 2011. Year-to-date, the average daily rate rose 3.4 percent from $106.44 in 2011 to $110.10 in 2012.

Convention attendance in May was up 4.4 percent in prior-year comparisons to 367,899 from 352,303 in 2011, probably boosted by the inclusion of Lightfair International with 22,000 attendees. Total conventions and meetings held were down 0.6 percent to 1,742 from 1,753.

But, year-to-date, the total number of conventions and meetings held has skyrocketed to 9,458, up 21.2 percent over 2011’s 7,805 figure.

The average daily number of vehicles coming into Las Vegas also rose in May, 3.7 percent from 98,049 a year ago to 101,689 in 2012. The number coming from Southern California on Interstate 15 was up 13.2 percent to 43,266 vehicles from 38,219. Note that vehicle counts include visitor, resident and commercial traffic.

Elsewhere in Clark County, the number of Laughlin visitors fell 7.9 percent, while Mesquite visitation was up 10.5 percent.

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at lcarroll@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4588.

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