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More visitors came to Las Vegas in August, but far below 2019 level

Updated September 30, 2020 - 5:55 pm

The economic misery of the coronavirus rolls on.

While the amount of visitor volume increased from July to August, it was still well below August 2019 figures.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Wednesday reported 1.537 million people visited Southern Nevada that month, 57 percent less than in August 2020, but 6.9 percent more than the 1.438 million recorded a month earlier.

Local officials are finding it difficult to generate big crowds while restricted to 50 percent of capacity and the midweek occupancy rates show it.

The LVCVA reported weekend occupancy of 63.1 percent — the best of any timeframe in August. A year ago it was at 95.2 percent, one of the highest ever.

But the midweek continues to be a struggle. The LVCVA reported it languished at 34.4 percent occupancy, off 49.7 percentage points.

Convention traffic was again non-existent, taking a zero for the fifth straight month.

Kevin Bagger, the LVCVA’s director of research, said the organization opted not to classify attendance at the Summer World Market Center in August as a convention.

The World Market is not a traditional convention in that participants are usually not gathered in one room for any length of time, but instead travel between multiple rooms at various times of the show.

Thus, August 2020 had no convention visitation.For the year, convention visitation is down 63.3 percent to 1.727 million people.

Average daily room rates show another in-market disparity.

Strip ADR fell 18.9 percent to $99.24, the LVCVA reported, while downtown, it was off 8.7 percent to $58.91.

Hotel capacity is gradually climbing and Bagger said the number of available Las Vegas hotel rooms is now at 127,657. Normally, Las Vegas capacity is at around 150,000 hotel rooms.

Resort executives must continually study rates to maximize profitability while maintaining the allure of a value proposition.

Average daily car traffic on the highways leading into Las Vegas are the closest to reaching normal capacity, according to the LVCVA.

The Nevada Department of Transportation reported an average of 119,950 vehicles on major highways leading into Las Vegas daily, down 1.9 percent from a month ago and down 4.5 percent from a year earlier.

At the California-Nevada border, the count was at 48,863 a day, 1.1 percent fewer vehicles than a month ago but 9 percent down from the previous year. NDOT cautions that its traffic counts include local and through traffic in addition to tourists.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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