Friday, July 3, 2009 | 11:35 a.m.
While slightly fewer Americans will be traveling this Fourth of July weekend compared to last year, Las Vegas tourism officials expect to see steady numbers this weekend.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is expecting 284,000 visitors during the holiday weekend, which is no change from 2008.
But consumers likely will be spending less money this year, the LVCVA is predicting. LVCVA spokesman Jeremy Handel said non-gaming spending is expected to be off 10 percent from 2008.
Hotel occupancy in the city is expected to be at 90 percent, Handel said -- off 2.3 percent from last year. The decline in occupancy with the same number of visitors is attributed to an increase in the city’s room count, which is up 3 percent from July 4, 2008.
Local authorities said they'll be on the lookout for impaired drivers this weekend.
The Nevada Highway Patrol and Henderson Police kicked off their holiday DUI enforcement Thursday and will continue through until 4 a.m. Sunday. Areas of emphasis will include Interstate 15 and U.S. 95, authorities said.
A report from AAA this week noted the organization expects 37.1 million Americans to travel 50 miles or more this Fourth of July weekend, a 1.9 percent decline from 2008.
AAA is attributing this year's decline in leisure travel to economic uncertainties. The recent rise in gas prices may also be causing travelers to limit or shorten their travel plans, AAA said.
Although air travel likely will account for only 5 percent of holiday weekend travel, AAA said, air travel will see a 4.9 percent increase because of declining airfares. Two million trips nationwide are expected by air during the weekend.