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April 23, 2014

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Southern Nevada tourism takes a dip in February

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Sam Morris

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A shorter month and the rotation of some convention and trade shows out of February resulted in a 1.3 percent dip in visitor volume that month, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported today.

The organization that markets Southern Nevada said 3.03 million visitors were in Las Vegas in February compared with 3.07 million in the same month a year ago.

February 2012, however, had an extra day as a result of Leap Year. The LVCVA said based on daily averages, visitation would have been up 2.2 percent if this February had the same number of days as last February.

Convention attendance and the number of conventions and meetings also were down dramatically in February as a result of some shows meeting in different months and others rotating to other destinations this year.

The number of shows held was down 32 percent to 1,348, and convention attendance was off 20.1 percent to 460,200.

The LVCVA said the International Wireless Communications show, with 10,700 attendees, and UBM Catersource, an event on catering that drew 10,000 people, were held in different months, and Safari Club International (20,000 attendees), the National Auto Dealers Association (23,000) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (37,000) did not meet in Southern Nevada this year.

February’s report had some bright spots.

Citywide, hotel and motel occupancy was up 1.8 percentage points to 83.5 percent for the month, and the average daily room rate inched up 0.5 percent to $109.38 a night.

Laughlin and Mesquite, whose tourism activities also are overseen by the LVCVA, struggled in February as well. Volume was down in Laughlin by 5.1 percent to 161,592 visitors and in Mesquite by 4 percent to 81,779.

But the average daily room rate was up in both locations, 2.5 percent to $41.55 in Laughlin and 24.4 percent to $67.94 in Mesquite. Occupancy was flat in Laughlin at 60.1 percent and down 5.4 percentage points to 73.1 percent in Mesquite.

The average daily auto traffic was up by 3.4 percent to 37,584 vehicles on Interstate 15 at the California border. The LVCVA said the number includes local traffic as well as tourist trips.

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