Las Vegas Sun

August 19, 2019

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LVCVA says mass shooting slowed Las Vegas tourism in October

Visitor volume to Las Vegas dropped by 4.2 percent after the Oct. 1 shooting, while convention business remained strong, according to numbers released today by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Kevin Bagger, executive director of research for the LVCVA, said the decline can be directly attributed to the shooting.

“Yes, I believe the shooting did have some effect on the leisure side (of the market), specifically the leisure drive side, because at the same time we had strong convention business,” Bagger said

October passenger count at McCarran International Airport was up 1.5 percent, and convention attendance grew by 35.9 percent. At the same time, daily auto traffic was down by 1.6 percent and hotel occupancy dropped by 2.7 percent.

“The decline...was on the drive side, and that’s because it is easier to cancel a drive trip as opposed to air trip,” Bagger said.

Bagger said he also based his conclusions on conversations with casino operators and out-of-market research the LVCVA has conducted to understand the reaction of potential tourists to the shooting and their subsequent perceptions of Las Vegas.

The LVCVA numbers, along with others released recently, show the impact of the shooting on the Las Vegas economy have been mixed.

Earlier today, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported October gaming revenue on the Strip was down by 6.05 percent compared to October 2016. Revenue was up, however, in every other area the board tracks in Southern Nevada.

As Bagger noted, earlier this month, McCarran set an all-time monthly record of 4.34 million passengers in October, beating the previous record count of 4.33 million set in July. The count was up 1.5 percent from October of 2016.