Clark County tourism off to strong start in January

Las Vegas and Mesquite tourism had a healthy January, giving both cities a nice head start in tourism for 2014.

In Las Vegas, visitation soared in January, with an 8.2 percent increase over 2013. According to the monthly Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority count, 3.39 million people came to the city, up from the 3.13 million who came in January 2013.

The travel authority is citing strong convention traffic, Chinese New Year and one more weekend day compared with last year as reasons for the boost.

And convention attendance was indeed strong.

January saw 631,520 people attend conventions and meetings this year, up 10.4 percent from the 571,964 who attended in January 2013. However, the number of conventions and meetings held was down 13.4 percent this year to 1,548 from 1,787.

Las Vegas can thank large conventions such as the 2014 International CES and SHOT Show, both of which reported strong attendance this year, for the attendance upticks. Also, World of Concrete was held in January this year compared to February in 2013.

In the hotel and motel world, citywide occupancy was up 5.4 percentage points in January to 83.5 percent. Hotel occupancy was stronger than last year at 86.1 percent compared to 81.7 percent, and motel occupancy, too, was stronger in 2014, at 60.5 percent compared to 2013’s dismal 45.1 percent. Midweek occupancy rose to 81.7 percent from 77 percent in 2013, and weekend occupancy also rose to 87.5 percent from 80.6 percent in 2013.

Strip occupancy rose to 85.9 percent in January, up from 2013’s 81.3 percent. Downtown, occupancies also were up, to 73.4 percent from 66.1 percent.

The average daily rate was up 3.5 percent from $114.22 in 2013 to $118.20 in 2014.

The average daily number of vehicles coming into Las Vegas was 89,761 in January, down from 91,703 a year ago. The number coming from Southern California on Interstate 15 fell 2 percent from the same time last year to 36,923 vehicles.

Elsewhere in Clark County, the number of Laughlin visitors was down 1.1 percent in January to 146,810, while Mesquite’s was up a stunning 23.9 percent, to 91,609 from 73,944 in 2013.

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at lcarroll@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.