Convention numbers down, but tourist volume up in February

Las Vegas tourism is two-for-two so far in 2014.

Year-to-date visitation rose 5.8 percent in February, according to the monthly Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority count. In all, 6.5 million people have come to the city this year, up from the 6.2 million who came at this point in 2013.

February’s monthly visitation was up 3.4 percent, to 3.1 million people from the 3 million who visited in February 2013.

In terms of hotel and motel stays, citywide occupancy was up to 84.6 percent year-to-date from 80.8 percent last year.

Hotel occupancy saw a slight uptick over last year at 86.9 percent compared to 83.8 percent, while motel occupancy shot up to 63.4 percent year-to-date compared to 2013’s 53.9 percent for the same period. Year-to-date mid-week occupancy rose to 82.2 percent from 78.7 percent in 2013, and weekend occupancy also rose to 89.6 percent from 85.2 percent in 2013.

Year-to-date Strip occupancy rose to 86.6 percent, up from 2013’s 83.5 percent. Downtown, occupancies also were up, to 74.4 percent from 66.8 percent.

The average daily rate was up 3.5 percent year-to-date from $111.84 in 2013 to $115.74 in 2014.

In February 490,754 people attended conventions and meetings, down a whopping 11.1 percent from the 551,866 who did so in February 2013. The number of conventions and meetings held in February was down 6.6 percent this year to 1,952 from 2,089.

Year-to-date, convention attendance is down 0.1 percent to 1.122 million people from 2013’s count of 1.124 million people. The number of conventions and meetings held year-to-date is down 9.7 percent through February, to 3,500 from 3,876.

The convention authority cites show rotations, including World of Concrete being held in January this year compared to February in 2013, as the reason for the downturn in convention attendance.

The average daily number of vehicles coming into Las Vegas was 92,694 in February, up from 92,393 a year ago. The number coming from Southern California on Interstate 15 was down 1.4 percent from the same time last year to 37,063 vehicles.

Elsewhere in Clark County, the number of Laughlin visitors year-to-date was down 1.6 percent through February to 305,274, while Mesquite’s was up 19.6 percent, to 186,296 from 155,723 in 2013.

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