Las Vegas continues record pace for tourism

Las Vegas continued its record pace for visitor volume in April as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Wednesday reported 3.5 million came to Southern Nevada, a 3.5 percent increase over April 2013.

The city is now 4.8 percent ahead of 2013’s record clip with 13.7 million visitors in the first four months of the year.

Nearly every measure of visitor activity except convention and convention attendance was higher in April than the previous year.

Citywide occupancy was up for hotels and motels, weekend and midweek and Strip and downtown. The average daily room rate was up 1.2 percent to $116.49 and revenue per available room was up 4.4 percent.

Occupancy rates were better than a year ago, but the percentage dipped slightly from March. The authority reported 89.8 percent occupancy, up 2.8 percentage points from April 2013, but down 2 points from March.

Hotel occupancy was at 92.3 percent (up 2.7 points) and motels were at 67 percent (up 3.3 points).

Weekend occupancy was at 96 percent (up 0.7 points) while midweek was at 87.5 percent (up 3.3 points).

Strip occupancy rates were at 91.8 percent compared with downtown’s 82.8 percent. Room rates had no change on the Strip, $124.90, while downtown rates were up 2.4 percent to $71.32.

Only convention attendance and number of conventions was off from April 2013.

The authority attributed different trade show rotation cycles for fewer shows and lower attendance. The number of shows was off 16.4 percent to 1,867 and attendance was down 17.1 percent to 395,462.

Authority officials said the International Carwash Association show, which drew 6,000 delegates, and the International Sign Association, which had 19,500 in attendance, met in Las Vegas in April 2013, but did not return this year. The National Association of Theater Owners, which drew 6,000 people, met in April this year and March last year.

For the first four months of 2014, the number of conventions and trade shows staged is down 6.3 percent to 7,790, but attendance is up 1.1 percent to 2.1 million.

Highway traffic increased in April. Those figures, monitored by the Nevada Department of Transportation, showed the average number of daily trips on all major highways to be up 4.4 percent to 107,535 a day. Interstate 15 traffic was up 5.1 percent to 43,460 trips a day. Traffic counts include local travelers as well as tourists.

Laughlin and Mesquite, which also are tracked by the authority, showed continued improvement.

Laughlin had its second straight month of increased visitor volume, up 4.3 percent to 196,553. Mesquite had its fifth straight month of double-digit percentage increases in visitors in April with a 10.1 percent increase to 113,719.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow him on Twitter @RickVelotta.