April visitor tally shows slight increase

More than 3.3 million visitors poured into Las Vegas in April, a slight increase from the same month in 2006.

The figures were part of the monthly visitation report from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

According to the report, visitation for April was up less than 1 percent for both the month of April and the year to date. Through April, Las Vegas has had 12.9 million visitors.

Although visitation increased just slightly, the average daily room rate at Las Vegas hotels was up 15 percent to $147 for the month and 12 percent for the year to $138.

Occupancy decreased slightly to 91 percent year to date and 94 percent in April, according to the report.

“The overall trend seems to be strong,” said Kevin Bagger, director of Internet marketing and research for the authority. “The key indicators were positive, which of course is the right direction.”

Drive-in traffic from California on Interstate 15 was down almost 5 percent for the month and down more than 1 percent for the year. But the number of people flying to Las Vegas, especially on charter and international flights during April, went up.

Air traffic increased 2.5 percent in April and is up 3.6 percent for the year. International and charter traffic rose more than 5 percent in April and is up 1.5 percent for 2007.

Gaming revenue also increased in Las Vegas in April despite one fewer weekend day than April 2006. For the month, it was up 8.3 percent in Clark County and stands at 1.7 percent ahead of the 2006 year-to-date pace. The total winnings of $893 million countywide were bolstered, however, by a reporting anomaly. The end of March fell on a weekend, meaning money left in slot machines in the final days of March was included in the April win.

Outside Las Vegas, visitation to both Mesquite and Laughlin decreased.

In Mesquite, which is north of Las Vegas along I-15, visitation slipped less than 1 percent to 143,410 guests. It was the first decrease of 2007 for that community, although the year-to-date total is 5 percent ahead of the 2006 pace.

Laughlin suffered a near 9 percent decrease in visitors to 281,163. It is the continuation of a downward trend in the river community where visitation fell every month in 2007 and is 11 percent below the 2006 pace.

Occupancy rates in Laughlin fell even more, down 43 percent for the month and 38 percent for the year so far. Hotel operators, however, managed to increase the average daily rate in Laughlin by more than 7 percent in April and 9 percent for the year. The April rate was $51.

Room rates in Mesquite are climbing faster, up 52 percent in April to $97 and up 65 percent for the year to $91.

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