April shows Las Vegas on pace for record year in tourism

Convention attendance continued to soar in April, keeping visitor volume for the month in positive territory compared with last year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Thursday.

The authority reported 3.544 million visitors for the month compared with 3.540 million in April 2015, a 0.1 percent increase.

The city is on pace for a record year, 2.6 percent of 2015’s pace for the first four months of the year. At the end of April, the authority reported 14.1 million visitors.

Visitor volume was boosted by a 14.9 percent increase in convention attendance to 575,981 for the month.

The city is working with 1.3 percent fewer rooms in its inventory than it did a year ago thanks to the May 2015 closure of the Riviera, resulting in a reduction of about 2,000 rooms.

Visitor volume was flat compared with last year, in part because the Easter holiday fell in March this year but in April in 2015.

Although volume was flat and occupancy rates ticked slightly upward, the average daily room rate climbed by double-digit percentage increases. Downtown room-rate increases paced Southern Nevada’s climb. Overall, room rates average $130.64, a 10.2 percent increase over last year. Strip rates were up 10.7 percent to $141.48 while downtown rates went up 18.9 percent to $64.81.

Citywide, occupancy rates were up 0.9 percentage points to 89.7 percent. Motels were up 3.5 points to 70.7 percent while hotels were up 0.5 points to 91.6 percent.

The occupancy breakdown between the Strip and downtown showed downtown up 2.8 points to to 85 percent and the Strip up 0.8 points to 91.1 percent.

Weekend occupancy was down 0.1 points to 95.7 percent and midweek it was up 0.4 points to 86.7 percent.

Although the number of passengers at McCarran International Airport was up 3.4 percent to 3.9 million, the amount of traffic on Interstate 15 from California dropped 7.1 percent, according to the Nevada Transportation Department.

The department reported there were an average of 42,031 vehicles per day. On all major highways leading to Las Vegas, auto traffic was off 1.4 percent to 110,206 vehicles per day.

Mesquite and Laughlin, which also are monitored by the authority, had good months in April.

Mesquite showed visitor volume up 9.5 percent to 124,809 people while Laughlin visitor volume was up 5.9 percent to 171,516 people.

Occupancy rates were up 4 percentage points in both cities, 88.5 percent in Mesquite and 69.4 percent in Laughlin.

The average daily room rate was up 6.3 percent to $61.88 in Mesquite and up 3.9 percent to $54.15 in Laughlin.

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

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