August tourism rises, but room rates slip, report shows

The dog days of summer didn’t hurt visitation to Las Vegas, but room rates and revenue per room slipped in August, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Wednesday.

Visitation was up 1.6 percent to 3.6 million people for the month, which had five weekend dates, the same as last year.

While occupancy rates were strong in all categories, the average daily room rate fell 5.8 percent to $105.39 for the month. Revenue per available room also was off 5 percent to $93.16.

Overall, occupancy was up 0.7 percentage points to 88.4 percent. That broke down to 0.5 points to 90.9 percent for hotels, 0.6 points to 63.6 percent for motels, 0.4 points to 93.9 percent for weekends, 1.6 points to 86.1 percent for weekdays, 0.1 points to 90.8 percent for the Strip and 5.3 points to 81 percent for downtown Las Vegas.

The LVCVA said a 26.1 percent increase in convention attendance boosted August numbers. There were 532,891 conventioneers attending 1,308 conventions during the month. Officials attributed the convention traffic bump to favorable show rotations. The Las Vegas Market show, a furniture exhibition at the World Market, fell in August this year after being in July 2014. Also, ASD Las Vegas, a consumer goods trade show, attracted 53,000 attendees, considerably higher than 2014’s 35,200.

Most other tourism indicators were generally higher. Passenger traffic at McCarran was up 7.2 percent to 4 million and Clark County gaming revenue, bolstered by 29.7 percent and 15 percent increases on the Boulder Strip and downtown, respectively, kept the county’s overall win in the black with a 0.3 percent increase to $776.8 million.

Average daily traffic on major highways in and out of Las Vegas was up 5.7 percent to 116,696 and traffic at the Nevada-California border on Interstate 15 was up 2.2 percent to 48,761 vehicles.

Southern Nevada continues to be on a record pace for 2015 with visitation 2 percent ahead of last year’s figures with 28.3 million visitors in the first eight months of the year.

Mesquite visitation continued to climb while Laughlin’s fell.

Mesquite, a haven for golfers, saw visitation climb 6.5 percent to 93,277 visitors for the month. Occupancy was up 3.8 percentage points to 68.1 percent for the month, but the average daily room rate fell 2.6 percent to $51.75 in August.

In Laughlin, located at the southern tip of Nevada on the Colorado River, visitor volume fell 8.1 percent to 165,200. Tribal casino competition from California continued to affect Laughlin, which saw the average daily room rate drop 2.3 percent to $50.32 and occupancy off 1.8 percentage points to 63.1 percent.

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

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