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January visitation to Vegas: Convention attendance up, highway traffic down

Updated March 1, 2024 - 7:16 pm

Visitation to Las Vegas showed a modest increase in January with a substantial boost in convention traffic, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Thursday.

The CES, World of Concrete and Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade shows and other events brought 557,200 people to Southern Nevada to boost January visitation to 3.4 million, a 3.3 percent increase over January 2023.

The hotel and motel occupancy rate dipped slightly, thanks to an increase in the number of rooms with the openings of Durango and Fontainebleau in December. But resort leaders managed to keep room rates steady despite the additional supply.

Occupancy rates swiveled slightly from weekend to weekday, thanks to CES running Tuesday through Friday instead of Thursday through Sunday last year.

“Despite the larger room inventory vs. January 2023, overall hotel occupancy for the month was on par with last January at 78.9 percent (down 0.2 percentage points),” said Kevin Bagger, vice president of the LVCVA Research Center.

“Affected in part by the move of the CES trade show back to midweek dates this January instead of the weekend dates it spanned last January, weekend occupancy for the month declined to 83.6 percent, down 4.8 points, while midweek occupancy increased to 77 percent, or 1.8 points year over year.”

The average daily room rate was $191.23, just 0.2 percent off January 2023’s rate. The Strip room rate hit $204.22, down 0.7 percent, while downtown Las Vegas rates were at $100.23 a night, down 4.2 percent.

Passenger traffic at Harry Reid International Airport, announced Wednesday by the Clark County Department of Aviation, also dipped slightly by 0.9 percent to 4.3 million passengers.

Highway traffic was down slightly for the month.

The Nevada Department of Transportation estimated 114,745 vehicles on the major highways leading into Las Vegas for the month, a decline of 1.7 percent from the previous year. NDOT also said highway traffic on Interstate 15 at the Nevada-California border was off 5.3 percent from last January to 38,352. NDOT does not differentiate between tourists and local motorists.

Laughlin started 2024 strong with a 2.4 percent increase in visitation to 88,000. The visitor occupancy rate was 39.1 percent, down 1 percentage point, and the average daily room rate rose 1.1 percent to $52.73 a night.

February visitation numbers, which will be released in late March, could be near record levels because the city hosted Super Bowl 58 during the month and the Chinese New Year fell in February instead of January last year. In addition, February 2024 will have one more day than a year ago thanks to Leap Year.

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

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