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Las Vegas visitation grows in November, thanks to SEMA show

Updated December 29, 2022 - 4:26 pm

The number of visitors to Las Vegas jumped by nearly 5 percent in November, thanks to a robust Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show last month, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Thursday.

But the number of tourists still hasn’t gotten the city over the level of visitation that occurred in pre-pandemic 2019.

The LVCVA said an estimated 3.3 million visitors came to Las Vegas in November, including an estimated 582,800 conventioneers — the second-highest monthly total this year.

The SEMA show and its Automotive Aftermarket Week in early November provided the biggest visitation boost with more than 135,000 people attending the trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center and The Venetian Expo.

Kevin Bagger, vice president of the LVCVA Research Center, said the Las Vegas Raiders’ lone November home game against the Indianapolis Colts also attracted visitors to the city.

“Even with typical late fall-early winter seasonal volume decreases kicking in after a stellar October, November 2022 saw visitation of approximately 3.27 million, about 5 percent ahead of last November and 7 percent shy of November 2019 tallies,” Bagger said.

SEMA’s impact showed in midweek hotel occupancy with a 5.6 percentage point boost to 77.5 percent on midweek dates. Weekend occupancy fell off 1.1 percentage points to 89.6 percent, bringing the overall percentage to 81.7 percent, up 3.6 points.

Occupancy rates in November 2019 were 94.1 percent on weekends and 84.8 percent at midweek, for an overall occupancy rate of 86.2 percent.

For most tourism indicators, the levels in November were above 2021 figures but below November 2019. The one big exception — the average daily room rate, which was $186.48 a night, the third-highest monthly total this year.

That figure was below October’s all-time record of $209.89 a night and September’s $187.18, but surpassed April’s $176.97 when the NFL draft was in town.

In November, Strip ADRs were $200.16 and the average rate in downtown Las Vegas was $98.25. The November 2022 level was 19.6 percent more than a year earlier and 38.2 percent more than in November 2019.

One other tourism indicator declined from November 2021, but was up from 2019.

The estimated average daily traffic on major highways leading to Las Vegas, monitored by the Nevada Department of Transportation, was down 3 percent to 130,467 vehicles, but was up 13.3 percent from November 2019. On Southern Nevada’s primary gateway from Southern California, Interstate 15 at the Nevada-California border, traffic was down 7.2 percent to 48,076 vehicles daily, but up 8.8 percent from 2019. NDOT does not differentiate between local traffic and visitors.

Clark County gaming win was down 8.4 percent to $1.1 billion, which was up 32 percent from November 2019.

Visitor volume continued to lag in Laughlin where there were 4.2 percent fewer visitors in November — 89,900 — than in November 2021, and also was 35.7 percent down from November 2019.

The November occupancy rate of 43.5 percent in Laughlin trailed last year by 1.3 percentage points and 13.9 points from 2019. But room rates were up 0.1 percent to $53.61 a night and up 18 percent from 2019.

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

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