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New-to-Las Vegas conventions help boost visitor volume in April

New trade shows, conventions and conferences boosted visitation to Las Vegas in April, increasing total tourism volume to more than 3.5 million people, a 3.8 percent increase over last year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Wednesday.

Kevin Bagger, vice president of the LVCVA Research Center, said that new shows Google Cloud Next (attendance of 30,000), the Craft Brewers Conference (attendance 12,000) and the PZ3 Live Veterinary and Pet Technology Conference (5,000) helped draw visitors to Las Vegas last month.

In addition, the 20,000-delegate ISC West International Security West Conference shifted from March a year ago to April this year. Between that shift and the new shows, 503,500 attended convention events in Las Vegas in April, a 36.3 percent increase over April 2023.

That boosted the month past traditionally strong March for a 2024 total of 2.3 million conventioneers for the first third of the year, flat against 2023 total.

Nearly every tourism indicator improved over April 2023.

“Even with a larger room count vs. last April, overall hotel occupancy reached 85.5 percent, up 1.2 percentage points,” Bagger said. “Weekend occupancy hit 93.4 percent, up 1 percentage point, and midweek occupancy reached 82.6 percent, up 1.7 points.”

A year ago, the Strip’s Fontainebleau property and southwest Las Vegas’ Durango were not operating, but April also saw the closure of the Tropicana. The hotel room inventory for Southern Nevada now stands at 154,745, 1.9 percent more than it was a year ago.

The average daily room rate climbed to $182.30, up 6.6 percent, with Strip rooms going for an average $194.42 a night, the LVCVA said.

The only downturn among statistical tourism indicators for the month was the number of vehicles on highways leading to Las Vegas, monitored by the Nevada Department of Transportation. NDOT counted an average 132,542 vehicles per day. The agency does not differentiate tourist traffic from local traffic.

Vehicle counts on Interstate 15 at the California-Nevada border were down 9.8 percent to a 40,860 average per day.

Harry Reid International Airport has yet to report passenger counts for the month of April.

Visitor volume for Laughlin and Mesquite, both monitored by the LVCVA, were down 2.6 percent to 109,000 and 4.6 percent to 83,000, respectively.

Occupancy rates were down by single-digit percentage points for hotels in both cities. Average daily room rates dropped by 12.7 percent to $55.02 a night in Laughlin but flat at $88.27 a night in Mesquite.

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

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