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Visitor volume up 3.5 percent

Las Vegas experienced its 12th straight monthly increase in visitor volume during August, helped in part by the switch of two large trade shows that accounted for some 125,000 delegates.

According to figures released Friday by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 3.2 million tourists came through Southern Nevada during August, an increase of 3.5 percent compared with just under 3.1 million visitors in August 2009.

For the first eight months of 2010, visitor volume in Las Vegas is up almost 25.1 million, an increase of 2.5 percent compared with the same eight months of 2009.

Union Gaming Group Principal Bill Lerner told clients the trends looked positive for Las Vegas.

"In the context of now 12 consecutive months of improved visitation, improving Strip gaming revenues, generally increasing drive-in traffic, stabilization of passengers at McCarran and a positive outlook on convention attendance in the second half of 2010, all signs are pointing toward some recovery on the Strip," Lerner said.

Visitor volume in August was helped by a 46.3 percent increase in convention attendance.

Convention authority officials said two large trade shows, MAGIC (Men’s Apparel Guild in California) and the semiannual event at the World Market Center, were held a month earlier than a year ago. MAGIC had some 75,000 delegates while the World Market Center show attracted approximately 50,000 attendees.

For the year, convention attendance is up 2.2 percent.

Hotel occupancy in August was at 82 percent, up 0.6 percent from a year ago, while the average daily room rate climbed 4 percent to $87.40.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871.

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