December 11, 2008

Tourism drops in Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said room rates are dropping, but so are visitor rates at the famous entertainment mecca in the desert.

Visits to Las Vegas fell 10.2 percent to 3 million in October, the largest monthly drop since September 2001, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday.

Average room rates fell to $115.68 with hotels dropping prices to attract visitors. But, the occupancy rate still fell 8.5 percent from October of 2007, the Visitors Authority said.

People are not opening their wallets to the level they have been in the past, Kevin Bagger, the authority's director of Internet marketing and research told the newspaper.

Another telling number, the ratio of employees to hotel rooms in the city has also declined.

In October, the Visitors Authority tracked 1.25 employees per room, down from a peak of 1.4 employees per room in January 2001.

You have 180,000 workers dependent on (tourism) spending, said Jeremy Aguero of the economics firm Applied Analysis.