Further Gains in Las Vegas Tourism

In addition to securing the number one destination choice for travelers over the Labor Day weekend (for the third year in a row), Las Vegas has shown additional signs of improvement in the tourist industry over the summer. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported yesterday that our July visitor numbers clocked the largest year-over-year increase since December of 2005. More than any other single source, the increase appears to be largely attributable to a summer surge of “drive in” visitors from next door California. The fortunes of  the Las Vegas Strip have always been closely tied to the willingness of Californians to jump in their cars and zip across the Mojave Desert for some neon inspired entertainment, so this should come as no big surprise. It is not at all unusual for Vegas visitors to give us a call while in town to spend a few hours looking at Las Vegas foreclosure homes and Las Vegas short sales during their vacation. As a result, we get an opportunity to collect anecdotal evidence about how people are feeling about their future economic fortunes. Our client conversations bear out what we read in the financial press, namely that people are more cautious and tend to spend less even when they take a vacation. Bearing that in mind, it seems clear that higher visitor numbers are an important first step in the economic revitalization of the Las Vegas Strip, but that real recovery will depend on a stronger economy and improved consumer confidence nationwide.

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