LAS VEGAS -- A new report says it will take Nevada 10 years to rebound from the recession. But in the last few months, conventions are slowly bouncing back and tourist and gaming numbers are on the rise. So why more doom and gloom?
The 26 page report from the UNLV-based Brookings Mountain West think-tank shows that even though visitor numbers are growing once again, they won't return at a fast enough pace to drive the economy forward.
"It finds trouble for Nevada because going forward, we may not be able to just simply grow our way out of the recession, in terms of the states budget, because it assumes a kind of return from consumer spending you might not see or to a housing boom that you won't see," said Dr. Robert Lang with Brookings Mountain West.
Dr. Lang says the study focused on four western states -- Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and Colorado. Nevada, though, seems to be one of the states that will take the longest to bounce back because slower growth projections.
Even though the numbers are rising in many areas, Dr. Lang says the report shows the number of people visiting and spending will not be enough to return to the point where they drive the entire economy forward.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says it sees the glass half full, rather than half empty, and if numbers keep at the pace they are on, things won't take 10 years to get back on track.
"If you look at our conventions this year, it's very comparable to 2006. Our peak was 2007. In 2010, we were comparable to 2005, so we are trending in the right direction," said Vince Alberta with the LVCVA. "Whether it's a Magic or World of Concrete or Con Expo, all of that will generate and stimulate awareness and visitation to Las Vegas."
The LVCVA says momentum really picked up the second half of 2010. For eight consecutive months, visitation has increased and room rates are up as well. And when it comes to gaming, the LVCVA says gaming is up for the third consecutive month.