Businesses Hopeful for Profitable 2012 - 8 News NOW

Businesses Hopeful for Profitable 2012

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LAS VEGAS -- There are positive signs of an economic shift both on and off the Las Vegas Strip. Business and tourism experts told local business owners today that 2012 will be a profitable year.

Almost 39 million people visited Las Vegas last year, the second most in history. This year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority think we'll top 40 million, which means thousands of new jobs and decreasing foreclosure and unemployment rates.

At today's Preview Las Vegas, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, experts said Las Vegas has the most affordable housing market. Without construction, Nevada's unemployment rate is less than the national average.

Visitor volume and room rates are up, which means companies on and off the Strip will benefit, since more workers will have more jobs and money to spend. The other major growth sector is technology and local business owners are excited to see it happen.

"There's an enthusiasm in the market, and as long as we can improve the perception about Vegas, then we have the opportunity to attract more people, more businesses, and more importantly, more capital," said Mark Cenicola, president and CEO of BannerView.com.

Ninety companies either moved to Las Vegas or expanded here last year, and Tony Hsieh of Zappos has invested $350 million of his own money into Downtown Las Vegas to encourage more high-tech companies to move here.

The LVCVA's goal is to bring more special events like the Grammy's and Billboard Music Awards, themed weekends, corporate meetings, and international travelers here this year.

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