Slow Tourist Seasons Not as Slow as Years Past - 8 News NOW

Slow Tourist Seasons Not as Slow as Years Past

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Photo courtesy: Brian Jones/Las Vegas News Bureau Photo courtesy: Brian Jones/Las Vegas News Bureau
Photo courtesy: Brian Jones/Las Vegas News Bureau Photo courtesy: Brian Jones/Las Vegas News Bureau

LAS VEGAS -- Tourism is the lifeblood of southern Nevada's economy, and new numbers show Las Vegas is filling hotel rooms, even during slow periods, more than ever before.

The top three months over the last year, drawing the most visitors, were March, October, and June.

December, January and November consistently have been the least busiest months since 1980. When a hotel room is empty, that is money the Las Vegas economy is missing out on.

While the city is in the middle of the slow time of year for tourism, there is a silver lining. The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is a much-needed boost to the local economy during December.

"We come here every year for the rodeo," William Filpula from Butte, Montana said.

"Just love it. We have a good time," Joan Filpula said.

When it comes to travel and entertainment, Las Vegas is always a safe bet.

Analyst Jeremy Aguero with Applied Analysis broke down travel trends for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority during a meeting Tuesday.

"Let's be perfectly honest. You bring your convention to Las Vegas, more people will come to your convention because it is here than it would be if you are in most other places around the world," Aguero told LVCVA officials.

He did the number crunching and found even the slow times are growing with visitors.

"Those seasonal dips that we used to have, they still exist, but they exist a little bit less. and what it also means is there is about 1.7 million more occupied hotel rooms in any given year than there would have been otherwise if we hadn't made that transition," Aguero said.

Putting more heads in beds is key, so what is behind the success in the slow season?

"Think of things like the rodeo, things like the Las Vegas bowl, things like the Las Vegas marathon, have gone a long way toward filling in some of those low-occupancy gaps," Aguero said.

Even with 300,000 partygoers coming for the big bash on New Year's Eve, winter is weaker for tourism, but it is not as weak as it could be or used to be.

"Even in our low months, our occupancy rate is higher than most other places are normally," Aguero said.

Because the Las Vegas brand keeps people coming back.

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," tourist Rodger Pottratz said.

So, while December is slow, it is also the month that is growing the most with visitation up almost five percent since 1980.

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