LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas tourism officials are taking steps to attract holiday visitors with two weeks to go before Christmas.
December is typically not a popular month for tourists, but as Las Vegas offers more events and entertainment options, that trend is slowly changing.
According to a new economic impact report released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the gap in tourism numbers between the busiest and slowest months is slowing closing.
In the 1980s, slow months such as December and January experienced approximately 33 percent less tourism than busy months such as October and March. In recent years, that gap fell to approximately 12 percent.
Analysts credit casinos and other businesses for hosting special holiday attractions – such as ice skating rinks – and popular performers – such as Britney Spears – to draw in the crowds.
"Not every year has growth, but we have seen growth over the past twenty years dramatically increase those numbers and close the gaps," said LVCVA spokesperson Heidi Hayes.
New Year's Eve is traditionally the biggest holiday of the year for Las Vegas. Three hundred thousand visitors are expected to visit Las Vegas for New Year's. The city also hopes to draw visitors this weekend for the Royal Purple Bowl which pits the University of Southern California Trojans against the Fresno State Bulldogs.
Looking ahead to 2014, the city hopes to profit from new attractions such as the Linq observation wheel, and the SLS Hotel & Casino which sits on the site of the former Sahara Hotel and Casino.