They say that if you build it, or build many of them, mega resorts that is, they'll come. That sounds very true right now as the Las Vegas visitor stats were released the other day and they show that 39.2 million travelers made a trip here in 2007. It sets a new record, besting the year before by 300,000.
These visitors filled over 90% of hotel rooms in town when the national occupancy average is about 27% lower. That is a large separation. Those who dared gamble racked up almost $11 billion in losses, another serious number. All these statistics were compiled by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the agency largely responsible for marketing our world-famous resort destination.
Local authorities and business owners certainly are ecstatic with these results, but they are already thinking about how 2008 will shape up amid the growing nationwide economic slowdown and also worry of the impact the mortgage industry tremors and other financial issues will have on them.
Actually convention and trade show spending here dipped 1.6% in 2007 and might stay on the same track this year. When storm clouds gather over the national economy, companies will start trimming budgets, curtailing business travel and event participation in town that nowadays relies heavily on this type of commerce.
Locals like to say that Las Vegas is mostly immune to national economic shifts and that theory will definitely be tested in the coming months.