Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Camp Vegas", Comeback Kid?

So LVCVA has decided upon a new marketing campaign, "Camp Vegas"...

And we're all wondering what's going on. Where's the camp?

Obviously, this is not really the "summer camp" we expected as kids. This is "camp for grownups", complete with pool parties, "beachside" gambling, and plentiful liquor. It all sounds so happy and fun...

But wait, when was the last time we were all happy here? Well, perhaps there's good reason to be happy again.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said 3,224,697 people visited the city in March, compared to 3,202,344 visitors in March 2009, which is an increase of 0.7 percent. March marks the seventh straight month of visitor volume exceeding prior year levels.

Hotel occupancy across the valley dropped 3.5 percent because about 8,000 additional hotel rooms were added in the past year, bringing the total number of rooms to 148,891.

The average daily room rate increased 0.8 percent in the past year, from $92.46 to $93.23, the LVCVA said. The number of room nights occupied increased 0.8 percent to nearly 3.8 million.

Convention attendance was up 5.2 percent, while the number of conventions dropped 2.9 percent, according to the LVCVA numbers.

The number of passengers arriving to and departing from McCarran International Airport dropped 4 percent, while traffic at the Nevada/California line on Interstate 15 was up 6.2 percent.

And although other parts of the state (including Downtown and the 'burbs here in Clark County) are still suffering declining gaming revenue, The Strip continued on its winning streak.

Casinos along the Las Vegas Strip posted their fourth increased win in the past five months in March, buoyed by strong performances in Baccarat and sports betting with the college basketball tournament. [...]

Strip casinos posted $467 million in, up 2.4 percent. For the first three months of the year, the gaming win on the Strip increased by 9.8 percent.

For the 11st consecutive month, the 17 casinos that have Baccarat reported an increase, up to $52.7 million.

Sports betting jumped 527.5 percent to $7.6 million. Players lost $12.1 million in basketball during the time of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Frank Streshley, chief of tax and licensing for the board, said the high-end play is coming back on the Strip, and convention business has been strong.

“We hit the bottom and are slowly climbing out,” he said.

Well, it's far better to be climbing up from the bottom than still sliding toward an endless, bottomless pit. What a difference a year makes!

Again, things aren't perfect just yet. Vegas hasn't fully healed yet... But we're now on our way. Vegas is coming back, baby!

And hey, what better way to celebrate than throw a "summer camp" for all our guests? I'm digging it. :-)

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