Sin City cashed in last year with a record 39.7 million visitors, and tourism officials are optimistic that the mark won’t stand for long.
About 500,000 more people visited Las Vegas in 2012 than in 2007, the previous record-setting year, according to figures released Friday by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). The record visitation translated into more than $40 billion for the local economy, the organization said.
The increase was brought about by “a combination of the economy getting marginally better and room rates remaining very low,” said Anthony Curtis, president of LasVegasAdvisor.com, an online newsletter. “Room rates are still below the figures from four years ago.”
Breaking 40 million
“Las Vegas is well positioned for continued growth in 2013 and on the threshold of hosting more than 40 million visitors,” Rossi Ralenkotter, LVCVA’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
Visitors can expect some new attractions, the most noteworthy being Caesars Entertainment’s $550 milion Linq retail/entertainment project, expected to open late this year.
But Curtis said the city has two things going for it: sizzle and value.
He defines sizzle as young people visiting for the clubs, pools, etc. “That’s not going away.”
And Vegas remains a value bet. Visitors can stay in rooms that can be two or three times more in other locations, Curtis said.
He also expects more than 40 million visitors next year, barring another economic disaster. But will they spend?
“More people are coming, but they’re spending less,” he said. “They’re still hoarding. They’re still keeping their cash close to their vest.”
Now, what all this means to locals is more economic opportunity accross the board. In short, the death of Las Vegas has been greatly exaggerated.
For example, in a devastated housing market, it is now money time. Investors are inching back in and buying up the beaters, fixing them up, and selling them to new stronger consumers.
It’s not projected to be a boom but a nice long road to reasonable prosperity.
Once a real estate investor’s dream, Las Vegas now has thousands of abandoned properties desperately in need of transformation.
Scott, a tough-talking, risk-taking, house flipper, gambles on homes no one else wants. But his strong commitment to getting the job done has helped him win big in the real estate industry.
In short, there is opportunity for those who are willing to work smart and ride this new slow growth economic Vegas wave.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Johnny Punish is a musician, artist, entertainer, businessman, investor, life coach, and syndicated columnist. Educated at University of Nevada Las Vegas, his articles appear in Veterans Today, Money News Now and his Johnny Punish Blog. His art music is promoted by Peapolz Media Records and played on net radio at Last.fm and more.
2013 copyright – Johnny Punish