Trade Shows Contribute to Record Crowds in Las Vegas in 2014

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Las Vegas, NV – The trade show industry chipped with an increase in the number of visitors it brought to Las Vegas during a record-breaking year for crowds in the tourism Mecca.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) said 41.1 million visitors cruised The Strip and took in the many attractions the city had to offer in 2014, including nearly 5.2 million trade show and meeting attendees, the highest number in that crucial visitor category in six years.

The total visitor count eclipsed the previous record of 39.7 million set in 2012 and had tourism leaders doubling down on predictions that the upward trends would continue. “With more than $9 billion in recent and planned developments, we are poised to continue that growth and march toward our next goal of 45 million visitors in the coming years,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the LVCVA.

The larger crowds pushed average citywide hotel occupancy for the year to 86.8%, which was well above the U.S. average of 64.1%. The average daily room rate climbed to $117, up $6 from 2013.

CONEXPO’s Timely Boost

The number of trade shows, conventions and other meetings held in Las Vegas totaled 22,103 in 2014, up a slight 0.3% from the year before, but the highest number of events since 2008. Attendance ticked up 1.2% from the previous year.

The critical month of January included a 10.4% increase in attendance, but it was March that produced the most robust metrics of the year, thanks in large part to the rotation of the huge triennial CONEXPO-CON/AGG. The 2014 show drew more than 131,000 attendees and contributed to a total visitation for the month of nearly 3.8 million attendees. That compared to just under 3.3 million in January and was 20.5% higher than March 2013.

The slowest month of the year for the convention category was December. The number of events dipped (4.1)% to 1,100 while attendance totaled 133,553, off (8.2)% from 2013, but that hardly made a dent in a tremendous year for Las Vegas.

Reach Rossi Ralenkotter at (702) 892-0711 or president@lvcva.com