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Record visitor numbers for Vegas as revenue increases

Recent times haven’t been especially kind to Las Vegas. But despite the on-going sluggish nature of the US economy, newly released statistics have shown that Vegas saw increases for in visitor numbers and casino revenue in 2012, giving hope that the spiritual home of casino gambling is on the road to recovery.

Nearly 40 million visitors

Las Vegas economic recoveryAccording to figures released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 39.7 million people visited Las Vegas in 2012. This beat the previous record by around 500,000 people, which was set in 2007 – the year before the economic problems that have gripped the west in particular began.

Hotel room occupancy also increased during this period. The occupancy rate was 84.4%, up 0.06% on 2011, while the average daily rate for a hotel room increased 2.8% to $108.08.

Casino revenues climb

Unsurprisingly, this was mirrored in similarly impressive increases in casino revenue. According to figures released by Nevada’s Gaming Control Board, total casino revenue across the state was $10.8 billion in 2012, of which $6.2 billion came from the Strip alone.

Although still this is still less than a third of Macau’s 2011 casino revenue, this still represents a healthy 2.3% year-on-year increase for the Las Vegas Strip.

Hope for a better future

As well as giving hope to Vegas’ core casino sector, it seems the benefits of the upturn have also been felt in areas outside of the Strip. Casinos in other areas of Las Vegas have seen revenue increases of between 1.9 and 2.5%.

Likewise, unemployment has also fallen. At 11.6%, Nevada’s average unemployment rate for 2012 continued to be considerably higher than the national average of 7.7%. Nevertheless, this was still a decrease of some 2% compared to 2011. In December, Nevada’s unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, the lowest it’s been since February 2009.

And with several redevelopment projects underway, there’s a strong sense that although Vegas isn’t out of the woods yet, it is on the road to recovery.