Tourism slump continues in Las Vegas months after mass shooting


Las Vegas tourism leaders revived the famous “What happens here, stays here” slogan three months after a mass shooting on the Strip, but gaming revenue and visitation numbers remain depressed in the tourist destination. 

In January, total visitation to the city dropped 3.3 percent, while gaming revenue from the Strip slumped by 8.89 percent, the steepest percentage drop among all Nevada gambling markets for the month — and the biggest for the Strip since the Oct. 1 shooting at a country-music festival that killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more.  

But tourism and gaming officials attributed much of the decline to factors beyond the mass shooting, including the month having one less weekend compared to January 2017 and the shift of the lunar new year to February.  

In addition, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which reports on tourism numbers, said there were nearly 2,000 fewer available rooms in January compared to a year ago because of construction and renovation.  

A separate monthly report issued by the Nevada Gaming Control Board showed revenue on the Strip declined by 8.89 percent — for a haul of $554.8 million in January.  

October revenue had been down 6 percent followed by drops of 6 percent in November and 3.25 percent in December.  

Michael Lawton, senior research analyst with the control board, said that tourism has been down since before the Oct. 1 shooting and the situation hasn’t been helped by several properties on the Strip undergoing renovation.  

Larger-than-normal losses at the baccarat tables also have been a key culprit in the revenue declines.  

“Bottom line is that the declines on the Strip over the last four months are attributable to several factors beyond the impact of Oct. 1,” Lawton said in an email.  

However, downtown Las Vegas was a bright spot, with gaming revenue up 1.6 percent — a fourth straight month of increases since October, though the smallest during the stretch.  

Laughlin and Reno, by contrast, reported increases in gaming revenue and hotel occupancy.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

A birder’s paradise in Zimbabwe

John Brebner swept his binoculars over a fissure-ridden rock face that towered over a grove of acacia trees. Candy-colored striations of dolomite and quartz ran through the tan granite, and human figures painted by Khoisan Bushmen three millenniums ago were faintly visible on the facade.  “There it is,” Brebner exclaimed, passing the...
What's it like to film a TV travel show? I joined the crew of "Travels With Darley" to find out.

The question rang out like a cowbell through the French Alps: "Where did Darley go?"  The host of PBS's "Travels With Darley" was missing. She was last seen at the bottom of Isola 2000, a ski resort about 55 miles north of Nice. A member of the ski patrol released a stream of French into a walkie-talkie, his words punctuated...
Travel calendar
Travel calendar

GEORGIA Dahlonega — Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, through April 22, spotlights bluegrass and old-time music, and has a juried Artists Market Place featuring traditional mountain crafts, storytelling and free music workshops and demonstrations. www.bearonthesquare.org. Thomasville — Rose Show & Festival, April 26-28, features roses...
Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, California's chefs have the natural advantage of an abundance of fresh produce from the Central Valley, a robust wine industry and a nearly perfect climate. These attributes have lured restaurateurs from San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles to the city's thriving dining scene, but natives tend to prefer spots with deep roots in the...
Family travel: Let the good times roll

Sing a song. Tap your feet. Dance the night away. Gather your clan and discover the history and inspiration behind some of our country’s most popular music.  Here are five places where the good times roll:   Steep yourself in authentic mountain music in this 300-mile scenic corridor that winds through the colorful mountain communities...
More Stories