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Las Vegas Hotel Rooms Still a Bargain | Gaming News

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Las Vegas Hotel Rooms Still a Bargain
Gaming News

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada's latest gaming numbers paint a bleak picture at first glance. The Silver State's casino winnings for the month of May were down 4.7 percent over the same month last year.

But gaming analysts tell 8 News NOW, it's not nearly as bad as it may appear. Gaming analysts say the high-rollers were unusually lucky at baccarat beating out the Las Vegas casinos in the month of May. Accounting for that, analysts say the city's resort industry continues to show signs of slow recovery in all areas but one -- hotel room rates.

On the surface, Nevada's may gaming numbers are negative especially for the Las Vegas Strip which was down more than 6 percent over the same month last year. But gaming analysts say that's because of a baccarat blip.

"In other words, high-rollers beat the casinos atypically in that game during the month," said Bill Lerner, Union Gaming Group.

That anomaly aside, Lerner says gaming revenue for Las Vegas collectively was flat in May, and even more importantly, still up for the year to date.

"So now, year to date when you adjust things for normalcy we are actually up 4 to 5 percent in terms of our gaming revenue," said Lerner. And the visitor count is also up at a little more than 1 percent year to date.

"We really don't have a gaming problem or a visitation problems, we've got a room rate problem," he said.

With 149,000 competitive hotel rooms and an occupancy rate under 80 percent, Las Vegas room rates have fallen substantially in this recession surprising some tourists staying on the Strip.

"It was the same we would pay for a Days Inn in San Diego."

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports the average daily room rate in Las Vegas is only $97 now compared to $136 dollars two years ago.

"The room rate was really good," another tourist told 8 News NOW. "I was surprised; I thought it would be much more."

Barring any double dip in this recession, Lerner agrees with a consensus of gaming analysts who predict recovery for the Las Vegas Strip will continue slowly over the next 12 months.

Unfortunately, until the valley's unemployment picture improves, the outlook for the valley's local casinos remains dim.

 

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