Las Vegas Economy Said to be Recovering to Pre-Recession Levels
It’s no secret that one of the cities that was particularly hard-hit by the recession and the lingering weak economy was Las Vegas.
With its reliance on visitors spending excess cash and its real estate boom – and then bust – Las Vegas was in prime position to take a major hit when the rest of the nation’s finances took a major nosedive.
Now, CNBC is reporting that the glittering gambling mecca in the Nevada desert is coming back, with construction cranes back to dotting the landscape and investment money pouring in.
Number of visitors continues to rise
In recent years, the number of tourists, both foreign and from other parts of the United States, has not been a problem for Sin City.
In fact, according to CNBC’s report, should the city achieve projected visitor rates in the coming year, it will be the third straight year in which the tourist count topples previously-held records.
Las Vegas is expecting some 40 million people to sleep in its hotels, gamble at its casinos, and take in the myriad retail, dining, and nightlife options the city has to offer, not to mention the many natural wonders that are on display for those who choose to visit Nevada.
Gaming revenue suffers continued decline
What is a worry for some casinos, however, is the fact that while the sidewalks along Las Vegas Boulevard are still bustling, tourists simply aren’t spending as much money gambling.
According to an analyst for Deutsche Bank, Andrew Zarnett, “Even when parts of the economy seem to be doing better, gaming revenues continue to falter.”
Gambling-derived revenue has ticked up in the last year – it is up by 4 percent – but more and more Las Vegas tourists are seeking a broader experience away from the casino floor.
In that vein, many new attractions have recently or soon will open, including a new giant Ferris wheel attraction put up by Caesars called the High Roller at the Linq, new zip line thrill rides, and a constantly-evolving lineup of new shopping destinations.
Whether Las Vegas will continue to unveil such attractions in the coming years remains to be seen. Unlike New Jersey, which is hoping that its nascent real money online gambling industry will help offset revenue declines at brick and mortar casinos, for now the real money online poker industry in Nevada remains small, a trend that is likely to continue, meaning ancillary entertainments will probably continue to be a big focus.
Also unlike New Jersey, Nevada plans to keep its Internet betting options restricted to online poker for the time being, with no plans to being offering online casino sites.
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