Yes, it’s hard to compare Mesquite to Las Vegas when it comes to the number of hotel rooms, gaming venues, and visitors. Each competes for a different segment of the tourist industry and there are major differences between the two locales.
But it’s hard not to take a little glory when the statistics for each market as measured by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) show Mesquite’s numbers and percentage improvements are much better than those in the big city.
Mesquite had an 8.7 percent increase in its visitor volume when 133,487 people came to town versus 122,793 last March. You have to go back to April 2008 to see that high of a number of visitors when Mesquite had a thousand more hotel rooms than it does now. Las Vegas had a 2.9 percent increase over last year with 3.730 million visitors.
While Mesquite’s gaming revenues dropped 1.5 percent or $167,000, gaming revenues in various segments of Clark County dropped 3.6 percent overall. Also, Mesquite’s decline is the smallest in the county. The Las Vegas Strip was down 4.0 percent, downtown Vegas fell 4.2 percent, and the Boulder Strip dropped 7.5 percent.
The rest of the LVCVA report for Mesquite was all exceptionally good news.
Total occupancy was up 3.5 percent to 91.6 percent for the month. That helped the average daily room rate jump 19.5 percent from last year’s $53.91 to $64.40 this year. That was only a couple dollars’ shy of downtown Las Vegas’ rate at $67.75. Of course it’s nowhere near the Strip’s rate of $130.47.
Revenue per available room (RevPAR) for Mesquite hoteliers climbed a whopping 24.2 percent from last year to $58.99 this year. That beat out downtown Vegas’ RevPAR of $57.72. The Strip’s RevPAR was $121.60.
Total room nights occupied in Mesquite during the traditionally high season of the year reached 48,614, up 2.5 percent from last year. That matched the percentage increase for all of Las Vegas’ hotels in a year-to-year comparison.
The 10.9 percent increase in average daily auto traffic crossing the Nevada Arizona border on I-15 beat out the increase on all major highways leading into Las Vegas with an overall 10 percent increase. That made for 27,775 vehicles passing through Mesquite every day. I-15 traffic at the Nevada California border increased slightly less at 9.8 percent.
In the southernmost part of Clark County, Laughlin also saw a slight decline of 1.8 percent in gross gaming revenues. Other than a 15 percent drop in airplane passengers, the rest of Mesquite’s sister city numbers were all in the black. All of the gains however were much smaller than Mesquite’s increases.
Visitor volumes were up 1.3 percent while the average daily auto traffic on Highway 163 into Laughlin was up 5 percent to 5,130.
Total occupancy rates in Laughlin rose a miniscule 0.3 percent over March 2015, average daily room rates were up 1.7 percent to $42.77, RevPAR was up 2.1 percent to $29.51 and total room nights occupied increased 2.9 percent to 214,328.
Laughlin has 10,020 hotel rooms while Mesquite has 1,712.