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LAS VEGAS-Visitor volume moved in the opposite direction of casino revenues and hotel room rates in February, according to data released this week by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau. Thanks to an extra day in the month this year, visitor volume totaled 3.1 million, up 3% from February 2007. The extra day didn’t help the casinos, which reported a 4% decline in revenue to $866 million, and non-gaming revenue doesn’t appear to have made up the difference as hotel occupancy and room rates also fell.

Without the extra day, visitor volume would have fallen slightly compared to last year. Another sign of the softening economy was a decrease in visitors driving in from California. In-bound traffic volume at the Nevada-California border was down 9% in February. Passenger traffic through McCarran International Airport was up 3%.

Hotel occupancy levels also fell in February, dipping to 92.7% from 94% in the same month one year earlier. Convention attendance was up 15.8% to 894,000 people, while the number of conventions fell 14.6% to 2,031.

With regard to gaming revenue, Strip casinos took in $556.6 million, down 3.1% from February 2007. Downtown casino revenues stood still at around $50 million. Casino revenue in Boulder fell 14% to $62.3 million.

Year-to-date, visitor volume (6.24 million) is up 1.2%, hotel occupancy (90.6%) is down 150 basis points, gaming revenue ($1.8 billion) is down 4%, California car traffic (33,628) is down 6.8% and airport passenger traffic (7.15 million) is up 0.2%.

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