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LAS VEGAS-The amount it takes to keep hotels in town as occupied as possible is officially on the rise again. The average daily room rate hit five-year low of $84.02 in August 2009 but has now recorded its second straight 9% gain to reach $99.59, according to October data released late last week by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau.

While up 18% the ADR is still 13.9% behind the same month in 2008, but there again that spread is the smallest so far this year. Indeed, the spread from 2008 has declined not only in ADR but also in hotel occupancy, which ended October at 82.6%, down just 120 basis points from the same year-earlier period. That, too, is the smallest spread year-to-date, and weekend occupancy was off by just 0.4% from October 2008, which is as slim as it has been in 2009.

Backing up out from there, total room nights occupied also rose for the second straight month in a row, as did visitor volume. Visitor volume was 3.15 million in October, 3.7% higher than the same year-earlier period while total room nights occupied was 3.6 million, up 1.2% from the same year-earlier period.

While hotel occupancy in October fell just 120 basis points year-over-year motel occupancy was off by 480 basis points to 48.3%, pulling the year-to-date average down to 50.7%, 910 basis points below the same 2008 period. Total airplane passengers through the McCarran International in October was 9.1% below the same 2008 period, while auto traffic was up between 2.7% and 4.5%, depending on the route.

Convention attendance in October was 8.3% behind the same 2008 period, the second slimmest margin year-to-date. Year-to-date, convention attendance is running 25.8% behind 2008. The number of conventions and meetings held in October was down 4.3% from the same 2008 period, also the second slimmest margin year-to-date.

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