the economy:

Southern Nevada economy ‘has turned the corner,’ according to report

Southern Nevada is bouncing back from the recession and could receive an added push as the national economy continues to gain strength, according to a series of monthly indices released today by UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research, or CBER.

The center’s Clark County Business Activity index was up 2.99 percent in October when compared with October 2010, with a significant boost coming from a 10.4 percent jump in gaming revenues. The improvement was largely attributed to visitor volume recovering to nearly the level it reached in 2007, when a record 39 million tourists came here.

"Uncertainty remains, but it appears the Southern Nevada economy has turned the corner," CBER Assistant Director Bob Potts wrote in the report.

Earlier this month, CBER Director Stephen Brown told an audience of 300 business and community leaders gathered for a twice-yearly breakfast meeting at The M Resort that “today’s tourists look a little bit different than the ones we saw in 2007,” explaining that Southern Nevada tourists have been staying longer while gambling less.

The research center’s Clark County Tourism Index posted solid growth in October, according to the new CBER report. The index was up by 7.26 percent from the previous month and 6.25 percent above October last year. All three indicators that make up the index are higher than a year earlier. In addition to the rise in gaming revenues, passenger counts grew by 4.5 percent and occupancy rates increased 2.4 percent.

“The Tourism Index now stands at its highest value since July 2008, which provides encouraging evidence that our tourist-based economy is coming out of recession,” Potts reported.

Taxable sales were up 9.3 percent over the same period, although they were down 1.7 percent in October as compared with September. Employment climbed a modest 1.3 percent during the 12-month period ended in October, according to the report.

“In short, key indicators of economic activity in Southern Nevada are improving,” Potts wrote.

Despite the modest improvement, the construction sector continued its five-year collapse, although the rate of decline has slowed, a direct reflection of the huge decline in regional construction.

Since October 2010, construction employment fell 6.8 percent, commercial permits by 10.0 percent and residential permits by 44.7 percent.

“There were only 220 residential and 18 commercial permits pulled in October, which does not represent much activity in a county the size of Clark,” Potts said in the report. “Until excess inventories built during the real estate bubble years are absorbed, Southern Nevada construction activity will remain low.”

More than 70,000 construction jobs have been lost in the region since 2006, when the construction sector was the region’s No. 2 employer, trailing only the gaming and lodging sector.

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  1. Good news for Las Vegas. However, it will take years if ever, when it comes back to where it used to be.
    It's been proven that tourist come to Las Vegas not for gambling but for the good times they get for their money.
    We've been successful in attracting conventioneers. Let's build more family oriented attractions.
    And with all the hotels, the money, and the high powered people we have in Las Vegas, (The Adelsons, Wynns, Reids), why can't we get a professional sports team? Or if we can't get a home team in Las Vegas, maybe we can pursue a regular professional bowl game.
    Let's sell Las Vegas not as a "Sin City" but what it is for, "Fun City".

  2. Family oriented attractions? Were you here in the Nineties? No thank you.

    Las Vegas needs to move as far away from pedestrian "family" attractions as possible. We need to become the world leader in libertine and libertarian adult freedom. Family oriented Vegas was and always shall be a dismal failure. Las Vegas must embrace its roots as an adult playground.

    Legalize everything. Viva Las Vegas!

  3. This is the 146th "turned corner" story I have read since 2008. We keep getting them because they benefit the government trough feeders, vested financial interests, con-artists and others with whom Dave Berns circulates.

    James, you're right. Unfortunately your comment will go over the heads of Mr. Berns and the ideologically-based Sun, which believes that government, union, and religious goons are responsible for everything good in society. Until our society deals with the feces created by three groups alone, all real "turned corners" lead into the toilet. Las Vegas will only really prosper when it understands its unique self.

    Stephen Brown and Brookings to accelerate its decline by "PLANNING" Las Vegas into a "real city" like????? Which, by the way, is the US city doing well, Mr. Brown? None of these people have any trust in the decision making of individual consumers or in individual thoughts, period, especially the one you expressed.

    Well, at least you got it into print--even if no one else understands the value of "freedom"! That is one step forward. Ed Uehling

  4. Great place to raise a Family too, been here since 1959, all my kids were raised here. A secret the rest of the World knows nothing about, I love Las Vegas...................

  5. Edmund: I appreciate your taking the time to read the story and write a comment. I also understand your frustration with any and all economic projections. We will continue to write about such reports, but I will also continue to write about people who are out of work, underemployed, hungry, homeless, trapped in a home they will never pay off or just simply frightened about the future. I will work to paint a picture of the challenges we all face in this economy and signs of a recovery or a continued slump. Don't hesitate to call me out for shoddy and erroneous reporting. I read every comment written beneath the stories I write, and they help shape my approach to future stories. I only ask one thing in return, let's find a language and tone that permit us to communicate with each other rather than attack, belittle and ignore. That serves none of us well.

    Respectfully,

    Dave

  6. Chaz: I'm certain you understand that I didn't produce CBER's latest report. I simply wrote about it.

    Dave