Monday, July 5, 2010

Long holiday weekend helps local economy

Las Vegas, NV-

Las Vegas is eager to capitalize on another long holiday weekend that's just wrapping up.

People are starting to hit the freeway; heading back home. We spoke with lots of travelers who said this was a last minute trip. But regardless of whether it was planned or not, the only thing that matters is that they came prepared to spend and Vegas was ready to rake in the dough.

"We really haven't planned for anything. Wherever we go and see we are just happy to spend and enjoy. We don't have a budget," said tourist Carol Briggs, whose words are like music to Nevada's ailing ears.

Although many arrived with a set limit, in the end, they lost complete track of their cap.

"Vegas has taken my money. I'll have to come back some other time and you'll take it again," said George Black, who is visiting from Wisconsin.

Action News hit the strip and asked tourists what they're spending most of their cash on.

"Parking lots, hotels, drinks, gambling," said Nicole Denicio of Santa Ana California.

"I lost 70 dollars to gambling but other than that we found good deals on buffets," said Brandon Larson.

And for many, **deals** was the key word to this weekend trip; ditching the luxurious hotel suites along with all the fine dining, for some thing much more affordable.

"We stayed at motel 6 and when we eat out we eat cheap," said Kathy Spence.

As far as businesses, fast food restaurants were flooded with customers all weekend long. Shops are fully staffed, seeing sales quadruple, making up for slower days. Because after all --what's a trip to Vegas without a souvenir.

"You get a lot of people that are bargain shoppers, getting the 99 cent key chains. But we also have customers that price is no object and want to buy what they want for their family," said Angie Hurt, assistant manager at Bonanza Gift Shop.

Officials were expecting about 285,000 tourists this weekend, bringing in about $158 million. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, room occupancy is at 87%. Although it's still down from last year, they say it's not bad, since more rooms have been added.

Story from ~ Action News This Morning Weekend Edition

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