Las Vegas is celebrating record-breaking tourism numbers. A new report from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says 39.7 million people visited the city in 2012. That's about 800,000 more visitors than 2011. Those tourists brought in more than $40 billion to the local economy.
"The last few years it's been a struggle with the way the economy has been. I think it's encouraging to see the growth, and people are starting to feel like they're ready to go on vacation again," said LVCVA spokesperson Dawn Christensen.
During the boom years, Las Vegas could count on a new resort every year to draw the world's attention. Christensen says nowadays, reinvestment and renaming of established properties is the city's new gamble, and it's paying off.
"We saw more than $2 billion reinvested in the destination, things like renovations at MGM Grand, the Bellagio, and Project Link that Caesar's is doing," she said.
Christensen also credits the addition of McCarran Airport's Terminal 3 for opening up new routes worldwide.
Las Vegas has also seen its convention business bounce back from recession lows. Last year the city hosted more than 21,000 conventions, the most conventions since 2008. Nearly 5 million people attended the thousands of conventions held in the city last year. The LVCVA says the number of new and returning conventions should push the city past the 40 million visitor mark for 2013.
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