Mexican Independence Day and the Mayweather vs. Canelo boxing match are drawing big crowds to Las Vegas this weekend. Five-thousand visitors are flying in from Mexico, and they're expected to bring millions of dollars to the local economy for what some call "El Grito" weekend.
Thirty-seven chartered and scheduled commercial flights from Mexico are landing at McCarran International Airport on Thursday and Friday before one of the biggest tourism weekends of the year. That is twice the normal amount of flights from Mexico than usual.
"We're seeing other airports bringing in chartered flights just for this weekend - reaching parts of Mexico that we don't normally reach," said Christine Crews, public information officer for the airport.
According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, international visitors spend more money and stay in Las Vegas longer than other tourists. A LVCVA spokesperson says the authority ran more ads in Mexico this year, hoping to attract even more tourists.
El Grito weekend attracts a lot of first-time visitors to Las Vegas, with the hope that they'll return. The LVCVA says the number of people visiting from Mexico each year is 42 percent higher now than it was three years ago.
Mexico City natives Maria Suarez and Diego Felix said they plan to spend $10,000 each during their Las Vegas visit. "Bags, shoes, alcohol, dinners, the fight," are some of the things Suarez hopes to buy.
Officials at McCarran International Airport say most of the visitors from Mexico are flying back home on Monday. Anyone with a flight departing from Terminal 3 should check for delays and leave plenty of time to go through security.
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