Visitors flock to Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The biggest game of the football season and the start of the Chinese New Year collided in Las Vegas this weekend for one mega celebration.

An estimated 275,000 visitors traveled to Sin City for the Super Bowl and the start of the Chinese New Year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. That's up slightly from the 267,000 people who visited the city for the Super Bowl last year. The numbers represent overnight visitors on Friday and Saturday night.

Chinese New Year and the Super Bowl are two of the city's most crowded and lucrative events, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

The Super Bowl is the most popular betting game of the year for Nevada casinos.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board expects $82.7 million to be wagered on the Super Bowl throughout Nevada casinos, up 8.3 percent from $81.5 million. The nongaming economic impact is projected to be $85.6 million, a 3 percent increase from $83.1 million last year, according to the LVCVA.

Citywide occupancy was projected to reach nearly 84 percent, up from about 82 percent from last year.

Travel and ticketing booking web site said room sales were up 17 percent compared to last year. The average daily rates for rooms booked on were up 3 percent from $108 last year to $111 this year.

Caesars Palace and Rio President Gary Selesner said Caesars Entertainment resorts are all expected to be near capacity for the Chinese New Year holiday, which will continue through mid-February.

"The holiday is always a busy time for Caesars Palace, but this year in particular because it lands on top of Super Bowl," he told the Sun. "Each of those are busy times, so the two of them together is going to be spectacular. It's clearly one of the most important periods of the whole year."

Greg Shulman, vice president of international marketing for the Bellagio hotel-casino, said the Super Bowl attracts an international crowd.

"We do a tremendous amount of volume from Mexico City, a lot of volume from Latin American," Shulman said. "There will be a diverse customer base in town this weekend."


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