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As We See It

March madness: A by-the-numbers look at the city’s best tourism month

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March Madness, indeed. By itself, the college basketball phenomenon brings droves of tourists to our Valley, tourists who stay in hotels, eat food, drink drinks and even venture out to the clubs wearing very impractical shoes that beg for taxi rides. And remember that March is also the month of NASCAR Weekend and the Monster Jam World Finals, spring break, St. Patrick’s Day and the kickoff of pool season. As the rest of the country shivers, Vegas is sunny and happening in early spring, and numbers supplied by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reflect the power of mighty March—our best month for visitor volume. Which is not to say the other 11 months are slow. One-off events throughout the year stoke the economy with major non-gaming impact. How major? Snack on this tasty number soup, and fist pump for March and our elegant tourism machine.

$20+ million

Expected non-gaming economic impact tied to the four NCAA basketball conference championships happening in Las Vegas this year.

150,000

Estimated attendee tally for NASCAR Weekend March 6-9, 2014, translating to about $146 million in non-gaming economic impact.

98%

Hotel occupancy for the weekend of March 22-23, 2013, the highest percentage last year, likely thanks to March Madness, which took place March 19-April 8.

97%

Hotel occupancy for the weekend of March 15-16, 2013, the fourth-highest of the year—beaten only by another March weekend (look to the left) and the weekends of the Electric Daisy Carnival and Life is Beautiful festivals.

3,536,569

Visitor volume for March 2013, the No. 1 month for volume in 2013, with 64,753 more visitors than No. 2 October.

So money

They may not happen in March, but these niche industry and entertainment juggernauts draw crowds with cash to spend

International CES (January): $195 million

World of Concrete expo (January/February): $63 million

Magic Market Week (February): $100 million

DEF CON (July/August): No information available (surprise, surprise)

National Finals Rodeo (December): $92 million

Electric Daisy Carnival (June)

EDC parent company Insomniac commissioned a study by Beacon Economics that found attendees of the three-day fest spent $137 million in our local economy in 2013. That’s a lot of breakfasts after nights of no sleep, hotel rooms with showers to wash away the fairy dust, rides to and from the Speedway, other entertainment (if the giant psychedelic owl wasn’t enough) and extra furry boots. Here's how the kandi kids spent their money last June:

$45 million in food and beverage

$25 million in accommodations

$22 million in transportation

$20 million in gaming

$13 million in entertainment

$12 million in retail

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Mark Adams joined the Las Vegas Weekly in 2010 and now serves as the magazine’s web editor. You can also ...

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