Vegas Aching As Conventions Pull Out

Canceled conventions are causing economic pain in Las Vegas.
February 17, 2009, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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"A rash of conference cancellations, and a presidential admonishment peppered with a Las Vegas reference last week, has unnerved politicians and resort executives who are fearful that the all-important convention industry could be on the verge of collapse.

In the last month, 30,000 hotel room nights booked for conferences have been canceled at an estimated loss of $20 million to the city, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Some of those rooms were reserved for a Goldman Sachs technology conference, which was moved to San Francisco this month. And the figures do not include 17,000 people who were expected to attend a State Farm agents' convention this October. That conference was canceled Wednesday.

Las Vegas had already seen a 4 percent drop in visitors in 2008 from the year before and a decline of 6 percent in the number of conventions and events held here in that same period. The number of visitors was down 11 percent in December from a year before."

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Published on Sunday, February 15, 2009 in The New York Times
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