California traffic count surprises

Sep 3, 2002 9:38 AM

"What a turnaround," is the way Don McGhie, the Reno, Nev., gaming consultant described the improvement in auto traffic from California to Las Vegas.

In his semi-annual evaluation of the gaming markets, McGhie, a certified public accountant who founded and operates McGhie Consulting, noted that "At this time last year, the interstate traffic count in southern Nevada showed a decrease.

"We made a remark that perhaps the California Indians were getting to both Las Vegas and Reno," he said. But, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, that all changed. "Las Vegas showed percentage increases immediately after 9/11 while Reno was down for a couple of months and then recovered during the spring of this year."

Still hurting, however, he said, was airplane traffic at both Las Vegas and Reno. Both have shown decreases with Las Vegas being more pronounced.

"Aside from the obvious," he said, "we find it interesting that South Lake Tahoe showed an increase in slot revenue while Las Vegas was relatively flat and Reno showed a marked decrease."

During the period ended on June 30, slot win in Clark County leveled off at about $4,822,000,000 while the win from table games dropped to $2,653,000,000. In Washoe County (Reno), the slot win dipped to $782,000,000 while table game win was closer to the previous years with $267,000,000. The dramatic rise took place in South Lake Tahoe where slot machine win skyrocketed to $215,000,000 while table game win fell to $119,00,000.