Wednesday, May 21, 2008 | 6:20 p.m.
Clark County Director of Aviation Randy Walker broke some bad news to analysts with investment firm Deutsche Bank, revealing that the proposed Ivanpah airport will likely be delayed by 18 months, pushing the opening date to 2018 or 2019 from 2017, as originally planned.
Delaying this so-called relief airport south of town will exacerbate an already troubling situation in Las Vegas, whose airport is expected to max out at a time when more air service is needed to fill tens of thousands of new hotel rooms now under construction.
McCarran International Airport could reach capacity by 2010 or 2011, leaving a gap of at least seven years until Ivanpah is built, Deutsche Bank analysts said in a research note today.
McCarran officials said the airport can now sustain at least 53 million passengers per year and could support an additional 24,000 hotel rooms after its Terminal 3 expansion opens in 2011.
But that's short of the 42,000 hotel rooms projected to be built, by Deutsche Bank's count, between 2008 and 2012. That could mean a shortfall of 8 million visitors per year, analysts said.