Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 | 5:55 p.m.
- CES, porn expo sharing the Vegas stage (1-7-2009)
Beyond the Sun
As the largest annual trade show in North America, expectations are high for the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show to bring a much-needed shot in the arm to the ailing Las Vegas economy.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spokesman Jeremy Handel said CES is expected to bring in about $204 million this year to the valley. That's down from about $220 million during last year's version of the trade show.
Handel said about 130,000 visitors are expected in Las Vegas for CES, which is off about 10,000 from last year.
After spending a day on the trade show floor Thursday, CES communications manager Sarah Szabo said she guesses numbers will be on par or slightly lower than this year's estimate. The number of visitors includes both attendees and about 2,700 exhibitors, but Szabo said final numbers won't be available until a March audit of the convention.
“The show floor is full of excitement with lots of attendees and buyers and media all looking at the latest products,” she said of the convention's 2009 debut.
There's also buzz around resorts on the Strip, where prices have jumped in conjunction with the increased demand for rooms.
“The CES convention drives an enormous amount of demand and puts room rates in some cases at the highest levels of the year,” said Alan Feldman, senior vice president of public relations at MGM Mirage. “This year they are significantly lower than last year, but compared to what goes on when we’re not in the midst of CES, they’re quite high."
He said depending on the hotel, room rates could be double what they’re going to be next week after CES attendees leave Las Vegas.
“I shudder to imagine where we’d be if we did not have CES here,” he said.
According to the travel Web site Vegas.com, as of Thursday, hotel rates were $400.66 at the Venetian, $320 at Caesars Palace and $233.33 at Mandalay Bay for two adults from Jan. 8-11. One week later, those same rooms would fetch $206, $210 and $190, respectively.
The CES convention began Thursday and continues through Sunday at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo Center.