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LVMS sees increase in out-of-town visitors
NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas has become one of the most popular destination events in motorsports, and figures released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority support that claim.

For the second consecutive year, the number of out-of-town visitors for the annual event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway increased. According to the LVCVA, 116,775 non-local residents attended the event. That reflects a 2-percent increase over the 2007 mark of 114,450 and represents 70 percent of the total estimated event attendance of 165,450. The 2008 event was held Feb. 29-March 2, a week earlier than previous years.

"Race fans across America have many options when it comes to choosing which races they attend, and we're proud of the strong visitor turnout for our events here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway," said LVMS general manager Chris Powell. "We believe we offer the best and most fan-friendly facility in motorsports. When you combine that with this wonderful city and its many hotel, dining and entertainment options, it's easy to see why so many race fans from other areas want to come here to see a NASCAR event.

"It's also important to note that almost 50,000 local race fans attended the event as well. How many events in Las Vegas draw 50,000 locals?"

According to the LVCVA survey, the event generated $189,762,900 for the local economy - $10 million more than the five-year average. The NASCAR Weekend has created more than $1.2 billion in economic impact since Speedway Motorsports acquired LVMS in December, 1998.

Another encouraging sign for the local economy was an increase in the average number of nights stayed by the out-of-town guests. The 2008 average was 4.0 room nights, an 8.1-percent increase from the 3.7 room nights in 2007, according to the survey.

"In terms of its impact on this community, the NASCAR Weekend at LVMS now ranks near the top with many of the major conventions and trade shows that visit Las Vegas every year," Powell said.  "We want to make this event bigger and better each year. It takes a collective effort between the speedway, the business community and local governmental agencies to maintain that constant growth."

The event weekend is estimated to have drawn more than 330,000 people through the gates at the speedway. The events included the UAW-Dodge 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup event, the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Friday's qualifying day and two nights of USAC racing on the dirt track.

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