Sept 27 (Reuters) - The plights of America's top two gaming centers,
Las Vegas and Atlantic City, during the recent travel crisis have
become a modern tale of two cities -- although neither has seen
the best of times.
saw business drop off sharply in the days immediately after the
attacks in Washington and New York, which led to the unprecedented
closure of all U.S. airports for two days and left much of the public
reluctant to fly.
But as time
has moved on, Atlantic City -- the New Jersey resort destination
dependent on car traffic from New York and Philadelphia -- has recovered
more quickly than Las Vegas, which depends on air arrivals for about
half of its visitors.
that drive-to markets are faring better than destination markets
that rely heavily on air service,'' said Gary Thomspon, spokesman
for Harrah's Entertainment Inc. which has casinos in both markets.
Las Vegas, hotel occupancy fell to 83.3 percent in the five days
ended Sept. 15, and to 73.3 percent for the five days ended Sept.
22. By comparison, occupancy rates at the company's Atlantic City
properties fell to 77.8 percent in the five days ended Sept. 15,
then bounced back to 92.4 percent in the five days ended Sept. 22.
Park Place Entertainment
Corp. the other major company with casinos in both markets, did
not release comparative business trends for its properties based
on location, said spokeswoman Debbie Munch.
said that declining business forced Park Place to lay off about
1,500 people at its five Las Vegas casinos -- or about 8 percent
of its work force in that market. By comparison, no one was laid
off from the company's work force of 16,500 at its four New Jersey
and hotel occupancy are stronger than might be expected in Atlantic
City, considering the violence that has affected that region recently,''
numbers were also borne out on a regional basis, although comparisons
were harder to make because of differences in data collection methods.
Atlantic City, the two toll plazas that most ground traffic must
past through to enter the city saw business drop 7 percent and 4
percent from Sept. 11 to Sept. 14 compared with the same time a
year ago, according to published reports.
numbers bounced back and business was actually ahead at the two
plazas by 5.5 percent and 4 percent, respectively, between Sept.
17 and Sept. 20.
Las Vegas, meanwhile, average hotel occupancy -- a main barometer
used to measure visitor volume -- dropped to 67 percent on the weekend
after the attacks, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
Authority. It rebounded to 75 percent one weekend later, but was
still well below the usual average of 94 percent for the same time