|Lake Mead Proves Popular During Economic Downturn|
|Moapa Valley Progress
Published February 11, 2009
Despite a sharp decrease in tourism in the Las Vegas area, visitation to Lake Mead National Recreation Area only decreased by about a quarter percent from 7,898,592 visitors in 2007 to 7,877,581 in 2008, according to a National Park Service report released last week.
“Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a year-round destination,” said William Dickinson superintendent of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. “We have a wealth of inexpensive outdoor activities just a stone’s throw from Las Vegas and Laughlin.”
The park’s visitation actually jumped by 31 percent or 131,604 in November from the year previous. At the same time Las Vegas saw a 9.8 percent decrease in tourism according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. December visitation increased by 7.4 percent.
“Tourists and locals can stretch their vacation dollars by enjoying the park for a day or two,” said Dickinson.
Boating and water recreation are most popular during the summer. Picnicking, camping, hiking, and fishing are popular throughout the year.
The record increase in fuel prices did affect visitation over the summer, the NPS report found. June and August both saw about a 6.5 percent drop from 2007 with the largest decrease in July by 30 percent or 326,353 visitors.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is 1.5 million acres including Lakes Mead and Mohave. There are 1,172 campsites in the park. Houseboat, speed boat, and jet ski rentals, RV sites and lakeside motel rooms are offered by the park’s concessionaires. Lake Mead is the 11th most visited U.S. tourist destination according Forbes Traveler.
Visitors can call (702) 293-8990 for scheduled hikes and park information or go towww.nps.gov/lame.