Taxicab Authority, cab companies, drivers union at odds in Carson City
Nearly a million and a half travelers were overcharged an estimated $14.8 million last year by cabdrivers and cab companies, a legislative audit of the state Taxicab Authority found.
The audit, released Monday, estimated that 22.5 percent of the 6.6 million rides given by local taxicabs to and from McCarran International Airport in 2012 were deceptively long.
The practice, known as long hauling, added an average of about $10 to the typical cab fare, according to the audit. It recommended that the Taxicab Authority take several steps to prevent long hauling. Auditors came up with their estimate by reviewing 2,730 airport trips and said 614 of them involved long hauling.
They noted that their estimate was conservative because they did not count a trip as a long hauling ride unless the fare was at least $5 higher than the estimated fare to a specific destination, typically about $16 to $18.
“Although the Authority has increased its efforts to detect long hauling, more needs to be done, including the use of preventative measures,” the audit said.
January numbers a sign of economic uncertainty or blip in rebound trend?
Even with increased convention attendance, January’s Las Vegas visitation was slightly down.
During the first month of 2013, 3.13 million people came to Las Vegas, down 0.7 percent from January 2012’s total of 3.15 million visitors, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s monthly count.
Citywide hotel occupancy was down 0.2 points to 78.1 percent from 2012’s 78.3 percent occupancy. Motel occupancy slipped 0.1 point to 45.1 percent from 45.2 percent in 2012. Weekend stays in January decreased a full 2 points to 80.6 percent occupancy from 82.6 percent occupancy in 2012.
Midweek occupancy, though, was up 0.7 points to 77 percent from 76.3 percent in 2012, probably because of the 6.2 percent increase in convention attendance.
Conventions a key driver to the resurgence
Las Vegas, we didn’t quite make it to 40 million visitors in 2012, but we came close. When all was said and done, 39.7 million people came to the city in 2012, up 2.1 percent from 2011’s final total of 38.9 million visitors, according to the monthly Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority count released Friday. And even though it’s not quite 40 million, 2012 still was a record year for Las Vegas – the previous high was 39.2 million visitors in 2007.
“I’m happy that we had 500,000 visitors over our previous record,” said Kevin Bagger, the authority’s senior director of marketing.