McCarran Airport showed a scant gain in traffic in November. It doesn't mean revenues will be up but baby steps...
Last week, McCarran Aiport released monthly data showing the number of enplaned/deplaned passengers actually increased 0.1% in November. This is the first uptick since February of 2008. Yes the comparison was easy - down 14.8% last year - but the trend is moving in the right direction. See the chart below.
Before we get too excited, realize that gaming revenues likely still fell, assuming a normal hold percentage, and gaming volumes almost certainly declined. Based on our proprietary model, we project a mid-single digit decline in gaming revenues as shown in the table below. The comparison of down 16% was easy, although moderate on a relative basis to the recent monthly comps. Hold percentage last year was normal for both slots and tables last year. We expect a slight uptick in slot hold for November 2009 due to the timing of the 10/31/09 count. When the count falls on a weekend, slot revenues tend to be understated in that month (October) and overstated in the following month (November).
Of course, November is not the most critical month of any year, and particularly not this year since CityCenter opened in December and added quite a bit of supply to the market. Moreover, the air capacity into McCarran is on the decline which will not be helpful as supply increases. More on that later.