Economics of McCarran


Tourism is the engine that drives Southern
Nevada’s economy, and nearly half of all visitors arrive by air. With its location in the shadows of the world-famous
Las Vegas Strip, McCarran International Airport is a vital gateway to the city. Funding for this gateway comes from revenue
generated by terminal and building use fees, concession fees, landing and gate fees, as
well as other airline fees. Since the funds are raised exclusively from
the use of the airport’s facilities, all the economic benefits provided to the local economy
come at no cost to taxpayers. Aviation is really the foundation of the number
one industry here in Nevada, which is tourism. We take that very seriously, we provide an
economic benefit to the state of almost 30 billion dollars and it is part of the experience. We know that people have to choose to come
to Las Vegas, so we try to keep our fees as low as possible to the airlines so that that’s
not a deterrent for them to add more capacity here, since the demand is so high. The largest source of non-airline revenue
is terminal concession fees, which are generated from an agreed-upon percentage of gross sales
from various sources, including food and beverage concessionaires, news and gift concessionaires,
specialty retail outlets, advertising and passenger service revenue. Other sources of income include ground transportation
fees, parking fees, the rental car facility and even slot machines. Those funds help offset the fees the Department
of Aviation charges to the airlines. So, our capitol improvement plan is financed
by gaming, it does not go into the rate base. What that does for us is it allows us to do
our projects on a pay-as-you-go type of basis, and then the airlines aren’t financing it. So it’s a real win-win for both of us. In 2017, the total operating revenue at the
airport increased by more than 10 million dollars. That can be attributed to growth in passenger
traffic, as the airport saw a record 48.5 million arriving and departing passengers
for the year, as well as the addition of a greater variety of services for airport customers. We want our customer service to match the
hospitality industry on the Strip. We want people to know that we care about
them, that we want to help them, that we’re here, we welcome them, we assist them. That’s very, very important to us because
we want them to always choose to come back to Las Vegas. Between the airport and its tenants, maintaining
a major transportation hub takes more than 16,000 committed employees to keep operations
running smoothly and efficiently. It’s an effort that ultimately helps our community
grow and prosper. McCarran will maintain its position as a global
leader in aviation while providing each and every traveler an excellent customer experience.

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