Mexican visitors expected to boost weekend business

Michael Lopardi

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Mexican visitors expected to boost weekend business

CREATED Sep. 12, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Anticipation is building for what's expected to be a busy weekend in Las Vegas.

The match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and "Canelo" Alvarez along with Mexico's Independence Day are drawing thousands of people to the valley.

"I expect a very smart fight coming from Canelo," said Alexis Pulido, who is visiting from Mexico City to watch the fight. "I don't think he's going for the knockout. Mayweather is a very fast and experienced boxer."

Pulido and his friends aren't pulling any punches when it comes to having a great vacation. Monday marks Independence Day in Mexico and Canelo is from Mexico. 

"It's great to come here and spend your money for vacation," said Miguel Ceron, who is also visiting from Mexico City to watch Saturyday's fight. "You have good prices here so we can take advantage of that."

McCarran International Airport is expecting 37 direct flights from Mexico to arrive from Thursday through Friday; the numbers include 22 additional charter flights on top of regularly scheduled routes. The flights are expected to bring roughly 5,000 people to the valley for the weekend. 

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said passenger traffic from Mexico is up roughly 42-percent from three years ago.

"It's quite an undertaking for McCarran but we are ready for the challenge," said airport spokeswoman Christine Crews.

Area hotels are also hoping to cash in on the busy weekend. The LVCVA said occupancy rates at this time last year were around 94 percent.

International business is big business for Las Vegas. On average, the LVCVA said international passengers spend $1,038 on non-gaming purchases.