continued "It is still mostly a regional drive market," says Sal Giametta of the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau. From an economic perspective, then, the Indian casinos, although they provide around 15,000 jobs and have certainly boosted the economic well-being of tribe members, are not a major net plus to the San Diego economy, because they are basically taking in money that would be spent elsewhere in the county. Economist Alan Gin thinks the Indian casinos may serve as an import substitution -- that is, keeping money that would go to Las Vegas in San Diego. But that's probably not a big number.
San Diego can't match Vegas for vulgarity or depravity. But the good news is that business travel is only 18 percent of the tourist business locally. The convention center's impact is 8 percent if you accept its figures, which you shouldn't. So there is still a big leisure market to enjoy wholesome things and a business market that gets sick of Vegas after two days.