“Vegas is down more than San Diego because it is more of a fly market,” says Rauch. San Diego still has a certain cushion because most tourists drive here and, in a downturn or energy crisis, tend to cancel longer trips and come to San Diego. This year, “We will weather the downturn, but it will still be a downturn.” San Diego will pick up a few Angelenos who were going to gamble in Vegas, but that will be a small piece of the pie. Overall, this year “is turning out to be uneven. We are headed off the peak toward the trough, which will be in 2009.” Next year is when the pain really hits.
San Diego will not gain from Las Vegas’s woes, agrees Sanders. “Las Vegas is a bellwether for the larger economy.” San Diego will hurt along with other convention/tourist destinations.