74K Visitors to Pechanga is nearly a quarter of the 315K expected visitors to Las Vegas on NYE
January 8, 2009, Temecula, CA -A stunning 73,709 people descended upon Pechanga Resort & Casino in the two-day period of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day - 23% of the total number of visitors who were expected in Las Vegas during the same period.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority expected 315,000 visitors for the holiday. Pechanga alone had nearly a quarter of that number in the 48 hour period. Located in Temecula, California, native-owned Pechanga is the largest casino in the entire Western United States with more casino floor space and approximately 1,000 more slot machines than MGM Grand, the largest gaming facility in Las Vegas.
"We did it by being bigger and better than anyone else," said Pechanga General Manager Craig Clark. "We made sure that no matter what kind of entertainment people were looking for, they could find it here."
To attract such a crowd on NYE, Pechanga pulled out all the stops and utilized its considerable size to host six different parties and events, five of which were open to the public and one an invitation-only concert. Not only was it the biggest NYE celebration Pechanga has ever undertaken, it was the largest in all of Southern California, with more events under one roof than anywhere else. Headlined with a superstar performance by American Idol winner David Cook in the Showroom Theater, the events ranged from a cirque-themed gala in the ballroom to the electro-hop superstars LMFAO in Silk, the largest nightclub in Southern California. The top floor Eagle's Nest lounge saw a retro 70s/80s party and the Cabaret had free live music all night long. The night was crowned by a live HD broadcast of David Cook singing "Auld Lang Syne" from the Theater, fed to 50 plasma screens throughout the 200,000+ sq. ft. casino. More than 20,000 people were inside the facility for the countdown. That is equivalent to the maximum capacity of Staples Center for a concert.
Pechanga's people counter is a state-of-the-art Agent Vi system that is widely used by shopping malls, mass transit, casinos, airports and many military installations, including such critical Washington DC area sites as Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Bolling Air Force Base and the Washington Navy Yard. The results of Pechanga's people count over New Year's was certified by Agent Vi to a +/- 5% margin of error.
A large portion of the crowd came from out of town and fueled local business. Temecula Convention & Visitors Bureau President/CEO Kimberly Adams credited Pechanga's festivities with helping to see a dramatic 49% increase in hotel occupancy rates over 2008 numbers. For the 2008 NYE, Temecula occupancy rates were 42%, while 2009 NYE occupancy was up to 91% in the Temecula area.
Revelers did not just come to party, though; they did some serious winning as well. The long weekend from New Year's Eve to January 3rd saw 3,635 jackpots of $1,200 or greater hit for a total payout of $10.2 Million. On New Year's Day alone, Pechanga paid out 1,250 jackpots of $1,200 or greater, for a total of more than $3.75 million, including three massive jackpots of $250,000, $96,000 and $80,000.
"You would have to search long and hard to find a casino that gave away more money than Pechanga did over the holidays," said the resort's Vice President of Slots Buddy Frank. "We had more jackpots, more often than ever, not to mention a huge $250,000 winner on New Year's Day."
Clark said, "It is no wonder why we had such a crowd on New Year's. The economic recession is telling us two things: one, people want value for their money and a lot of entertainment options to choose from; and two, people like Las Vegas, but they don't like the drive and the cost of Vegas. Pechanga offers everything and more in one convenient location," concluded Clark.
Pechanga Resort & Casino is the biggest and best Southern California casino. As an all-inclusive resort destination, Pechanga is located in the Inland Empire, in the Southern California Wine Country of Temecula Valley, just an hour from the Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and Ontario airports. The AAA Four Diamond property offers a luxury hotel with a full-service spa, featuring a couple's massage suite, and the finest restaurants with 24-hours of gambling action. Pechanga has superstar concerts; a comedy club; world title boxing events; three clubs and lounges, including Silk, the largest nightclub in Southern California; more than 100,000 square feet of convention/meeting space; and the brand new 18-hole Journey at Pechanga, which has been rated as one of the best new golf courses in the world. As the largest casino in the Western United States, Pechanga is perfect for a romantic weekend or just a day trip with happening nightlife to make for an exciting getaway.