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CES price cut as economic woes bite

Cheap hotel rates on offer for Vegas show

The biggest hotels in Las Vegas have slashed the price of hotel rooms ahead of January's Consumer Electronics Show, suggesting the high-profile event is suffering from the current economic climate.

On Thursday the show organisers emailed some registered attendees informing them that more than 10 hotels have cut their room rates for CES, which will take place from January 8 to 11.

Discounts are greater at more expensive hotels, with the Mandalay Bay, one of the furthest major hotels from the Las Vegas Convention Center, cutting rates January 7 to 10 to $229 from US$314 and on January 11 by more than half to $146. The neighbouring Excalibur hotel has cut rates to $141 from $219.

CES 2008 attracted 141,150 attendees, which was down by about 2,000 from 2007. Not only is the global economic slowdown expected to hit travel budgets at many companies, but international visitors, which made up 20 percent of this year's visitors, are also getting hit by the strong US dollar, which makes everything more expensive for visitors from overseas.

In the first nine months of this year Las Vegas has seen a 2.5 percent drop in the number of total visitors but trade show visitors are down 3.9 percent, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The figures for September, the latest month for which data is available, show an even steeper decline on 2007.

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