The bottom has dropped out of hotel rates in Las Vegas as the number of visitors continues to plummet and gambling revenue falls even more steeply.
The Las Vegas Sun recently reported that the number of visitors in June 2009 was 6.8 percent lower than in June 2009, occupancy rates were down 7.2 percentage points, convention attendance was down 18.9 percent and throughout the county, gambling revenue dropped 14.7 percent.
Hotels are discounting an average of 25.5 percent, the Sun reported, but I like to pay less than average. Here are some of the discounts I’ve seen:
The MGM hotels along the Strip are offering remarkably low rates for fall and early winter right through their main booking engines. Just click on reservations and then the rate calendar to find prices as low as $50 a night at the giant Luxor; $60 at New York, New York; $80 at the MGM Grand; $90 at the Mirage; $139 at the luxurious Bellagio.
Using the central reservation function for Harrah’s casinos, you can find rates of $49 at Bally’s, $50 at Rio and $80 at Paris Las Vegas.
At the very pleasant Orleans hotel off the Strip (there’s a shuttle), an astonishing $18 on weeknight and $35 on weekends through Sept. 3. This deal, previously offered to selected customers via email, is now being promoted through Travelzoo.
A few tips:
If there’s a particular hotel you’d like to stay in, you would do well to join its loyalty program and sign up for its email promotions. For example, I got an email offer of $69 a night at the posh Mandalay Bay on the Strip when the best rates on the hotel’s site were $99. I got the email because I’m a member of its Players Club (I don’t remember joining, but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, as they say). You can sign up online.
You might consider a trip in early winter. Arthur Frommer points out that 6,000 new hotel rooms will open in in first two weeks of December, creating more downward pressure on prices. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, always slow for travel and especially for Las Vegas, should yield unprecedented bargains.
And remember when you book that Las Vegas has raised its hotel tax to 12 percent. It doesn’t hurt too much when rates are low, but it’s a factor to consider when calculating your costs.