Las Vegas – Fewer tourists means more room for deals

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Better buys in Sin City


The latest addition to Mandalay Bay is the Komodo Dragon lounge.

LAS VEGAS Despite gloomy reports of tanking tourism and fuel-price flight cuts, Sin City is still dealing visitors a good hand.

Hotel occupancy fell 1.7 per cent from January through April vs. the same period in 2007, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says. Gaming revenue was down 3.3 per cent in that period, and visitor spending has been on a downward trend.

But a building boom continues. The metro area will add about 20,000 more by the end of next year, Visitors Authority spokeswoman Erika Pope says. Flat visitation also means better buys for tourists.

Some notable Vegas trends:

Better hotel deals

Rates are “8 per cent to 11 per cent lower than last year,” marketing vice president Bryan Allison says. “There are more value-adds, like food specials and gaming credits.” has been offering deals such as $51.76 a night for two at Circus Circus in late July, including taxes and fees.

At the new Palms Place Hotel and Spa next to the Palms Casino Resort, a luxurious fully equipped studio in the glass tower where Jessica Simpson has a condo can go as low as $139 midweek. The Visitors Authority also has a full house of deals on its website.

Non-gaming lodgings

All but one of four hotels at the 67-acre CityCenter — a joint venture between MGM Mirage and Dubai World due by the end of 2009 — will be casino-less for visitors who hate walking through noisy gambling halls to reach rooms.

Adults-only party pools

They’re making a splash, especially with young visitors. The youth-friendly Hard Rock Hotel & Casino reports that revenues for Rehab, its popular Sunday pool party, increased 40 per cent from last year.

The new tops-optional adult pool at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino promises lots of eye candy.

Hi-tech high jinks and sexy fun

At the new Wet Republic adult pool at MGM Grand, cabanas come with Xbox gaming systems and flat-screen TVs and are served by waitresses in bikinis made to fit them via a special body-scan system.

The Rio’s just-opened iBar boasts a halfdozen tables with Microsoft Surface computer-screen-like tops, which patrons use to order drinks, play games — even flirt with strangers at adjoining tables via instant messages and shared photos.

CatHouse, a restaurant/lounge in the Luxor Hotel & Casino, has a bordello theme and features a lingerie-clad model primping at a dressing table. More G-rated is the Komodo Dragon, making its debut today at Mandalay Bay’s aquarium.

“Tourism is our No. 1 driver,”’s Allison says. “We’re all pulling together to keep it going.”

Comments are closed.