With 130,000 hotel rooms available (if you throw in 148,978 in Nye County and Laughlin) you might think that “deals” would be found. You would probably be wrong! It is becoming increasingly difficult to find “treatment” in cities where the properties of major resorts have the capacity. Why? Because it controls selected groups of companies that have no incentive to discount the main properties of the stations.
Vegas’ Supply and Demand Act
Consider for a moment the mere law of “Supply and Demand.” When supply is high and demand is low, prices fall. Vegas is boomtown, demand is high and supply is low. How about 130,000 rooms? The answer is simple: 30 million more visitors a year and more! In fact, the growth rate is so staggering that Mega Resorts like Mandalay Bay (a 43-storey $ 375 million Spa Tower that was completed in December 2004 with 1,120 suites) and The Venetian (now expanding) and recently completed 2.4 miles the $ 1 million Wynn Las Vegas (opened in April 2005) is adding thousands of rooms to the “Heart of the List”. The growth is so tremendous that even state funders like Donald Trump are taking action. Room demand is outstripping supply, so prices are going up!
According to an interview published in USA Today on July 30, 2004, Trump’s plans include a 64-story hotel condominium tower to be built on part of the Frontier Hotel owned by the Wynn Las Vegas Resort and next to the Fashion Show Mall.
Construction is scheduled to begin sometime in 2005 on a $ 300 million project with 1,000 hotel rooms and 50 luxury housing units modeled on the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. There will be no casinos on the property.
Only 10% of Las Vegas hotels are booked online
In several articles I’ve researched this year, published in various business journals, and by Hotel Industry analysts, the hotel booking rate that offers online services to visitors is about 10% statewide. I think it’s an accurate representation of Las Vegas. (Our company has several websites that offer hotel reservations and these numbers match ours).
More proof: “Only about 10 percent of our rooms at Hyatt.COM are booked,” said Gary Gotling, sales and marketing director for Hyatt Regency Tampa.
This means that 90% of you are using the Internet to gather information, but you are not making your reservation online! It is still a method of booking traditional travel agencies and phone calls. The Internet is being used as a source of information gathering, and little else. Great players know this and use it to their advantage. Again, there is no incentive to offer lower rates if your customers do not take advantage of this. I will briefly touch on the issue of Room Tax by saying that most local governments hate the internet because they are cutting the set of taxes available for rooms booked online for the sake of the State. Expect local government officials to act on this issue later.
So where does your money go when you book online?
If you search on Vegas.com, you will find that it is owned by Greenspun Media Group (Henderson, NV), which publishes the Las Vegas Sun Daily Newspaper and is owned by Vegas Magazine, Showbiz Weekly, In Business, Las Vegas Weekly, VegasGolfer, Las Vegas . Life, and The Ralston Report. Greenspun Media is part of the Greenspun Corporation, which owns 25 Channel UPNs. Greenspun is a partner at Las Vegas ONE, a cable channel for all the news. The American Nevada, a real estate division of The Greenspun Corporation, is one of the most popular commercial and residential developers in the Las Vegas Valley. The annual ad budget exceeds 7 digits! Someone has to pay the price for all that advertising.
You can try out the interesting and historical history of the popular website LasVegas.com. The site’s domain was licensed in 2002 by the Stephens Media Group of Littlerock Arkansas (Las Vegas Review Journal, Hawaii.com) to Mandalay Resort Group and Parkplace Entertainment. Continue now – 2004 became Park Place for Caesars Entertainment, which was also bought by Harrah’s Entertainment. This agreement came a month after MGM / Mirage agreed to buy the Mandalay Resort Group. Do you need room on the list? Hmmm – I think the prices will be pretty consistent! And to think that in 1997 you could own LasVegas.com!
IAC (InterActiveCorp), managed by Barry Diller Mega Financier, manages these online Travel Booking Agencies
· Expedia.com Holidays
· Expedia Vegas packages
Note (s): Expedia online travel bookings are the # 1 total for Internet-based third-party booking agencies. But a portion of the entire “reserve cake” is still very small. Mr. Diller had just overseen the “Ask Jeeves” purchase of just $ 1.850 billion. Don’t expect these room prices to go down anytime soon.
Saber Holdings Corp has:
Travelocity – # 3 Travel Reservations
Note: Saber was a “Great Player” in the Travel Agent industry, as most of the Travel Agent’s computers were connected to reservation systems. Travelocity is ranked 3rd on Expedia and Orbitz (now owned by Cedant Corp.)
Cedant Crop is a franchise hotel with more than 6,400 locations worldwide and is owned or operated by:
· Orbitz – Travel Visitors # 2
FYI – Cadant also owns Avis & Budget Rent A Car, Fairfield Resorts (timeshare resorts), Cheap Tickets.com and Century 21 and Coldwell Banker Real Estate Franchises.
So where does that leave you? I would recommend that you read the tips below quickly.
Quick Tips for Vegas Visitors on a Budget?
You’ll probably think I’d suggest visiting “outside season”. Don’t do it! The August temperature often exceeds 110 degrees, which is the temperature of the air, not the heat of the concrete and asphalt. No, I suggest you do something much easier. Car hire is cheap “On Strip” if you compare it to the huge prices of the best Mega Resorts. Try a Hotel in Henderson or Summerlin. I would suggest smaller resorts like SunCoast or Orleans.
Get a rental car and park behind Excalibur, New York New York or the Fashion Show Mall (it’s covered and very safe). Click on the internet ads and see what’s available. While 90% of rooms are booked, hotels that are not fully booked advertise! Click on those ads! I once slept at the Fiesta Henderson for $ 29.95 a night for 3 nights in a row, and I had a suite with 2 queen bedrooms! I found this deal in an internet ad! In fact, when I called the hotel to get an even better deal, they told me I had to book online! Try corporate housing as it is usually full on weekdays, but available on weekends when businesses return to their homes. Visit the websites of the hotels you want to stay and sign up for email promotions to receive offers sent directly before your trip (Use a free address like Hotmail for this) Ask at the table when you sign up for more benefits or offers available to customers at the table. It’s like asking for an airplane window seat, if you don’t ask you won’t get it. And my last tip before Fashion is Fashion. Bring your most comfortable shoes and supply bottled water before checking out at the local store. Enjoy!