tried staying out all night and catching a few z's in the
Caesars Palace sportsbook during the day, but believe us,
it's not worth the few bucks you save. And the security
guards are not nice to you when you drool on your neighbor.
Let's face it, though: why spend more gambling money on
a bed and bathroom?
The good news
is that staying in a hotel in Vegas doesn't need to break
your budget. There are many options for reasonably-priced
accomodations. This section tells you how to find a good
deal, when to book it, when the cheapest times to go are,
and even where you're likely to find the best rates. Now,
remember, we aren't talking the Four Seasons or the Ritz-Carlton.
We're talking hotels with beds, toilets, and are clean enough
that you don't wake up with cockroaches eating your hair.
the most expensive time to go to Vegas?
The most likely times for gouging are big or holiday weekends,
such as President's Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, Memorial
Day, New Years and the like. The city also gouges during
the Consumer Electronics Show Convention in January, National
Association of Broadcasters in April, during NCAA basketball's
March Madness, and even if there is a big fight in town
where someone might bite off someone else's ear. March,
April, May seem popular with people sick of winter. September
and October also seem like they fill up faster.
at a calendar of conventions coming to town: Las
Vegas Convention Tourism Authority web site. If you
see a convention planned with more than 50,000 attendees,
better change your vacation dates (so you get better rates
and so you aren't fighting with pushy conventioneers for
a spot in the buffet lines).
the cheapest time to go to Vegas?
First, weekdays are generally about half the price of weekends.
If you can talk your boss into letting you off in the middle
of the week, do it. Second, there are two ideal times to
go. The first is the two weeks before Christmas. Usually,
rates are decent until mid-December because the National
Finals Rodeo is in town, then it is wide open and dirt cheap
until the 25th. Before Christmas, you can often get some
of the nicer hotels in town for less than half the usual
rates. The other great time to go is in the middle of summer,
when it's about 326 degrees in Las Vegas. Actually, it will
only get up to about 115, which is just warm enough to melt
the lips off your face. So, look at July and August for
cheap rates. One last time we seem to notice a drop in rates
is the first two weeks of January. Maybe everyone is nursing
their hangover, or paying off Christmas bills.
do I shop for a great rate?
First, know that the rate for the same room on the
same date changes over time. If you try to book six months
ahead, there won't be many bargains. This is because the
hotels figure people booking that far in advance are antsy
and willing to overpay. We find that, unless it's a very
popular date like New Year's, the best deals show up about
two to one month before your trip. This is when the hotels
have a good idea how many vacancies they are going to have
and adjust prices to get the empty rooms filled. So, you
can start shopping six months early, but keep shopping and
don't lock yourself into a rate yet.
get a pen and paper because you'll need to write down the
different prices we come up with from the following sources
This guide doesn't include every possible source for room
discounts, but these are the ones we use and find most reliable
One - The Online Discounters
Start by getting prices from the hotel discounters on the
web. Each will give you the names of many hotels and their
prices. From those listed, remember the ones you want, either
by price range or selection. Don't see any hotels you want?
Go on to Step Two.
Two - The Hotels
Now we'll compare those prices to what the hotels quote
you. Go to the web site for each hotel you're interested
in. Or call their 1-800 numbers and give the reservation
clerk your vacation dates. If you are a member of the slot
club at the hotel, call the number on your card, not the
general 1-800 number, and see if you can get a special rate
. Whomever you speak to, specifically ask if they have
any specials. Also mention the lowest rate you've
seen online if the rate they offer is higher.
Three - Travel Agents
If you have a travel agent you like, give the agent a call
and see what prices he or she can dig up. Tell the agent
exactly what hotel or hotels you want because they might
otherwise try to sell you on a hotel that may or may not
suit you. Remember that just because you checked with an
agent doesn't mean you have to book with the agent. You're
just getting a price, and don't let them tell you "it's
selling out quick," or "this price is so good
you better book today."
Five - Who's Cheapest?
So, what was the best price? Now that you know, book it
and feel secure that you got a good rate. If you book early,
book with someone who does not have a cancellation penalty
so that if you see a better rate you can cancel and rebook.
If you book directly with the hotel and then later see they
have dropped their rates, call them back and ask them to
honor the lower rate for your reservation.
Else Should You Know?
The discounters often have the best price, but they may
charge a cancellation or change fee. So, use them when you
are certain of your travel dates.
you book through a discounter you cannot get your room comped.
This is no problem for the vast majority of us who don't
gamble the big bucks and get free rooms. But, if you think
you'll be getting a comped room (usually for four to eight
hours of about $100 or more per hand gambling action, or
four to eight hours of dollar slots or VP), book your room
directly through the hotel, then once at the hotel, ask
to see a slot or casino host.
are the Cheapest Hotels?
This is a question with no definitive answer. Weird things
can happen, or conventions can be booked at normally cheap
hotels and make them cost more than typically fancier places.
Also, the cheapest hotels aren't always that cheap. On New
Year's a dump may be the cheapest place in town, but they're
still gonna get as much as they can out of you. So, keep
in mind that the following list is just the places where
we typically see cheap rooms, and is meant as a starting
point for you. It is not an endorsement of any of them.
Click on any hotel to read a full review and links to discounters.
Main Street Station
Arizona Charlies Boulder
Arizona Charlies Decatur
Wild Wild West
a comment or suggestion? Let Us Know.