Tag Archives: Hotel Discounts

Sometimes a deal is not a good deal

I have a few trips coming up and even though I am happy with my arrangements, I always keep an eye out for new offers. This is especially true when I am meeting up with a group of people in Las Vegas and I’m looking for offers that the general public can use.
While checking rates I came across an offer for the Rio. The code is IRFNF. The offer has been around for a while but they keep extending it. This offer and a number of similar offers can be found on the Las Vegas Advisor’s website. When I plugged in the dates for my trip, the rates through the offer were $20 per night higher than the rate with no offer code. I tried this with a few other codes found on the Las Vegas Advisor site and had the same result. The one oddity was the IRBOT offer code which gives you a free bottle of alcohol and was the same price per night as it would have been without a code. I have had similar experiences with most casinos. I recently had an offer for the Hard Rock Hotel where the ‘offer’ price was almost twice as much as the regular rate for the nights I wanted.

This isn’t that unusual, but it is something a lot of people don’t seem to consider.
Just remember when you are shopping around for room rates to check the regular rates on the casino website as well. They might be better than those of the ‘special deal’. This is especially true if you have a players club card for that casino. If you log in to your account and make a reservation, the price you get will usually be at least a little lower than what you will find elsewhere.

Rio Room Sale: Better Than Conference Prices

The Rio currently has a very good room sale going on. The rates do fluctuate, but right now they are better than the negotiated rates for a number of upcoming conferences. You get a room for an average nightly rate of $60 for one upcoming conference.
The Rio does not charge resort fees either, so the rate you see (plus 12% tax) is what you actually pay.

The offer code for the Rio is IRFNF. You can click on the following link to get to the page with the code already active.

(Dec. 10, 2012 update: The offer code is still good and is showing savings of over 50% off the regular rate for some dates)

(Nov. 7, 2013 update: The offer code is still good and is showing rates of $29 for many dates in November, December and January)

Resort Fees: The Good and The Bad (Archived Post)

On March 1st, 2013 Caesars Entertainment started charging a resort fee. Most resorts in Las Vegas now charge a resort fee. They are usually waived for comped rooms and can be waived for higher tiered players, but that will vary. I am leaving this post up for archival purposes.

Resort fees are becoming more and more prevalent in Las Vegas.  Caesars Entertainment even based a marketing campaign around the fact that their hotels don’t charge resort fees (kind of like Southwest’s no checked bag fees campaign).  Just like checked bag fees, you need to factor them in when budgeting for your trip.   To add insult to injury, resort fees are typically taxed at the hotel tax rate of 12%.  This means your special deal for a $49.99 per night room at New York – New York actually costs you $83.99 per night once you include the resort fee and all taxes.

If you are unsure whether your hotel charges a resort fee, ask when you make your reservation.  If you book online through the hotel’s website, there should be a little disclaimer next to the total cost of your stay mentioning the resort fee, whether that has been included in the total and what it covers.  If you book through sites like Expedia and Hotwire any resort fee should be listed in the hotel overview or trip summary pages before you complete your reservation.

While they tend to get a bad rap, resort fees are not always a bad deal.  How much you pay and what you get in return varies from hotel to hotel, though.  At the upper end (fee-wise), MGM Grand, the Mirage, Mandalay Bay, New York – New York, ARIA, the WYNN, Encore, Red Rock Resort and Green Valley Ranch all charge $25 plus tax which makes it an additional $28 per night.  At the lower end, the Gold Coast charges only $3 and the Riviera charges $11.

Resort fees almost always include Internet access, local calls, fitness center passes and boarding pass printing.  The Gold Coast does not include Internet access in their $3 resort fee, but they still include free calls, in-room coffee and fitness center access.  The Mirage includes the use of their in-room robes as part of their resort fee.  The Monte Carlo (which has a $20/night resort fee) includes 2 Keurig coffee pods and 2 bottles of water each day as part of their fee.  That sounds like such a simple addition, but it makes a big difference.  Circus Circus goes above and beyond by including 2 free Midway games, 2 Premium ride passes at their Adventure Dome and 2 free drinks as part of their $8.95 resort fee.

For comparison, if you are staying at Harrah’s and want 24 hours of Internet access and one day fitness center passes for you and your partner it will cost $11.95 for the Internet and $20 each for the fitness center access ($25 each during the weekend).  That is $51.95 for things that would have been included in most resort fees.
At the Rio, the same Internet and 2 fitness center passes combo costs $53.95.

I am not a fan of any hotel forcing additional, non-voluntary charges (which is ultimately what the resort fees are), but since I do use the services that the resort fees cover, they do tend to save me money.  There are situations where they will save you money and there are other situations where you will be paying for things you aren’t using.  If you stay somewhere simply because they don’t charge a resort fee, you might end up paying more that you would have with a resort fee.  The best way to approach the resort fee issue is simply to be an educated consumer.