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Inflation Rocks the Rates
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For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, December 2, 2021


The following was published in the December 2021 Las Vegas Advisor.

Whoa! Talk about sticker shock.

Based on the tack the casinos are taking in response to their off-the charts profit numbers (see News), I expected this year’s room-rate survey to be aberrant, but I didn’t expect this. Last year I wrote, “In a rare result, fewer than 40 casinos came in with rates below $40.” Rare? Not anymore. This year’s total of casinos with rates below $40 is the lowest since we began the AEOTYMRRRU—our “Annual End-Of-The-Year  Monster Room Rate Round-Up”—coming in at 21. That’s a hard-to-believe 18 fewer than last year’s already-low total, itself 18 below 2019’s. The total below $30 was three. No kidding, just three, eight fewer than last year. And the three casinos in the “Under $20 Club” (The STRAT and OYO tied for lowest at $18) came in at one fewer than last year.

These numbers are sobering, but there are reasons. As alluded to above, the casinos are rolling. Demand is high, so their yield-management indicators call for higher pricing. Also, the U.S. is in a serious inflationary cycle, another factor that supports a move to higher rates. Plus, five low-rate likelies still haven’t reopened: Royal Resort, Eastside Cannery, Texas
Station, and the two Fiestas. While it doesn’t show up in the above numbers, there was a big influx in the number of casinos with rates between $40 and $50, some of which show up in the “High End” list, so there are still some very good low-rate options out there.  Everything considered, the results aren’t all that surprising.

Here’s the list.
Under $20 Club: Circus Circus, OYO, STRAT.
Under $30 Club: Excalibur, Golden Gate, Rio.
Under $40 Club: Bally’s, Binion’s, Boulder Station, The D, Downtown Grand, El Cortez, Flamingo, Gold Coast, Harrah’s, LINQ, Luxor, Orleans, Palace Station, Sahara, Tropicana.
High End: Park MGM $41, Westgate $42, MGM Grand $48, MBay $52, NY-NY $52, Golden Nugget $59, Treasure Island $69, Paris $72, Delano $74, Mirage $74, Planet Hollywood $76, Resorts World $76, M Resort $79, South Point $79, Cromwell $81, Virgin $81, MGM Signature $89, Caesars Palace $94, GVR $95, Palms Place $99, Red Rock $102, Westin Lake Las Vegas $102, Hilton Lake Las Vegas $106, Venetian $111, Nobu $112, Trump $118, Circa $119, Palazzo $119, Platinum $139, Encore $140, Wynn $145, Aria $164, NoMad $172, Bellagio $180, Cosmo $183, Elara $187, Vdara $194, JW Marriott $197, Four Seasons $225.

These are base rates, meaning they don’t include resort fees. Add in the RFs and things can change drastically. For example, OYO has an $18 base rate, but also a $37 resort fee, for a total of $55. Once again, Four Queens comes out ahead by virtue of its no-resort fee policy and a $49 base rate. Best of all is Binion’s, also with no RF, coming in at $45 per night before taxes. You’ll find an up-to-date list of all resort fees at LasVegasAdvisor.com.

Rates on the “High End” are also up. Aria is $164 compared to $101 last year. Bellagio is $180 compared to $110, Cosmo $183 compared to $120, and Wynn $145 compared to $126. One notable exception is Venetian, which is down from $127 to $111. Our best advice at this level is to check out our Luxury Portal at LasVegasAdvisor.com, where all the resorts just named, and others, can be booked at these rates with resort credits of $100-$150 per day (depending on length of stay). One sweet spot we’ve identified is the Luxury Impresario Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World where we’ve found base rates as low as $100 with $100 resort credit and $50-per-day breakfast credit (for two). The Luxury Portal is the only way to go at this level.

This year’s study involved 97 hotels, for which we canvassed multiple sources, including direct-to-casino booking, third-party reselling websites, the LVA codes (of which there are very few now), and the referenced Luxury Portal. All listed rates were available at the time of our inquiries, but can change at any time—we can’t guarantee that you’ll get all of the listed prices. This year’s Golden Week—the period between the end of the National Finals Rodeo and Christmas—is actually almost two weeks in its triumphant return, December 12-24. This is when you’ll find the best deals.

As always, players club offers for gamblers will yield the best results of all, so watch your mail and email. Scanning newspaper specials, surfing the Internet, and monitoring various social media for last-minute deals are also good strategies. Remember that this survey was conducted in November, so you can count on new bargain rates popping up between now and Christmas. 

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