Las Vegas casinos are betting on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in hopes of reversing a downward trend in visitation to the Entertainment Capital of the World.
One of the best deals comes from SLS Las Vegas, the north Strip property that recently unveiled a $100 million renovation. The property announced this week that bookings made through Monday at 11:59 pm PT will be afforded a folio free of the $36 daily resort fee, which totals $40.76 per night with tax included.
The resort fee-free offering is for bookings for travel through March 31, 2019. Along with the waived resort fee, SLS Las Vegas guests who take advantage of the deal will receive a $25 resort credit on Grand Tower rooms, and $50 on suites. And as always, parking remains free at SLS.
Increased resort fees have been blamed by some tourism officials for a decline in visitation. The vast removal of free parking, an amenity that had been afforded to guests of for decades, has also been panned.
SLS is just one of many Las Vegas casinos participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Like SLS, Palms is also amid a massive renovation, one that was recently upped to $690 million. The off-Strip property is waiving its resort fee ($39+ tax) for bookings made through November 27, for travel through August 30, 2019.
Caesars Entertainment's cyber sale, which runs through December 10, is a deal that slashes room rates by 25 percent, and offers 500 bonus points for its reward members.
MGM Resorts' Black Friday runs through December 3. Nevada's largest casino operator is luring guests with food and beverage credits. At the Bellagio, for instance, a three-night stay comes with a $180 credit.
The Venetian and Palazzo are handing out $50 cocktail credits per two-night stay, plus complimentary available room upgrades for bookings made before November 30.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) reports that visitor volume is down 1.3 percent through September. Convention attendance (-2.7 percent) is most to blame, as well as a reduction in available citywide hotel occupancy (-1.4 percent) amid several renovation projects.
Strip hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR) is down 2.2 percent in 2018. Casino executives maintain that rising resort fees and the implementation of parking charges haven't kept visitors away. Las Vegas Advisor publisher Anthony Curtis disagrees.
Everyone hates resort fees, but the parking fee is even worse,” Curtis said earlier this year. “Everyone wants some kind of comp. The most basic comp is free parking. That was the one comp that everyone got.”
“I really do think that these fees are starting to cause people to second-think a trip here,” Curtis concluded.
Despite a softening in demand, many remain optimistic on Las Vegas. The city will welcome the NFL Raiders in 2020, and city officials are considering allowing businesses to build marijuana consumption lounges, another attraction that could bring new visitors to Southern Nevada.
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