Tag Archives: Lodging

Las Vegas Gamblers Fold ‘Em

Las Vegas visitors reportedly wagered less in 2009 than in previous years- more than $50 less. 

A Las Vegas Visitor Profile released by Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority found the average gambler budgeted about $481 per trip last year. That compares with almost $532 in 2008, more than $555 in 2007 and nearly $652 in 2006. 

Gambling was just the tip of the economic iceberg:  lodging, dining, shows and shopping were also casualties.  The study found hotel spending per night was down 25% in 2009, to about $76; the average cost of a tour package was down 14%, to about $640; and the total spent on restaurants was down 8%, to about $250. Spending on shopping was down 16%, to about $102. Visitors spent an average of about $40 on shows, down 23%.

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New Hotel Rooms Aplenty in Las Vegas Create Buyer’s Nirvana

Recession?  What recession?  Apparently, Las Vegas is being true to its persona- betting heavily that 1,575 new hotel rooms are just what the doctor ordered- if not now, maybe in the future? 

A mere two weeks after the debut of the Aria at the $8.5 billion new CityCenter, two more casino properties have entered the Las Vegas lodging fray in a market already straining to fill the rooms it already has, witnessed by an average mid-80 percent fill rate and drastically declining room rates. 

The 52-story PH Towers at Planet Hollywood Resort have just added 1,201 rooms yesterday.  The rooms are being marketed at $229 midweek and $349 weekends.   And the top four floors will be 16 condominiums for sale, ranging from 6,000 square feet to 18,000 square feet.

Not to be outdone, the Hard Rock Hotel also yesterday added their HRH tower, bringing 374 more rooms that include seven penthouse suites and eight spa villas.  Opening with their tower is the 25,000-square-foot Reliquary Spa, a new parking garage with a porte-cochere and 40,000 square feet of new casino space.  Think it ends there?  Hardly.  A new Hard Rock nightclub, the 14,000-square-foot Vanity, waits opening on Dec. 31, which will also mark lights out for the venerable celebrity hangout, Body English.

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Super Las Vegas Holiday Hotel Deals

The Las Vegas Advisor says some grand deals are to be had this holiday season in Las Vegas.   In its annual December rate roundup, the Advisor found 43 Las Vegas casino hotels with rooms for less than $40, vs. 38 last December. Among them are Strip properties such as Bally’s, Excalibur and Harrah’s. 

The total below $30 was 27, two more than 2008. They include Arizona Charlie’s Boulder; Boulder Station; Circus Circus, El Cortez; Ellis Island Super 8; Fiesta Henderson; Fitzgeralds; Four Queens; Imperial Palace; Lucky Club Ramada; Plaza; Riviera; Sahara; Sam’s Town; Santa Fe Station; Stratosphere; Tropicana; Tuscany; Vegas Club. 

A whopping seven Las Vegas casinos had rates below $20, versus just one in 2008. Texas Station came in lowest ($14.99). Others in the under-$20 club: Fiesta Rancho; Gold Spike; Golden Gate; Hooters; Palace Station; and Wild Wild West. 

Other good December deals found included Luxor ($40), Las Vegas Hilton ($41), Monte Carlo ($46), Hard Rock ($47), New York-New York ($48), Rio ($49), Paris ($55), Palms ($59), TI ($60), Planet Hollywood ($68), MGM Grand ($70). 

The survey used multiple sources available to the public, Advisor publisher Anthony Curtis says, including casino reservation lines and Websites, third-party reselling Websites and the rate search engine Travelaxe. Rates change frequently, and the lowest ones may be sold out. 

Rates are “marginally higher than in July,” Curtis says. So, casinos may have “finally drawn their line in the sand” on lowering prices. “However, I think the low rates will hold for awhile and when they begin to nudge up, there will be tremendous and more targeted (packages).” 

The Advisor (lasvegasadvisor.com), which costs $37-$50 a year, is currently offering a $9.95 special at the Golden Gate downtown for members through Dec. 24.

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Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas has new Rush Tower

Landry’s Restaurants Inc. on Friday opened its $150 million Rush Tower at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas. 

The tower features a floating reservation desk for private check-in service, a 75,000-gallon tropical aquarium fish tank, 500 guestrooms that are larger than the Golden Nugget’s existing rooms, four penthouse suites and 70 junior suites. A Chart House Restaurant was also added to the hotel. 

In addition, the tower has a two-level pool, cabanas, lounging areas and The Tank — a year-round outdoor swimming pool and a 200,000-gallon, live shark aquarium. 

A new upscale retail complex has also been added to the Golden Nugget mix.

Rush Tower is part of a $300 million renovation and expansion project that Houston-based Landry’s (NYSE: LNY) is undertaking at the Golden Nugget.

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Historic Boulder Dam Hotel & Museum Closes Today

Say sayonora to the 76-year old historic hotel in the heart of Boulder City, Nevada.  Apparently, there hasn’t been enough political momentum to rescue the hotel from its financial woes and keep the museum  and resturant open. BoulderDamHotel

The two-story, white-brick structure, with 20 rooms, restaurant and museum that originally opened in 1933, two years before the Hoover Dam was complete, served as ritzy lodging and a retreat for such famous guests as James Cagney, Bette Davis and Howard Hughes, is now three months behind on its mortgage and last-minute appeals for money from the local government have failed, leaving the property operators no choice but to shut down operations at midnight tonight. 

The closure will leave 22 workers without jobs and two on-site caretakers will need to take up lodging elsewhere. 

The Boulder City Museum, located inside the hotel, will also close.  Once the depository for Boulder City’s memorable past in journals, photographs, tools and supplies related to Hoover Dam’s construction– the Great Depression-era edifice that altered the flow of the Colorado River, brought electricity and reliable irrigation supplies to much of the desert Southwest and put Boulder City on the map. 

Some independent small businesses and offices inside the property, however, will remain open, at least for now. 

The hotel-museum has about $8,000 in monthly mortgage obligations and the occupancy rate has fallen from about 68 percent to 57 percent since the national economy went into a tailspin last year. 

The historical association sought to raise private money before turning, unsuccessfully, to Boulder City’s redevelopment agency earlier this week to ask for about $135,000. The redevelopment agency deadlocked 2-2 on a vote to provide a loan that would carry it through the summer. 

The group is also seeking grants from the federal government, but now that it is 90 days past-due on the mortgage, foreclosure appears imminent. 

“We can’t compare ourselves to a casino that can give away a room for $9 and make money from other things,” said innkeeper Roger Shoaff of the historic property’s niche in the marketplace. 

However, with any luck, the nonprofit association that owns the property hopes to raise $250,000 by September 10 to reopen the property.

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Las Vegas is a Kid’s Haven?

Traveling to Las Vegas with your children can be a challenging proposition.  Many parents are hesitant to take their kids inside a Strip casino for anything more than a walk through to the indoor mall.  And the idea of staying there with the family is many times out of the question.  Now, a new website makes it easier to find and identify where to go and what to do with your children while in Las Vegas. 

Created by Las Vegas Retreats, Vegas Vacation Village lists most major and minor activities that a great for kids. Along with listings for shows, tours, excursions, and other good kids stuff, you’ll find information about what makes each item kid worthy and general reviews as well. 

Linda Logan, owner of Las Vegas Retreats, says “Being in the vacation rental business, we see parents struggle with the adult nature of our city. We wanted to provide an easy way for parents and their kids to find the best of Las Vegas for families with children”. “We hope that providing this information in a useful kid friendly format, we can encourage parents to bring their families to Las Vegas.” 

The website is set in an illustrated cartoon” style with a Vegas Rocker character for the kids, http://www.VegasVacationVillage.com is also a great source of information on kid friendly lodging and accommodations. 

Useful information regarding lodging alternatives is listed. Popular among these are the vacation homes and condos for rent offered by Las Vegas Retreats. Vacation home rentals are a great alternative to hotel lodging. Guests have their own pools and privacy and aren’t burdened with the expense of constantly eating out and the inconvenience of waiting in line.  

Just imagine- your kids can have plenty of entertainment options while staying safe and sound in their own private Las Vegas digs.

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Big Changes Coming to Tropicana in Las Vegas

The Tropicana’s new ownership group, headed up by former MGM Grand Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Alex Yemenidjian, plans to spend more than $100 million in the next year to ‘”transform the Tropicana to pre-eminence,” says Yemenidjian. 

The new owners, Tropicana Las Vegas Inc., plan to remodel the hotel’s 1,876 rooms, the casino floor, two new restaurants and center bar, the showroom, convention center and the pool areas with a South Beach Miami theme.  

A new sports book, poker room, and replacing the casino’s slot machines and table games are other planned changes.  

Pedestrian bridges from Excalibur and MGM Grand to the Tropicana are also planning to be extended. 

The changes will be introduced with new marketing and entertainment programs. 

The new owners plant to take over the Tropicana’s nongaming opertions July 1, pending Armenco Holding’s approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission, which meets June 18.

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