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A tipster who probably read our feature article, How to Get a Comped Hotel Room in Las Vegas, offers up a new place to hit up that we hadn't considered before. Laban writes:
I was a small time player for the last few days at the Plaza Hotel and Casino downtown. I started with a mere $20 initial bet [on the roulette table] and spent 2-3 hours a day going up and down. After initially doing well I probably sent most of the time with only about $10-20 dollars on the table per spin. For this small effort I was comp'd a buffet meal, a $20 voucher for the gift shop and got the impression that if I was staying longer that I might have been able to get more.
The Plaza Hotel, while less desirable than the Bellagio, is off the strip and as with most hotels off the strip and with less foot traffic, the chances of getting comps are greater because they want you to stay there longer and play/spend/lose more money. However, is a comped room really worth a chance of sleeping with bed bugs? It's up to you.
· How to Get a Comped Hotel Room in Las Vegas [HotelChatter]
[Ed. Note: Little did we know that Hotel Maven Tim Leffel has a bit of a gambling problem as he weighs in our How to Get a Comped Room in Vegas story, complete with a picture of all his players club cards.]
It is not easy to get a comped room in Vegas unless you are "a whale" or a celebrity. Or a casino manager's dream: a tabloid cover hero who gambles away so much that he is both.
That doesn't keep us from trying though. People dutifully sign up for a casino's membership program, walk around with a silly cord and a card attached to their belt, and eagerly anticipate the day when they will be showered with free rooms and gifts. Really though, just assume it ain't gonna happen. If you play 25-cent slots or video poker for days on end, forget it. If you play blackjack all night at the lowest-minimum table, forget it. If you play Texas Hold-em an entire weekend, it doesn't matter if you are a winner or loser--no comps for you. In other words, unless you are prepared to gamble with thousands of dollars, and pull out more when you lose that, don't go expecting a complimentary room. Most people who get those rooms have paid for them several times over in losses.
Outside of Las Vegas, the odds are better. But in Sin City, you are competing with Chinese captains of industry who don't flinch at dropping $100G in a weekend. You are in the same casinos as lawyers who bill their clients more for one hour than you brought for your whole vacation. That guy who owns half the skyscrapers in your city? He's here too. So are the bratty trust fund kids who are trying to look cool throwing $100 chips around and the Silicon Valley millionaires who think that winning just takes a big wad, lots of patience, and a good brain for math.
Want to get something for free in Las Vegas? Sign up for the membership card if it includes a free table bet--that's found money. (If they're feeling generous they'll even give you a pack of cards.) Go on a weekday so you'll pay 1/2 or 1/3 what the same hotel room costs on a weekend. Best of all, walk away from the table while you're ahead. You'll get something for free and you didn't even have to suck up to the pit boss.
It's a good thing Tim is the author of the new book Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune (due out Aug. 4) as he will certainly need to save some money after he blows through Vegas.
· How to Get a Comped Room in Vegas [HotelChatter]
Tips / Vegas Hotels / Room Comps / → All Tags
In the City Of Compin', Las Vegas, comps are a hotel casino standard. These are freebies that the casino gives you in return for spending money playing the games at their casinos. So if you're spending a considerable amount of time gambling, you are going to get some comps thrown your way. These could be food and beverage comps (usually for the breakfast buffet) or even a comp for something at the hotel gift shop or show tickets.
Yet who cares about a buffet comp when what would really make your trip is having your room tab picked up by the casino. So how do you do that? Well, we talked to some casino folks out in Vegas to try answer that very question. Needless to say, in order to have a shot at a coveted comp you will need to drop some coin at the tables. Here are the top five ways to get yo'self a Vegas room on the house:
·Ask for things
That's the key: Ask for things. Casinos are never going to just give you free stuff (aside from that breakfast buffet comp) so you need to ask for what you can get in exchange for dropping your life savings at the casino. (It also doesn't hurt to tip the pit boss.)
·Join the casino players club
If you are a regular visitor to Vegas (or any casino for that matter), it pays to sign up for the casino's players club or players reward club. In fact, in order to even get a room comp or other types of comps you must first be a "rated player." This means you sign up for the players club, and are given a card which keeps track of how much money you are gambling, at either the tables or the slots.
If you plan a trip to Vegas to do some medium to heavy gambling, the hotel rooms and amenities should probably not be the first thing that you are concerned with. You should be concerned with which players club gets you the most rewards. And if you spend all your time gambling in that casino, you can get your room tab discounted or even comped.
Just ask to have your bill evaluated when you check-out. If you have spent a considerable amount of time gambling, at least a few hours each day of your stay, the hotel will be able to knock off some charges on your bill.
We are talking big money in one sitting like betting more than $5,000 in less than a few hours. Playing the slots will often take much more than that. Different casinos have different minimum bets and time requirements involved in the comp equation. It's also important to gamble big when the pit boss is looking and less when he's not. Yet even when you're on a winning streak, looking like a loser (ie stashing some chips) can always earn you some pity comps.
·Charge everything to your hotel room
Dinners, shopping, drinks, it all adds up. You can't avoid having to spend quality time at a high limit table to earn a comp, but charging anything and everything you can to your hotel room certainly doesn't hurt your chances for ending up comped.
·Spend all you money in the casino where you are staying
The folks in charge of comp giving are more likely to hand you freebies when they see that you've kept a lot of business in the hotel.
We break down six comp strategies at six casinos post jump.
Tips / Hotel News / Room Comps / → All Tags
Travel writers, travel agents, meeting planners, and other influencers are losing out to the bean counters (and so are the buddies of hotel employees).
According to this industry report from PKF Hospitality Research, the number of complimentary rooms being divvied out by hotels is low and getting lower. "In 2004, comp rooms represented 1.63 percent of total occupied rooms. This ratio dropped to 1.57 percent in 2005." (Indeed, the title of the article is "Comp Rooms: More Difficult than a Free Lunch.")
Chalk it up to "yield management," a fancy term for the concept "squeeze the highest possible price out of every room at all times." Picture accountants slumped over spreadsheets, bar graphs, and real-time reservation summaries and you've got a pretty good picture of how it works.
There's a lot of accountant-speak in the linked article, but the interesting part is the section on what kinds of hotels comp the most rooms and what happens as a result. "Consistent with the examination of complimentary rooms by property type, our analysis finds a strong correlation between the average daily room rate of a hotel and their propensity to offer comp rooms," the report says. "Hotels in the luxury (1.63%) and upscale (1.89%) market segments extend a greater percentage of complimentary rooms than those in the economy (1.39%) and budget (1.15%) categories."
Well duh. Give stuff away and lots of people write about you and talk about you. Which sells more rooms. Which supports your higher rates. Hard to put that on a spreadsheet, but any mid-20s PR flack can probably explain it to the money guys. Related Stories:
· Comp Rooms: More Difficult Than A Free Lunch [Hotel News Resource]