hwfiv

Priceline Hotel: Las Vegas Strip Valentines Day Trends?

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By hwfiv,
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Seeking advice on trends in Vegas - specifically on last minute price drops using Express Deals or Hot Deals.

 

Our plans: Vegas Strip Friday, 2/14/20 - Mon 2/17/20 (to attend a Sat 2/15 event).

 

Prices weren't terrible a few weeks ago (using BB to query PL/HW showed some 5*'s in the mid-100's and 4/4.5*'s in low-100's), but I hesitated when someone thought they could maneuver a comp room for us. Found out Thursday that was a no go, and by then, prices had skyrocketed. (Serves me right for holding out for something free!).

 

As of today, some seem to be coming down a little bit. But not enough to be in our budget for 3 nts in a 4-5* on the strip. 

 

So my question is: Does anyone know about Vegas trends over a weekend like Valentines/President's day, and the likelihood of some of the better 4's, 4.5's and 5's having some last minute price drops as we get closer to our arrival? 

 

As an FYI: I have a spouse with severe asthma and we've learned the hard way that his lungs can't tolerate anything but a newer 4 star or (preferably) a 4.5/5 where we know the air quality will be good and rooms that have never had smokers in them. (Properties like Sahara, Circus/Circus, etc, have been sure-fire guaranteed visits to the ER.) So even though our event is at Bally's, I'm happy with us being anywhere on the strip as long as it's one of the better properties.

 

I realize I'm asking a "crystal ball" question, but with current prices, even booking the lowest Exp Deal, means having to cut some time off our trip. I've had good luck in the past with booking ultra last minute 4.5/5* hotels in other cities with Exp Deals, so I'm half tempted to hold out and gamble until next Wed or Thursday - or maybe even Friday, to REALLY live life on the edge! (Which of COURSE, I'll book through the link on BB!!). Or maybe try a "NYOP" late in the week? (Although I've never had much luck with that system). I was looking back at the archives to see if anyone posted about getting something like what we need the day or two before arrival for V-Day or Pres Day Wknd, but I didn't find anything.

 

BTW, LOVE the updates on the site since I've been here last! We've been in grad school, so our travel budget has been non-existent! But prior to that I've always had found BB is the smartest way to get the best bookings!

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Glad to hear you like all of the recent updates! :wub:

 

With Valentine's Day landing on a Friday this year i think it may be difficult to make comparisons to previous years since this year will likely have more people making it a weekend away vs. just a one nite mid-week trip (or not even making a trip out of the 'holiday' at all).

 

Even though this year will likely have more travelers and more travelers for the entire weekend, you may want to consider looking at 2/15-2/17 as you will still have some who will only stay for the nite of Valentine's Day or if your plans allow look at the nite of 2/16 separately as that nite on its own will almost certainly be less than the previous two (as people who came in for the weekend return home).  For just the nite of 2/16 i'm seeing Aria for $125/nite and/or Wynn for $146/nite which would be pretty good prices for each of those properties, imo.

 

Is splitting the stay between two hotels an option?  What would be your target budget for the more expensive (2/14-2/16) nites and/or for the entire trip? (per nite before taxes/fees)

 

Thanks for using the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board.

 

EDIT TO ADD:

You didn't really mention your budget, but i am seeing:

2/14-2/16

5* The Strip - Northeast (<-- CLICK HERE and confirm your dates on the landing page) for $223/nite with:
Free Parking
Fitness Center
Airport Shuttle
Business Center
Casino
Restaurant
No Smoking Rooms/Facilities
Free Internet
Indoor or Outdoor Pool
==> Venetian

 

... which you could then pair with the solo nite of 2/16 at

Aria ($125)

or

Wynn ($146)

 

Your thoughts?

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Thanks! That's all very helpful.

 

We're grad students, so the hope is to get as low in the 100's as possible. If we get into the $150/night range (plus taxes and resort fees on top of that) we're going to have to cut our trip down to only two nights. (Although I FULLY agree with you that $146 for the Wynn IS a GREAT value for that property - it's our favorite Vegas hotel; but at this stage of our lives, we're not in the value proposition world as much as student budget world, which we then are trying to balance with our champagne tastes and an asthmatic who likes breathing in his hotel rooms! haha). 

 

We have classes on Friday, so it's going to be a late arrival on the 14th anyway, so we were thinking that we could consider booking Friday's hotel same day and taking whatever is cheapest for a higher end, even it's out a bit, like in Primm or Summerlin. And who knows, we may get lucky with some unsold rooms on the strip if we're patient enough to wait it out until we get close to Vegas. I can't imagine that even on Valentines Day, places like Primm would be fully sold out. So I'm thinking the smartest thing would be trying to get the best price we can for Saturday/Sunday night (depending on how brave/patient I can be with the waiting game gamble!), and holding off on Friday booking until that day and see how the cookie crumbles. I think you're right that there may be some people who just do the Valentines night overnight, so that's probably the most logical split, if we're going to split it.

 

We've talked about just arriving on Saturday and only having 2 nights to pay for, but we'd honestly like to avoid going to our Saturday night event after a 5 hour+ drive from Los Angeles. And I know after an all you can eat/drink bacchanal with UCLA grad students on Saturday night, that the last thing I'm going to want to do is drive back to LA on Sunday! Ideally we'd rather not have to change hotels, but since price is the big factor, we're open to it, and I think you're right that Friday might be the smartest one to break off from the other two.

 

Incidentally, I just ran a test for tonight (Saturday 2/8) on a same day check in, just to see what came up, and even most of the great 5 stars were below $100/night for a 2 night stay, if we were checking in tonight. So that's encouraging! But next weekend will likely not be that lucky, as it's both Valentines and President's day three day weekend; so my guess is that rooms will be a bit more in demand than they are this weekend. But if we decide to be REALLY brave and wait it out until Friday to book the entire weekend, we might be really happy we did. Or we may be ubering in from Primm or Summerlin because every available room is gone, or the prices are sky high! 

 

Makes you wish you could know the psychology of the pricing departments. Do they anticipate that couples will end their Valentines night dates with the sudden decision to check into a hotel room? Or do they anticipate that those planning their Valentine's dates will be finalized on their sleeping arrangements before picking their date up for the night?

 

Ahh crystal ball! How I wish I had one! haha

 

I really really appreciate your feedback and help on this! You're always SO much help! Obviously, we'll do our booking through BB links and will of course share with you what we chose.

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Vegas is the most difficult market to predict as it has more prices changes (and more extreme price changes) than any other market in the US.  However, with this noted a few comments:

 

11 hours ago, hwfiv said:

Incidentally, I just ran a test for tonight

Really apples vs. oranges based upon the Valentine's Day Holiday.  A similar example would be in NYC rates are generally low from mid-Dec thru February... but look for a room in Times Square on Dec 31st and it will be one of the most expensive nites of the year, no matter how cheap rates are for the same day a week earlier (12/24 or 1/7).

 

11 hours ago, hwfiv said:

Do they anticipate that couples will end their Valentines night dates with the sudden decision to check into a hotel room? Or do they anticipate that those planning their Valentine's dates will be finalized on their sleeping arrangements before picking their date up for the night?

There is a third component that you didn't mention and it is the one that is often most overlooked by travelers of the mindset 'Rates will drop very close to arrival since hotels would rather get some revenue rather than no revenue if the room sits empty'.  This third component is 'How much demand can we drive if we lower the price at the last minute' and the answer is very little.  If hotels are priced at $200 and the day before arrival the hotel lowers the price to $100... there are not many people, who were not already planning on visiting the area, would suddenly pick up and take a trip on less than 24 hours notice?  Even if they could potentially fill 50% more rooms by cutting the price in half, it actually produces less revenue for the hotel vs. if they kept prices at the higher amount.  In case that is confusing, take the following example:

100 people plan on traveling but don't yet have hotel rooms: 100 guests x $200/nite = $20,000

100 people above + 50 additional people (50% increase in demand based upon lower price): 150 guests x $100/nite = $15,000

 

This also does not account for the fact that the hotel expected a certain level of occupancy and staffed their front desk, housekeeping, and restaurants accordingly... if there is a sudden surge in occupancy all of these areas of the hotel will be understaffed; leads to poor service, unhappy employees, and bad customer experience.

 

So with the reminder of my first comment that rates in Vegas change more frequently than any other market (and are therefore more difficult to predict), my inclination would be that low/mid-$100's is not likely going to happen for the 12/14 or 12/15.  My gameplan would be one of the three options below:

OPTION 1:

Venetian at $223 (2/14-2/16) + Wynn at $146 (2/16)

or

OPTION 2:

1 Nite Outside of Vegas + 1 Nite wherever you can find 2/15 + 1 nite Wynn (2/16)

(OPTION 2 i think can wait, unless you wanted to lock in the nite at the Wynn, but my point is to understand that 3 hotels in 3 nites is going to be the most likely scenario)

or

OPTION 3:

Trump, which is slightly off strip, can be had for about $195/nite from 2/15-2/17

 

Thanks for using the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board.

 

Keep us updated on your progress.

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All good things to keep in mind! I'm seriously kicking myself for not taking the 4.5 star that was in the low 100's a few weeks ago when the "well meaning" friend offered to hook us up with comps. Well meaning friend has now ripped our vegas trip to shreds! haha

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Never fault anyone for trying to help... even if it didn't help in the long run.:wink:

 

I'm sure you'll come into some good fortune in the future and it will all 'even out'.

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I definitely agree with that thinking. I only wish they hadn't specifically told us to hold off on booking, as that indicated to me that they were fairly confident they could do something we couldn't do as outsiders. I would have much rather been told something along the lines of "sometimes we can do something, and sometimes we can't if it's an expensive weekend, so it's totally up to you if you want to take the gamble and wait". Because at that point, I absolutely wouldn't have taken the gamble on it. The frustration you're hearing in my comments about the situation, was that the end result of waiting was the advice "it's an expensive weekend, you'll get the lowest prices booking off the strip". If it was me, I'd assume that anyone who has taken more than about 2 trips in their lives could have figured that one out on their own! haha But like I said in an earlier post, this is fully on me for hoping our vegas insider friend could do the same for us that they've done for other friends in past. And I normally NEVER ask for comps or favors, preferring to just take care of my own arrangements (and using BB to find the best deals!), but the last time we saw them, they made us feel like we were insane for booking a vegas weekend on our own, when we should have gotten in touch with them to work their insider magic. It's just a very good lesson in the old rule "nothing is ever for free". And reminds me again why I never ask for comps or discounts from friends unless it's something I'm not horribly interested in doing in the first place.

 

I'll update you on what we discover. At this point, it's looking like the dreaded airbnb option might end up being our best option to avoid a 3 star or below hotel room that has cig smoke embedded in the walls. Def not my idea of what I saw as our Vegas getaway. And for anyone reading this who is planning their own Vegas trip, the reason I'm not a huge fan of the airbnb option in Vegas is that the magic of the being on the Vegas strip is lost when you have to leave it to drive to a residential area and check into someone's apartment or condo. No room service, no walking downstairs to a fun buffet breakfast, no running back up to the room to freshen up in between events or activities. It works for some people, but definitely not my ideal for a Vegas experience. But then again, I'm the guy who refuses to stay anywhere but on a Disney property when going to Disneyworld, because you break the magic the moment you leave the property.

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Still playing the waiting game, but will hopefully book in the next 24 or so. Couple of questions (if anyone happens to know):

 

1) I keep seeing Tuscany Suites coming up and they have very high ratings, especially for cleanliness. I usually wouldn't consider anything less than a 4 star in Vegas, but considering it's right behind the Paris and close to the monorail and has such high ratings, other than losing the glamour and fun of being in one of the big strip resorts, am I right in thinking I should seriously consider this property to get something in the low 100's (with PLE or HWHD) that is of a high quality in terms of rooms/air quality for this coming weekend?

 

2) I was previously not even considering Sahara because I stayed there in the early 2000's and it was SO dated and the rooms reeked of cigarette smoke. It also felt very remote in terms of going out and walking the fun parts of the strip. I see now that with the Monorail station there, that proximity problem is quickly resolved, and it looks from their site and the tripadvisor reviews that Sahara has gone through a pretty huge renovation since I stayed there. So maybe it's not rooms filled with stale cigarette smoke anymore? Also, I'm seeing prices lowering quite a bit on Sahara as the week goes, and I think (if I'm reading it right on the Priceline App for NYOP) that NYOP is showing a "winning bid" for a 4 star for $80. I don't know if that's reflecting the dates I put in for MY travel dates, and someone else winning a 4 star for those dates with a NYOP bid of $80? But for 80 a night, that might be a good option to get the price way down. Also, do you know if you do a NYOP if you get stuck in the dregs of the hotel in terms of rooms? I'm never sure if the front desk people are instructed to put the lowest paying guests into the worst rooms. Just curious.

 

3) Lastly, I'm noticing for my dates that Priceline full price search is showing both MGM and Park MGM as "only 50 left" at the room rate listed. Is it then a fair assumption that with "only" 50 rooms left at both MGM properties on the Wed before our Friday arrival, that MGM might do a sell off of unsold rooms if I hang tight jus a little longer? Of course at around $300/night book rate for both properties, the question is if a "sell off" would even come close to our max budget of $140/night (before taxes/fees). Kills me that arriving on Monday of next week, we could get MGM for around $70!

 

Thanks again for all the help!

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1 hour ago, hwfiv said:

it's right behind the Paris and close to the monorail

Although it's certainly do-able/walkable, it's still a 'pretty good' walk from Tuscany Suites to Bally's/Paris.  I'm also not certain if you can access the monorail from outside of the casino at Bally's... so you may need to actually enter the hotel and then traverse back to where the monorail station is.

 

1 hour ago, hwfiv said:

I see now that with the Monorail station there, that proximity problem is quickly resolved

The 'issue' with the monorail is with the location of the stations... they are not in prime real estate locations so it's usually a decent walk from hotel to the monorail station and then a decent walk from your monorail stop to wherever it is that you ultimately want to be.  It's OK for a trip here and there but it's not really that convenient in my opinion for frequent use (and i'm somebody who actually likes to walk).

 

I know the Sahara has recently undergone a major renovation, but i'm not sure if the casino floor and/or rooms still have a smokiness to them.

 

The 'somebody recently won for $80' is not necessarily for your own dates.  As well, what if you were to win a different 4 star hotel in the zone?

 

1 hour ago, hwfiv said:

"only" 50 rooms left

Ignore this, it's just marketing.  It's certainly possible that the hotel only has 50 rooms left, but the more likely scenario is that this is only the number of rooms that have been allocated to Priceline and the actual hotel has more available (and will likely give PL more inventory should priceline sell all of the rooms they have been allocated).

 

So i think the Tuscany Suites and/or Sahara both have potential issues with them, but you'll have to weigh these issues vs. the downside(s) of an apartment rental since that comes with many compromises as well.

 

Thanks for using the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board.

 

Keep us updated or let us know how we can be of further help.

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Forgot to mention above:
The Deuce may be a better option than the monorail... it's the public bus that runs the full length of the strip (all the way to downtown).  I've seen wait times as long as 15 minutes but i've also seen two buses pull-up at the same time, so a bit hit or miss, but at least that typically picks-up/drops-off directly on the strip.  The bus does seem to slow down a bit due to congestion and the number of stops as you get to the heart of the strip (Mirage <--> Tropicana) but since you would be getting on/off at Caesars it may be another option you didn't consider.

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Good to know! At this point, we're planning on doing the very very last minute attempt at the best pricing. As of 24 hours before check-in the pricing is not looking good for any 4 stars other than Tropicana, which (according to my research online) is pretty dumpy and has a lot of smoking complaints.

 

Do you have any opinions about Westgate Flamingo Bay Resort or Tahiti Village? I realize they are both commutes into the strip, but both have really positive reviews consistently on several sites, and at least one of them (Westgate) has a regular shuttle to the strip, which cuts down on Uber's at least on the ways in.

 

Looking at what our backups might be if we decide the pricing just doesn't come down enough on the strip, or that our only options are potentially smoky hotel rooms on the strip.

 

Thanks!

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3 hours ago, hwfiv said:

Westgate Flamingo Bay Resort or Tahiti Village

Not familiar with either of these as i tend to stay on the strip and both of these are pretty far off (one even further than The Palms and the other south of the airport).

 

For 12/15-12/16 how about:

4* The Strip - Northeast (confirm your dates on the landing page) for $269/nite with:
Pets Allowed
Fitness Center
Casino
Restaurant
Free Internet
Indoor or Outdoor Pool
==> The LInq if this would work for your plans.  I can't speak from a respiratory point of view, but i don't smell any smoke on their casino floor since their renovations about 5 or so year ago, although i don't know anything about their hotel rooms (although i may be staying there at some point next year with a conference that i'm attending nearby)

 

And then for 12/16-12/17:

5* The Strip - Northeast (confirm your dates on the landing page) for $145/nite with:
Free Parking
Fitness Center
Casino
Restaurant
No Smoking Rooms/Facilities
Indoor or Outdoor Pool
==> Wynn still available

 

OR if you took the Linq for 12/15 you could stay there for 12/16 as well:
4* HOTWIRE Center Strip - High Roller Promenade for $69
Pet friendly
Boutique hotel
Casino
Fitness center
Pool(s)
Restaurant(s)
Business center
Internet access
Spa services
==> Linq

 

OR this is also a very nice deal for 12/16:

5* HOTWIRE Center Strip - Fountains for $129
Resort
Pet friendly
Casino
Fitness center
Pool(s)
Restaurant(s)
Business center
Internet access
Spa services
==> Bellagio

 

Please remember to return to BetterBidding and use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases... or thru our sister site MAPSandHOTELS.com for your regular rate purchases.

 

Good luck, hope an outlier hotel drops their price at the last minute for you.

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