ThatThat

Las Vegas $20 trick?

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See this Tipping at Hotels thread.

Please also don't forget to follow-up your Priceline Cancun thread with whatever you ended up doing for that stay... even if you didn't end up using priceline or HOTWIRE, please post a follow-up there so that every thread has a 'conclusion'.

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I didn't tip my front check-in staff (he is the manager on duty) for Las Veags Venetian on Nov. 19-23 2006.

But I got a upgrade suit with a pretty nice view and high floor(24th).

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So, I've read through the whole thread and I think I'm too much of a wuss to try to drop $20 on the front desk clerk with a wink and a smile. I do, however, like the idea of sending a fax ahead saying how it's a special trip etc. My question to the group (especially for anyone who's actually done this before) is after you state in the letter how it's a special occasion how do you get around to actually asking for the upgrade? I'm sure they already know what you're looking for, but is there smoother way to ask than "If there are any available upgrades I would really appreciate one to make this trip as special and memorable as possible. Thanks"

Thoughts? Advice?

Thanks everyone!

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If you were going to try the $20 trick anywhere, it would be in Vegas, where tipping just about everyone is common place.

While sending a fax of your 'special occaision' can't hurt, with 2500 rooms at Planet Hollywood it would likely get lost in the shuffe. On the otherhand, $20 at check-in might get you noticed :)

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I'm sure this is much too late to help the original poster, but we tried the $20 trick at the Mandalay Bay last summer. It's a long story, but basically, I held my credit card out to the clerk, along with a $20. I politely asked if there were any complimentary upgrades available. She put us in a strip view room which was Ok, and probably better than if I had not tipped. But there was a minor problem with our room. I called the front desk, and mentioned how we had tipped for a better room but instead got this problem ... we were promptly sent to the penthouse. It was awesome.

I really think that -- in Vegas at least -- you can use any little mistake to your advantage. We have been to Vegas numerous times and have been upgraded about 1/4 to 1/3 of the time based on relatively small issues, like having trouble getting checked in in a timely manner (room promised to be ready several times, but not ready for hours), or plumbing issues in our room. I have patience for minor annoyances, but if the problem persists and isn't rectified pretty quickly -- and this has happened more than once -- I just go to the front desk and ask to speak to a manager. It seems from my experience that the manager on duty has quite a bit of discretion and can upgrade you nicely if they wish to do so.

I think the trick is to be courteous and not angry about the problem. There's no need to be aggressive about it. Just politely ask for a manager, state the issue, and ask what they can do for you. Let them know that you really expected better service/accomodations from an establishment of this quality. It's amazing how far this polite approach can get you. I don't go looking for trouble, but stuff happens. You might as well use these happy accidents to your advantage.

Years ago, we were upgraded to a lovely suite at the Riveria due to a simple lighting problem in the bathroom that was not rectified promptly after we reported it. Another time, we were upgraded to an impressive jacuzzi suite at the Monte Carlo with a fantastic strip view due to some problems and delays at checkin. On our last trip, we had the room of our dreams at Mandalay after our $20 tip trick combined with a mistake.

If the clerk thinks you are about to punch them out, they probably aren't going to feel very generous towards you. On the other hand, if you just factually explain your problem, say how you understand they are busy and you can see how this happened, but .... Well, then you can usually get a deal. Also keep in mind that the upgrades available may be limited. The Motel 6 in Podunk TX isn't going to have much to upgrade you to. But the Venetian in Las Vegas will have unbelievable upgrades.

Good luck!

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I called the front desk, and mentioned how we had tipped for a better room...

I don't think this is a good idea.

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I don't know if I would have the guts for the $20 trick. I think I would feel awkward, though I would bet that it is commonplace to the front desk staff and they couldn't care less that you would try it. I recently won the Trump International in Las Vegas. I haven't heard anything on if the 20 trick works at Trump, but I have read that the hotel rooms are never full, so it would appear to be the perfect place to try. I wish there was a fairly easy way to go about trying it without the possibility of awkwardness. I think if I just handed the credit card with the $20 and asked for complimentary upgrades, then that wouldn't be too bad. I wonder would they have an issue with upgrading from a PriceLine room? Would they think that I have already done well enough? I have no idea what kind of room I am getting from PriceLine anyway. Do I find out when I get there?

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I can only give you may own experience...

I too was a little 'concerned' about it but figured if i'm ever going to try it anywhere... Vegas would be the place to give it a shot.

I simply folded the $20 and put it between my credit card and dirver's license then i approached the desk. As i handed it i said "Hi, i'm checking-in, and wanted to know if there were any complimentary upgrades available".

In most parts of the country i suspect they wouldn't have 'fully' understood, but in Vegas they know exactly what you want. For me it didn't work and i was offered an upgrade for an additional fee... fortunately i was given my $20 back when i was handed back by license and credit card, but you should be willing to lose it (or if you don't get upgraded you could say just before leaving the desk, "Oh, and can you break that $20 for me")

If you do decide to try it you need to see the different room types available at the Trump so that if you're offered an upgrade you know if it's really an upgrade or not (and not just a room on a higher floor which may not be considered an upgrade depending upon the hotel)

Bottomline: I wasn't successful but would certainly try it again... in Vegas. Once i'm successful in Vegas i'd be more inclined to try it elsewhere. (and will add my mother in law has successful done it a few times now in areas outside of Vegas)

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Any knowledge of the $20 trick working at Trump International? I have searched over the net and cannot find a single reference to anyone trying it at Trump in Las Vegas. I did read that someone tried it in Trump at Atlantic City and got rejected, so Trump may have this banned at his hotel. Although, I guess if you can be conspicuous enough, then the employee may help out.

Thanks!

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Does anybody know if this works at the Four Seasons? Generally the hotel is pretty booked given it doesnt have a casino that blocks off rooms for comps. But if anyone has experience there would love to hear. Will be there 9/19 and will try and I will be sure to report back.

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hi guys, first time poster

i was going to use Hotwire and/or Priceline for my upcoming vegas trip, but since i haven't decided the date, i will not post my result yet

i have used $20 trick before i knew this trick exist. i'm an out going person and i know good things will happen when you make front desk personnel happy.

i was chatting away with a from desk clerk at New York New York and he upgraded me to ziggurat suite (which is not on their website), i was overwhelmed and i tipped him. the 2nd night i was at THE hotel and i did the same thing, asked for upgrade then tip and i was able to get the penthouse at 60th floor.

Later when i came back from Vegas then i found out this tip trick

however, i have one question right now tho

when is the best time to check in for this trick to work at the best?

upgrades are based on availablily of the rooms, so there could be a good time to check in with high success rate?

please help, thanx

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Welcome to BetterBidding!

when is the best time to check in for this trick to work at the best?

After official check-out time but before official check-in time... but i think this marginally improves your chances and i certainly wouldn't re-arrange my plans as a result.

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Probably the best tip I have heard for those concerned about having the nerve to try an outright bribe only works in Vegas.

As soon as you walk into the property go get a green ($20) chip. As you are chatting up the desk (hopefully it isn't a busy time) simply fiddle with the chip on the counter. They will notice it and understand the situation. If they come up with an acceptable upgrade you can thank them and slide the chip their direction, walking away without it. Otherwise you simply take it with you when you go, never having conspicuously offered it.

Some have suggested having a $20 and a $5 chip, again fiddling with them on the counter as you chat up the desk. If you don't get the upgrade but they appear to have made a sincere effort you might thank them for trying with the red chip.

No need to hide anything. Cameras abound in Vegas and personnel are well aware that they are being watched. If they accept your tip it is because they are allowed to do so. No one will be risking their job for $20.

Good luck and have fun!

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Well, this may not mean anything, but we have a fried who is a chef at the Vegas Hilton, and I asked him about this as we are going there in February- and he said

"Since this is a gambling town and HIGHLY regulated, tips at any hotel or resort will probably only resort to a happy employee! Most can't do much outside their employee guidelines, so save it for cab fare or whatever. Free upgrades here are only given to folks who've lost a ton of money at the casino."

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"Since this is a gambling town and HIGHLY regulated, tips at any hotel or resort will probably only resort to a happy employee! Most can't do much outside their employee guidelines, so save it for cab fare or whatever. Free upgrades here are only given to folks who've lost a ton of money at the casino."

Sorry, i have to disagree with him on both counts...

Tips are part of Las Vegas culture, and while the casino side of the business is highly regulated, the hotel side is NOT, and upgrades based upon tips is fairly common in Vegas.

As well, to think upgrades are only given to folks who've lost a ton of money it to not understand the casino business... the casino gives upgrades and comps to anyone who gambles a lot, regardless of whether they have won or lost. The idea is to keep you happy and coming back, for even if you won this trip, they know the odds are in their favor and if they can get you to return to their property again in the future, as the more you gamble, the better chance they stand in having the odds play out in their favor (and threfore more likely to win their money back)

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Free upgrades here are only given to folks who've lost a ton of money at the casino.

the house always wins, so the goal is to keep guests happy and keep their play in house.

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Sorry, i have to disagree with him on both counts...

Tips are part of Las Vegas culture, and while the casino side of the business is highly regulated, the hotel side is NOT, and upgrades based upon tips is fairly common in Vegas.

As well, to think upgrades are only given to folks who've lost a ton of money it to not understand the casino business... the casino gives upgrades and comps to anyone who gambles a lot, regardless of whether they have won or lost. The idea is to keep you happy and coming back, for even if you won this trip, they know the odds are in their favor and if they can get you to return to their property again in the future, as the more you gamble, the better chance they stand in having the odds play out in their favor (and threfore more likely to win their money back)

I have to say I agree with YOU- in fact I was surprised my friend thought this way- I think perhaps as a chef he is not as much in the Vegas flow as someone working out in the more public part of the hotels.

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Hi,

I'm curious if anyone has had any luck with the $20 room upgrade trick at Treasure Island? Are there any pointers to make it work more seamlessly?

Or how many people have tried this and had no luck and just lost $20 bucks in the process?

Any info is appreciated.

Thanks,

-Josh

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Josh, while I have never tried the $20 trick at Treasure Island I've been to Vegas a dozen times from Imperial Palace, The Rio, Caesars, Barbary Coast, Gold Coast, etc and it's NEVER failed.

Good luck and remember 2 very important things...SMILE and address the hotel employee by their name.

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Hi guys. First time user here.

Since it is my first time and haven't seen or heard of the $20 trick, I can't comment, but I have tried asking WITHOUT the $20 tip trick. It was at the Trump and since it was via priceline, they had me in the standard suite. I *politely* asked if there were any one bedrooms were available. No luck, but the staff offered an "upgrade" to the 39th floor with a strip view. I think someone already mentioned that the Trump typically does not have full capacity, so perhaps this wasn't much of an upgrade at all.

I guess it's all about how polite you are to people, as some people have alluded to already.

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I stayed at the Treasure Isle over Valentines night. At checkin I had a $10 dollar bill neatly folded with my wallet out and over the counter. He could see the money but blocked from others view. I stated that I would gratuitously appreciate any complimentry upgrades that he could locate. My wife then politely asked if they had any rooms facing the outdoor pirate show. With little hesitation he said he had an upgraded presidential room on the 36 floor that also included a strip view. I then merrily pulled another $10 out and folded them together. He then stated that he was also going to include a complementry bottle of Champaign from room service and delivered at our requested time. I then slid the money off the shelf and onto his lower counter as descrete as possible. The room and Champain were very nice and worth the effort.

The next day was my check in for the Venetian. I folded a twenty between my liscence and Amex card as mentioned before. The 10 person checkin staff had three additional persons in back of the staff like crew bosses, but I thought "What the heck". Within seconds of handing the cards, the twenty dissapeared seemingly into a blackhole as if she was Chris Angel. I asked if there were any nice rooms available since I was somewhat ill prepared to ask by specific Tower name. She new exactly what I wanted. The results were that I was then provided a room on the 32nd floor facing the Bellagio fountains in the distance. (85% fountain view) My Hotel view was above the rooftops in the South and my guess is that it was about as good as it gets because of the site specific setback and hotel Layout. We were very satisfied. Money well spent. I would also suggest that anyone going to the Phantom of the Opera attempt to $10 or twenty up once inside. We were dressed nice and got comped front and middle without even asking. The Seating lady just asked us if we would like an upgraded seat in back of the orchestra. Our big smile answered that question. Good luck and please let us know if anyone has any luck using the twenty up trick at a show or restraunt.

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I know that Josh already knows this, but I sort of had success with this. At check-in, I did have $20 in my hand when I struck up conversation with the man who was assisting me. Without handing him the money I inquired about any upgrades and he did say that he had a room that normally ran for $40/night more. It was a corner room on the 35th floor (35-036) that had two sets of windows so that I got a full view of the south strip and also out towards the Rio and Palms. He also offered a room on the 25th floor that would have looked at the strip north. We opted for the 35th floor even though it is a smoking floor after he assured us that they are "not that bad." In reality he was right, after spending a few hours in the casino I became so accustomed to smoke that when we got back to the room I couldn't even notice it anymore.

We were also given a free bottle of champagne... and it was surprisingly good for a screw top. That was a first for me!

After we had talked about all of this and I received my room keys, I thanked him and gave him the tip. So, that's where the "sort of" in my first sentence came from. I did not sandwich the bill and try to make it sly... after receiving good, efficient and friendly service, I tipped him.

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Hi, I'm new to this board and have found it a great help! I've been to Vegas dozens of times and have never once thought to use Hotwire or Priceline, let alone trying to tip for an upgrade. I'm planning a trip in April, but we're going to get 2 rooms for 7 people. Has anyone ever tried the $20 trick with more than one room? Does it become a $40 trick? (I'll be sure to use the links from this site!)

Thanks!

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I think it would still be $20 depending upon where you are and how long your stay is. I would think after the "$20 trick" it would sonner become a "$50 trick" as you want the clerk to know exactly what they're getting... which woudl be easier to do with a $50 than two $20's.

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