Vegas Hotel Deals
for free on your next visit
Here's our best tip for Las Vegas hotels for cheap:
Casinos will send you offers for free or deeply discounted rooms for
your next visit if you simply sign up for a free Player's Card and use
it a little when you're playing slots or table games. Sometimes they'll
make these offers even if you never use the card at all. As I write
this I'm staying for three nights for free, on a weekend, at a casino
that I think I played maybe an hour or two of blackjack in two years
ago. Sign up for a Player's Card at every casino you visit, whether
you're staying there or not, and whether you expect to gamble there or
not. If you do gamble, either table games or slots, be sure to use
This doesn't help you for the visit you're about to
make, but it's the #1 way to get a great deal on your next
Timing is Everything
Weekday vs. Weekend.
Friday/Saturday rates are often two and a half times as much as
Sunday-thru-Thursday rates! If you're able to stay between Sunday
through Thursday, by all means do so. Not only
will you save on your room, but you'll also find lower limits on table
games, and the casinos and restaurants won't be as crowded so you'll be
able to enjoy yourself more.
Cheap Times of the Year.
Whenever business is slow, hotels drop the rates to induce more
business. These are the best times of the year to score deals:
- December before Christmas. Rooms at some
classy hotels go for as little as $20, even on weekends!
- July & August. It's 100 degrees
so that discourages some tourists.
Expensive Times of the Year.
me give you an example: In January on the Wednesday before
CES in 2011,
the cheapest hotel on the Strip for Thursday night was $439.
For a Thursday! Granted, it was a suite (because that's all they
left), but the point is, when there's a big convention and the Strip
gets close to sold out, prices soar. Book ahead.
- Major holidays, like Memorial Day (late May),
July 4th, Labor Day (early Sept.), and New Year's Eve.
- Superbowl Sunday (usually the whole weekend of
the Sunday in February)
- Convention times (CES in early January, and
Comdex in mid-November)
The Strip -- Strip
hotels are generally the most
expensive, but Stratosphere, NY NY, and Excalibur often have
rock-bottom prices, as low as $35/night (including the Resort
Fee). Circus Circus is just as cheap but dumpier and smokier.
Downtown -- Downtown digs are generally cheaper
than the Strip, and downtown is only 1.5 miles from the Strip (and
there's a bus that runs 24/7), so you'll never be far from the action.
Budget downtown hotels include Vegas Club, Golden Gate, and the Gold
Off-Strip. There are many hotel-casinos near
the strip but not quite on it. Of these, Tuscany, Clarion, and
Palace Station have some of the best rates.
Get a room
upgrade for $20
A little-known secret is that you can often get a
nice room upgrade by tipping $20 to the front desk. Put the $20
between your ID and your credit card, then casually ask if there are
any complimentary room upgrades available. Most front desk staff
reportedly will give the $20 back if they can't help you. More about
this at FrontDeskTip.com.
Vegas Hotel Search
These are my favorites:
They don't all find the same deals -- often one service
shows a much better price for the same hotel, so your best bet is to
try all of them. See my Vegas
map so you can see where these hotels are.
Cheap & Sleazy for
as little as $23/night
There are a bunch of motels that advertise $23/night
Sunday through Thursday, on Las Vegas Blvd. on the one-mile stretch
between the Strip and downtown, and also on Fremont St. downtown,
west of Las Vegas Blvd. Of course their weekend rates are higher,
still less than what you'd find at any hotel-casino.
Lots of the motels won't accept reservations, and
they're not listed in the online search engines anyway -- it's walk-in
only. If you haven't gotten a room before you arrive in Vegas
can be fairly certain that you can get one by checking the motels in
the areas mentioned above. Once during the Superbowl the only rooms in
Vegas showing online were $175+ per night, but downtown motels still
had clean rooms for $45/night (and I got one).
Death of the $16 room
at the Western
For years, my favorite deal was the $16 room at The
Western (downtown), the sleaziest and most dangerous
casino in all of Vegas. I took advantege of a $16 room there as
2001. It was $16 even on the weekends! However, by 2007 the price
gone up to $35/night weekday and $55/night weekends.
Obviously you don't get luxury even at the new improved
rates, but if you just need a place to sleep, and you're not easily
intimidated by shady characters, this is it. The Western
sleaze. But that's one of the reasons we find it so charming. When in
Vegas we've never missed an opportunity to play $1 blackjack in a dump
that's the exact opposite of Bellagio. Here's the hilarity that ensued when we
tried to make a reservation by phone. We enjoyed the humorous writeup
about The Western in Las
Vegas on $19 a day.
I wrote a humorous article
about the above hotels for the Wizard of Odds newsletter.
Note that these hotels are all Downtown, not on the
Strip. Before you grab one of these rooms, make sure to check the tips
below; sometimes you can get a room in a nice hotel on the Strip
for $39 or less. (I once got a room at the Stratosphere for $19 during
hotel-casino in Vegas
While the Western takes the prize for the sleaziest
casino, it's no longer the cheapest. That honor belongs to the El Cortez,
just a couple of blocks away on the same downtown street, Fremont.
Their regular weekday rate is only $32. (Last
verified: Jan. 2007)
Gold Spike Diner
A friend relayed this story to me:
I used to
occasionally stay at the Gold Spike when the rooms were still $22, even
on weekends. The rooms are better than you might expect after seeing
the casino. With your $22 room you also got a coupon good for a free
breakfast at the snack bar. Unfortunately, the snack bar is located in
the casino. My first time there, I looked over the snack bar and
decided that I'd pass on the free breakfast.
As I walked out the door,
I was accosted by a panhandler. In a moment of generosity (unusual for
me), I gave him my breakfast coupon.
- He examined it
closely, and then handed it back to me and said, "Thanks, man, but I
ain't that hungry."