Who says room rates are going up? Lots of surveys I’ve seen lately do, but I’ve got evidence to the contrary. Every year at this time we conduct our own rate survey at LasVegasAdvisor.com. It’s a serious study that encompasses every hotel-casino in town (95 this year), and we check lots of sources. Since we count the best rate we find even if it’s available for only a day, you won’t be able to duplicate everything you see here. But you’ll be able to get pretty close. This year, we found 47 casinos with rates of less than $40—eight more than last year. Thirty of the 47 were below $30 and six were under $20. Here they are.
Under $40 Club: Artisan, California, Eastside Cannery, Ellis Island Super 8, Fremont, Gold Strike, Golden Gate, Main Street Station, Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Orleans, Riviera, Silverton, Sunset Station, Treasure Island, Tropicana, Tuscany.
Under $30 Club: Arizona Charlie’s Boulder, Bill’s, Boulder Station, Caesars Palace, Clarion, Excalibur, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, The D, Flamingo, Four Queens, Gold Coast, Hacienda, Harrah’s, Hooter’s, Luxor, Palace Station, Rio, Sam’s Town, Santa Fe Station, Stratosphere, Terrible’s, Texas Station, Wild Wild West.
Under $20 Club: Bally’s, Circus Circus, El Cortez, Gold Spike, Imperial Palace (The Quad), Plaza.
Check out some of the names on these lists. Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Treasure Island, Luxor, Rio, Harrah’s, Bally’s, Caesars Palace.
Caesars Palace? That’s not a mistake. On the day we checked, the rate at Caesars for three days in December was in the $20s. A couple of days later that rate had jumped back up to $70, where it sits now, but it was there.
The good deals also extend to the higher-end casinos: Palms $41, Planet Hollywood $41, Golden Nugget $42, LVH $44, Hard Rock $47, Rumor $48, The Mirage $49, Paris $49, MGM Grand $55, Palms Place $59, Mandalay Bay $64, Green Valley Ranch $76, Red Rock Resort $76, THEhotel $84, Vdara $84, Aria $87, Trump International $90, MGM Grand Signature $95, Palazzo $109, Venetian $109, Encore $116, Wynn $116, Cosmopolitan $140 and Bellagio $149.
These high-enders are also generally better than last year. For example, the Aria rate is $42 less than it was in 2011, while Venetian and Palazzo are down $30, Vdara is down $20, and Hard Rock is down $15.
You have to work for it, and sometimes it’s simply about getting lucky (like that Caesars find). Plus you have to be looking at the right time. The best deals always land between the end of the National Finals Rodeo and Christmas—this year that’s Dec. 16-24.
If you have friends coming in for the holidays or just want to hang out for a night, use the lists above as a starting point and dig a little. You’ll be amazed by what you find.