Hotel Values Easy to Score this Month

CircusCircusNativeBack in late 2008, Las Vegas was feeling the pinch of the Great Recession, and casinos reacted by slashing room rates. There wasn’t much choice—something had to be done to keep the visitors coming during the tough times. While there’s been a great deal of economic recovery, it’s not complete, so rates have remained low. Not as low—they’re edging up, and resort fees are cutting into the deals—but low enough to keep hotel rooms at the top of the city’s list of best values.

And the absolute best month for deep discounts is December, which is why conducts a monster rate survey every year at this time. It’s a serious study that encompasses every hotel-casino in town (94 this year), and we check lots of sources. Since we count the best nightly 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 43 casinos with nightly rates less than $40. Important note: These are base rates; in many cases, resort fees and taxes will raise the bottom line by $20-$30 per night. Here’s the list:

Under $20 Club: The D, El Cortez, Fiesta Rancho, Golden Gate, Texas Station.

Under $30 Club: Arizona Charlie’s Boulder, Boulder Station, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Fiesta Henderson, Flamingo, Four Queens, Harrah’s, Hooters, Luxor, Palace Station, Plaza, Riviera, Santa Fe Station, Silver Sevens, Stratosphere, Sunset Station, Wild Wild West.

Under $40 Club: Arizona Charlie’s Decatur, Artisan, Bally’s, Buffalo Bill’s, California, Downtown Grand, Eastside Cannery, Ellis Island, Fremont, Gold Coast, Golden Nugget, Lucky Club, Main Street, Monte Carlo, Palms, Rio, Sam’s Town, Silverton, Tuscany, Whiskey Pete’s.

As for the more prominent hotels, rates at the Rio, Harrah’s and Luxor were $30, Flamingo was $32 and Monte Carlo was $37.

The strong deals also extend to the higher-end properties: New York-New York ($40), Hard Rock and TI (both $41), MGM Grand ($45), Mandalay Bay ($49), Green Valley Ranch ($51), Planet Hollywood ($53), The Mirage ($56), Red Rock Resort ($72), Caesars Palace ($76), Vdara ($80), Cosmopolitan ($108), Wynn/Encore ($111), Bellagio ($140), and Nobu ($149). And for the record, this year’s new joints came in at $67 for SLS, $88 for Delano and $130 for the Cromwell.

If you’re looking to optimize your staycation—or if you have friends or family looking for a getaway—note that the best rates always fall between the end of the National Finals Rodeo (December 14) and Christmas. After that, these deals are gone … until next December.

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor.