When you join a casino players club, you “get in the system” of a casino and into a position to benefit from marketing efforts. Casinos also market externally with deals offered through third-party sources. Working with casinos in this capacity is a primary component of my program at LasVegasAdvisor.com, so I spend a lot of effort tracking who’s doing what and where. In this issue of Vegas Seven, you’ll find an ad promoting the Las Vegas Advisor’s Member Rewards Book, which I can honestly (if immodestly) say is the best source anywhere for these types of discounts—but it’s by no means the only source. Anyone who’s looking for casino deals should be monitoring select programs.
The two leading online discounters in all areas are Groupon and Living Social, and both are active in the casino space. The deals are mostly dining- and show/attraction-related, but there are some good ones and the saving is always in the 50 percent range. Both also deal with non-casino restaurants, with recent offers coming from the likes of India Palace, Due Forni and Envy Steakhouse. Pay attention, though: These offers don’t always constitute the absolute least-expensive way to go.
A good example is a just-released Groupon offer for the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. This is an amazing buffet, and it’s the first time I’ve seen a public discount for it. But look at the fine print: The offer is for breakfast only, with a price of $65 for two. The retail price of the Bacchanal breakfast buffet is $30.99, which drops to $29.99 when you show a Total Rewards card. So just buying the buffet retail (with a card) costs $59.98—or $5 less than if purchased through Groupon. The upside is the Groupon deal includes two upgrades: a line pass and unlimited mimosas. Ordinarily, a line pass costs $20, and mimosas are a separate purchase.
A lesser-known online source for discounts is Travelzoo.com. Its Las Vegas deals are strong and tend to be for a more diverse selection of activities. For example, recent TZ deals included a round of golf at Siena, a spa day at SLS and lunch for two at Capo’s for $19.
All of the aforementioned sources do a lot of business in entertainment, but the biggest selection of deals for shows is available at Goldstar.com, or the Tix4Tonight booths located around town. Monitoring them all means you’ll never have to pay retail for a show, with the exception of the most exclusive productions.
Finally, take a second to flip through the Valpak and Money Mailer coupons that land in your mailbox. In addition to solicitations for dentists and home improvements, gaming bars also advertise there, making them an excellent source of video poker bonuses.
Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor.