Las Vegas casinos remain closed, but those who are considering a return trip once the Strip is back up and running should book such travel now. That’s according to travel experts, who are seeing an increase in promotions and deals being offered in an attempt to lure back tourists.
Las Vegas bookings can currently be had on the cheap, as casino resorts seek reservations for when they’re allowed to welcome back guests. There’s still no definitive date as to when the Strip might reopen, but numerous casinos are taking reservations in late May or early June.
Travel expert Gabe Saglie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week that travel in the post-coronavirus world will be cheaper.
Post-COVID travel … will be pretty inexpensive because of this desire to incentivize travelers to hit the road,” said Saglie. “We’ll see some great rates at hotels. We’ll see airfare sales.”
Elite Travel founder Tammy Levent says now is the time to purchase flight tickets and book hotel rooms. “The winter season gets high in price. This is the time to book. This is the time to get the cheapest deal,” said Levent.
Resort Fees Linger
More than 35 Las Vegas properties, including Caesars Palace, Sahara, and Treasure Island, are accepting reservations beginning May 22. Wynn Resorts is planning to open May 26. MGM Resorts, the operator of the most Strip casinos, has its first check-in date June 1.
The Cosmopolitan is taking bookings beginning June 4. Las Vegas Sands’ Venetian and Palazzo are not currently accepting reservations.
While offered rates are much reduced in the immediate weeks and months, as casinos remain concerned that travelers will be hesitant to visit, those pesky resort fees remain in place – something many Las Vegas guests hoped might disappear as a result of the pandemic.
As example, Wynn Las Vegas is offering those who register with their hotel loyalty program Wynn Insider up to 35 percent off any room with no blackout dates.
For a one-night stay in a standard king room on June 16, the advertised rate for a Wynn Insider is $129. But with taxes and the mandatory $45/day add-on resort fee, the total price comes to $197.29 – more than a 50 percent increase from the initially advertised rate.
Other Strip properties also aren’t doing away with their resort fees, but are offering special promotions. MGM Resorts is offering a 20 percent discount on bookings for those who sign up for free M life Rewards membership. Caesars Entertainment is offering 25 percent off all rooms for dates through February 2021.
A concerning trend in states where certain nonessential businesses have been permitted to reopen is a coronavirus surcharge. Certain restaurants and salons have been adding on a fee to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
In Missouri, a receipt was shared to social media showing a $2.19 coronavirus surcharge added to her restaurant bill, the restauranteur saying it’s only to help him make ends meet.
Will the coronavirus surcharge make its way to Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World that has recently also become known as the “add-on fee” capital that did away with free parking and continues to jack up resort fees?