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Tourism[AMA] I Set the Hotel Room Rates for the Las Vegas Strip...Ask me how to snag a deal or AMA!

Nov 22nd 2015 by VegasRateReddit • 54 Questions • 757 Points

Hi there,

I recently just left a job in revenue management with a large hotel/casino/entertainment company here in Las Vegas that has multiple properties on The Strip. Each property averaged from 2,000 to over 5,000 rooms!

My main job was to set the hotel room rates at these properties to ensure we maximized revenues.

I also worked with marketing departments to create promotions (the "Book Now and Get 20% Off + $50 F&B Credit!"), the casino departments for setting comp rates, hotel operations, and online travel agents (Expedia, Orbitz, etc).

To Get the best deal on a hotel room in Vegas, try this:

  • Google your hotel name and then "Promo code" (i.e. "Caesars Palace promo code")
  • No luck? Try the hotels Facebook page or Twitter accounts.
  • Book directly though the hotels website! BOOK DIRECT! BOOK DIRECT!
  • Use your players card anywhere and everywhere it's accepted.
  • Be nice to the staff when checking in and during stay - seriously. We keep comments about you.
  • Keep in mind we have resort fees for every hotel on the strip. Revenue Management loves them, everyone hates them.

Fun Fact, we make mistakes sometimes.

My Proof: http://i.imgur.com/RAjFUP1.jpg plus verification from the Mods.

So, Ask Me Anything!

EDIT: Im following a recipe from r/slowcooking so I got plenty of time. Keep em coming.

Q:

Did you ever make mistakes the other way, like posting rooms for $1.07, and if so did the property honor those rates? On average, what percentage of room inventory is usually booked vs. sitting empty?

A:

Mistakes are made constantly! We also audit constantly to catch them.

My worst mistake was setting a suite to $66/night for Friday and Saturday over EDC Weekend. The rate should have been $660. It wasn't caught until the next day. Because it went out to our OTA's, over 1,000 reservations came in for that suite - that hotel didn't even have 1,000 of that room type. When those guests checked in, they were most likely moved to a lower level room with inventory. However, we will try and accommodate.

It totaled over $120,000 in lost revenue.

Rates won't go out that low. We have some parameters in place to prevent that. For example, the hotel that I screwed up - the lowest possible rate at that hotel was $55 - so they system didn't catch a $66 rate. Anything below $55 wouldn't have gone out.


Q:

I was lucky enough to catch something like that for EDC weekend. Use some expired promo code that gave me a Fri-Mon stay at Vdara for EDC all under $300-$400

A:

Nice! I love Vdara. No smoking and an easy walk to your room with easy access to Bellagio, Aria, and Cosmo.

Keep in mind, it is up to the hotels discretion to honor those rates.


Q:

Wow, that's huge losses. What was the consequence of that? I run a (very) small hotel, and I'd be pretty upset if this happened. One or two reservations, that I can let slide.

I'm guessing that $120k revenue is likely close to $120k in income in this case, as the expenses shouldn't be that different.

A:

I was suspended with pay for 1 day.

The argument is, who's to say that $66 isn't the right rate for that room? It's economics - if the rate of $66 can gross more profits than $660, we wouldn't know. I know it's a little hard to understand, but revenue management is all guess work based on some forecasting. The $120K lost was just in pure room revenue. That did not include resort fee or estimated spend per folio.

How many rooms do you have?


Q:

How did you work your way into hospitality revenue management in Vegas? Kudos to you for doing so in such a competitive town in terms of that industry!

A:

Vegas is a very competitive industry - especially Revenue Management. Revenue Analysts jump all over the city though, so it's a very small group of people who know each other.

I was a hotel engineer before! I went to room calls and fixed things.

RM is about problem solving really, and I learned how to trouble shoot from engineering.

I also met a high level executive on Grindr and talked with him for months - which I believe may have helped me. I never met him until I started the job.


Q:

Why don't the hotels cater to locals (or do they?) in an effort to get better viral marketing? I travel quite a bit for work, and every time I get on a plane to come home, the person sitting next to me immediately start asking me for recommendations for shows to see, hotels to stay at etc.

A:

We do market to locals, and all of our hotels have local discounts. Vegas locals get room discounts, discounts on restaurants, 50% off show tickets, and a ton more.

Living in Vegas is great because they really do appreciate the locals. Over half of this city works in the hospitality industry, so they keep us happy!


Q:

Is there a secret handshake or sign up page? Aside from the offer that Cirque runs each year, I've never seen locals offers advertised.

A:

Nope! Just show your local ID for most restaurants and shows. Local room discounts are usually on the hotel website:

http://www.mgmresorts.com/locals/

https://www.caesars.com/las-vegas/deals/locals


Q:

How can I snag a deal?

A:

See my original post.

Sign up for the guestbook, follow the social media accounts, and Google! But remember, always book direct.

November and December also have the best rates as it is the slower season.


Q:

Why booking direct? I haven't tried specifically in Vegas, but I have definitely seen hotels cost more on their website then on a site like hotwire/expedia/priceline.

A:

Because Online Travel Agents (OTA's) get a commission off bookings around 15%. So for a $100 room night, we would give an OTA $15. And when you book though an OTA, you are a guest of theirs, not the hotels. Kinda strange right?

The hotel receives NO information about you other than your name, room type, and check-in/out dates. Have a problem with your reservation? The hotel can't do anything.

When you book direct, you give us your information. With that, we can market to you directly. You'll start receiving offers which are pretty good! When you check-in and a front desk agent sees that you booked with us, you are MUCH more likely to get a complimentary room upgrade and better service. Your needs will be met sooner and faster than anyone who booked with an OTA.


Q:

Would complaining about a room really work as in getting a upgrade? I stayed in a corner suite in the Aria in August. One of the tv's never worked, the fridge door was broken and I hoped to get one of the rooms where the bathroom was looking over the strip. Instead I got one of the ones where it's in the middle. I kind of wanted it changed, but being from the UK I didn't want to make a fuss.

A:

I've stayed in that suite too! It's a really cool room.

For complaining and wanting an upgrade, it won't happen. If you are nice and say that you're really dissatisfied with your room, they will most likely move you to the same room type you had before or may give you a resort credit. It also depends on how full the hotel is and if there is inventory of that room type.

Think of upgrades as this: We have a fixed cost on rooms. For example, a standard deluxe room costs us $36/night. A suite can be over $500/night. When you upgrade, that margin of our profit is decreased. And there is always low inventory on higher end suites - we will keep that room type open for a last minute booking of someone who's willing to pay full price.


Q:

You could also just try asking. Front desk agents have a lot of opportunity to make extra money buy going out of the way for a guest and pushing upgrades. For the most part they have competitions and rewards for such things, which is why a lot of front desk agents who love the job stay in that role for a while.

A:

Depends on the front desk agent. I've never worked front desk.


Q:

Is there any reason one can't make it an open tip (with the hope but no guarantee it may get me preferential treatment), rather than a clandestine bribe? I mean, hand the person checking me in the id, card, and money, and say "here is my id, my card, and a tip for you"? I understand that it may or may not get me anything for the money, but is it in any way harmful or offensive to either party?

A:

FIFY

"Here is my ID, my card, and a tip for you if you can help make our vacation special."

Front Desk Agents - what do you think?


Q:

I'm guessing it's when you try to slide a guy a tip all sly like?

A:

We have a woman that books 5 or 6 high level suites at our most luxury property. She books them on the most expensive dates a few months out, then always cancels them the week before. We've never seen her come in and she has never stayed. It's like she was trying to have us hold $20K for her, then refund her. We've reported it, but not sure what's happened.


Q:

Feels like her plan is maybe to ensure that suites aren't booked, so that someone can come along and get a last-minute deal type thing?

A:

Could be! We do not over book on suites unless we have a solid backup plan. A guest willing to pay $4K/nt for a suite, we better have one in inventory!


Q:

There isn't a non-refundable deposit for that? Or is she cancelling early enough to avoid penalties?

A:

Canceling early enough - you're reservation is refundable up to 2 to 3 days before!


Q:

Is it better to call to book or book online?

A:

Book online. Calling into book usually charges a 'convenience fee', just like the airlines. It's stupid.


Q:

Sounds more like an inconvenience fee... I'd much rather do something online than call and talk to a person. And I'm sure they have other shit to do rather than answer phone calls for things that could be done online. So if you inconvenience them, you get a fee. lol

A:

We have an entire army of people that only do reservations. This fee cut that labor in half. Most of the reservations agents just show guests how to book online now; walking them through step-by-step.


Q:

Have you ever accomodated a top celebrity?

A:

Very rarely will we know when we do.

Most celebrities stay under an alias or a managers name. Ariana Grande uses a different fake name EVERY TIME - which makes it a pain for our VIP Staff/Butlers.

Celebrities/Presidents/Politicians do not get special room rates - but they may get a room that isn't offered. For example, Jamie Foxx was put into a suite when they were 'sold out' to the public. The booking of these high status guests are usually handled by foreign affairs or an executive VIP agent.


Q:

How does it work if a celebrity does stay there? Do they check in under their alias and later notify the VIP staff somehow? I imagine they would only allow certain employees to know to try and keep it on the DL.

A:

I know Obama stays at Bellagio. And when he does, he pretty much has the Spa Tower (the tower to the south of the main tower) half given to himself and secret service. Only select employees are allowed anywhere near the elevators in back of house.

They will most likely be a Non-registered guest (NRG). That means you can call and ask for them, the hotel will see them, but they have to lie to you like they aren't there.

And yes, when celebrities are in, only a select few on property now. But it happens so often, many of us don't even care.


Q:

FYI: Obama doesn't stay on the strip anymore due to the PITA/lost revenue of the strip operators.

He rents out the hotel @ Lake Las Vegas or a nice Marriott in the SW.

A:

Oh good to know. I remember his last visit was at LLV but wasn't sure if it was a permanent thing.


Q:

He doesn't always stay on the Strip or at the Lake. In 2012, he stayed at Element in Summerlin.

http://lasvegassun.com/news/2012/jan/27/where-does-president-stay-las-vegas-small-eco-frie/

A:

I pass by that place on my way to LVAC and always wonder who would stay there...


Q:

Did you get to eat free in the restaurant or did you have to bring your own lunch ?

A:

Our office is located off the strip and not attached to a hotel. So I had to bring my own =[

Every now and then our property teams will invite us to lunch; that's usually when it's comp'd off.


Q:

Do you know if most resorts do a price watch? I.E. If we book and rates drop would they drop or do they remain the same?

A:

Rates fluctuate quite often. If you book and prices drop, your prices will stay the same. However, if you call in, Im sure a reservations agent would adjust them down. Cause if you're outside of the cancellation window, you can just cancel your room and re-book at a lower price.


Q:

A group of friends and I will be visiting vegas for a conference next year. There are 5 of us and the room says it will only accommodate 4. We of course cannot afford another room so we intend to sneak the 5 person into the room. I would image thats frowned upon but we don't really have an option. What kind of things should we do to keep from being caught, and if we were to get caught, what would they do?

A:

What hotel? Your convention should have a booking link for your rooms or a special rate code.


Q:

Red Rock. There is a special room rate that we are using but it still only allows us to have a room for 4 people.

A:

I love Red Rock! That's my place when I gamble off strip.

Their rooms are pretty large. You won't have a problem with a 5th person in the room as long as you aren't advertising it or being loud. If security does find out there's a 5th person, they will give you the option to buy a 2nd room or everyone leaves. The incident would be noted on your profile for future reservations.

I may just be a princess, but I've slept on many hotel floors and those days are over.


Q:

Is timing ever important when booking rooms? I know the day before a flight takes off, rates sometimes drop dramatically so that all seats are sold

A:

Timing is hard!

If a convention drops out last minute, we have to drop the rates to fill the rooms they had blocked off.

A prime example is the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight weekend.

The fight was announced and we sold out all of our hotels because reservations were coming in like crazy. We couldn't control it. So we opened up one room type at a stupid rate, $1,600 per night. Reservations were still coming in. HOWEVER, no tickets for the fight had been released or even available to the public. People were booking without tickets (a stupid decision if you ask me). Once tickets were released to the public, a few days before the fight, everyone cancelled their rooms. Rates were $1,000 one minute then down to $100 the next. We knew that is was going to happen, but we didn't know how many tickets would be released etc. It was a clusterfuck of a weekend for sure.

This is the best representation of that from the fight weekend: http://i.imgur.com/1Kf9pgt.jpg


Q:

Wait why did everyone cancel their rooms?

A:

Because the cheapest tickets to the fight were $5,000! The contracts for the fight weren't signed until 3 days ahead of time - and without signed contracts, tickets can't be released. And the tickets that were released were only a few thousand to the general public. No one could get tickets - so why even come anymore?

That fight wasn't even worth the PPV.


Q:

What does the front desk see when they check your player status?

Do they just see some code you fall into like "this player spends X per night at our hotel, give him this discount" or do they actually see your specific value?

I've called in just to see what the desk tells me while I've been checking my rates on the site and results vary. Sometimes the rates are exactly the same, sometimes more or less from the agent vs the site.

A:

The front desk can't determine what kind of discount to give you.

We have a huge department, loyalty marketing, that decides all of that. The algorithm used makes my head spin! Each player is assigned a value, then we determine what we can give you based off your value. That value is a combination of your gaming spend, how long you play, non-gaming spend, average trip length, age, geographic location, income, etc etc. Then an offer in your value range is loaded to your account by loyalty marketing. Your account may have 5 to 15 different offers on it! The agent is just looking at one they believe is the best.

Keep in mind the added value to marketing offers. Your rates may be $5 more, but if you're getting a $150 F&B credit, it's worth it!


Q:

Who should I be tipping?

A:

https://www.vegas.com/traveltips/tips-on-tipping/

(not on the list, dealers! $5 for every hour of play or more if you have a large win)

Really anyone providing a service. I do suggest tipping housekeeping $2-$5/nt. That's a rough, very under appreciated job.


Q:

What software do you use to help decide prices? How much human judgement is there in the process?

A:

There's a lot of human judgement!

The problem with current hotel revenue management systems is that they don't recognize sister properties.

So if we had to walk 500 people from one property to another, the system can't recognize that and adjust accordingly.

We mainly use Excel and SAS. Analysts stay with properties for a long time then learn how a hotel books. We have a lower end hotel on the strip that will have 50% occupancy then over night be at 110%.


Q:

So if we had to walk 500 people from one property to another

Interesting! What do you mean by "Walk"?

A:

A walk is when we 'walk' someone to another property.

We book our hotels OVER 100% occupancy because we expect a 10% no-show rate. However, sometimes that 10% shows up. So we have to find available rooms for them at another property. We give them their room at the other property free and offer a generous F&B credit. We pay for the taxi ride and bellmen to deliver their luggage.

We don't want to cut off our booking at 100% even, because then we will have rooms go without anyone in them!


Q:

Oh gotcha, just what you do with the overbookings. I'm surprised the RM systems can't deal with that to be honest.

A:

Hotels, especially Vegas hotels, are so far behind in technology it's embarrassing. The industry is very afraid of change and resists it a lot.


Q:

I worked in marketing for a luxury 1,200-room hotel in San Francisco. This was a long time ago with RM was just coming into vogue. I know that we used to have a way to check the no-show history on specific conventions and then book accordingly. Also, I know that 24 hours in advance, all reservation/revenue decisions passed from the reservations manager to the front office manager.

A:

This is still true in Vegas.

The day of, all that power is passed to the property team. RM has control over everything the next day and beyond.

We check our no-show time series data as well, but with how many large conventions Vegas has, it's so hard forecast. Our conventions sales team is very good at locking them down though.


Q:

"Walk" is when the hotel overbooks and even though you have a reservation they don't have a room, so they make accommodations for you at another hotel.

Walking 500 guests sounds miserable.

A:

Well, it was really 500 per day. We have a large convention and had to walk 1,500 people over 3 days.


Q:

What hotel would you suggest for someone who's never been to Vegas and on a budget? My friends just got back from Vegas yesterday and I always wanted to go. Also, what attractions would you suggest and see(unless its absolutely must see?)

A:

If you're on that much of a budget, look at staying downtown! Downtown has some really awesome hotels - The D is my favorite.

On strip, just remember, you are getting what you pay for. If you book the $20 room at Circus Circus, know you'll be in the detached motel rooms and have a terrible time. If you can pony up and stay at a place like New York-New York or Planet Hollywood, your experience will be much better.

I highly suggest Absinthe at Caesars Palace! It's my all time favorite show. I'd see it over and over again.


Q:

What about near the strip but still near the places you wanna go?

A:

You should check out Wyndham Grand Desert. It's off strip, no resort fee, and offers a free shuttle. Their two bedroom suites usually go for $150/nt - which on strip would be upwards of $300+.


Q:

workers in Vegas seem to have gotten nicer in recent years. is this because of Yelp?

A:

Maybe a little.

People are coming to Vegas nowadays to have an experience. They want the Vegas Experience, not to spend all day gambling.

So these major hotels realize, "Oh Shit - this guest will never come back because of how X talked to them." The personal interactions are becoming more important than ever to get an edge over the competition.

Also, I think after the 2008 crash, which hit Vegas EXTREMELY hard, people realized you guys are the ones keeping us employed. By you spending your vacation here, you're supporting me, my family, my coworkers, and our economy. We want you to come back again and have an amazing experience.


Q:

Did you or any of the staff get paid off to tell the paparazzi that there was a celebrity at the hotel?

A:

Honestly, we really don't give two shits. This is Vegas. There are famous people here all the time and very frequently. It isn't worth releasing private information and losing your job for $100.


Q:

What's the deal with getting discounted show tickets?

A:

....I work in hotel side. Sometimes we do package deals with room and show - those will be coming up soon since it's the 'slow season'. Keep an eye on hotels social media pages!


Q:

Is there any way at all to have the resort fees waived or at least discounted?

A:

The only for sure way I know of is to be a casino player. Once you reach a certain level of loss or win, your resort fee will be waived.


Q:

How exactly does the comp system work? I'm going soon and about to drop a couple thousand and want to get as much mileage out of that as possible.

A:

For the casino to comp you a night, it is all based off your play.

My advice is this: - Enroll in the players card. - Gamble your ass off at ONE location. And gamble where you want to stay. - After you're done, find the host office or host on duty and see if they can comp a night. Your night will be comp'd at the end of your stay.

Slot players are much more likely to get comps than table players. Tables have much higher odds for the player and casinos don't normally make money off them, therefore, it is much harder to get comps as a table player. Keep in mind, if you only bring $2K and lose it, it's laughable at places like ARIA or The Cosmopolitan.

Comps work based around 2 numbers: Theoretical and actual.

Actual = The Actual amount of money you lost/won.

Theoretical = The theoretical amount of money you should have lost.

So you play a $0.25 slot with $10,000, we know you should lose X amount of $ in X amount of time. But if you don't, your theo builds and builds.

UNLV Gaming says it well too:

Many casinos set comp (complimentary) policies by giving the player back a set percentage of their earning potential. Although comp and rebate policies based on theoretical loss are the most popular, rebates on actual losses and dead chip programs are also used in some casinos. Some programs involve a mix of systems.


Q:

Why were there so many cheap rooms available for thanksgiving day when I was shopping around for this year?

A:

Thanksgiving week is just a really, really dead time for the city every year. There are no conventions in town and people want to be home with their family. Same goes for Christmas day/week.

On those dates, hotel rooms may only make $7/night profit. That's how low are rates are.


Q:

Do you know what the deal is with "resort fees"? It seems like it should just be included in the price of the room if it has to be paid regardless of whether you will use any of the resort facilities. Do people get mad about this a lot? Why does it even exist? Thanks! (Edited after seeing a similar question here).

A:

See this question I had in r/Vegas:

https://www.reddit.com/r/vegas/comments/3tuihc/ama_i_set_the_hotel_room_rates_for_the_las_vegas/cx9bipx

Resort Fees will never, ever be going away. Sorry. As a consumer, I hate them. But as a revenue management guy, they're hard not to like. Resort Fees are hard to explain, but I'll do my best: We pay a commission to OTAs for every room night booked. Normally around 15%. So when you book on Expedia 2 nights at $100/nt, the OTA gets $30. With resort fees, that is our money. OTAs don't get any of that. So we get an extra $30/nt from you. Resort fees are also important on placement on OTA websites. Most (if not all) users sort by price. MGM Grand can have a $60 showing, Planet Hollywood will be $65 - most will go with MGM Grand. However, MGM Grand has a $30 Resort Fee and PH has $25 - so they're the same price. But MGM Grand just took a ton of bookings from PH for a simple $5 difference. VegasTripping.com has a great image and article explaining it: http://www.vegastripping.com/news/blog/5094/pencil-the-golden-gate-and-the-d-add-resort-fees/


Q:

I understand the need for a resort fee when booking through an OTA. But if I book direct through the property's web site I still get charged a resort fee? What gives?

A:

That's the placement in the market too! A lot of people use Kayak to find their hotel, then book through the hotel website (which I highly suggest).

It's also contracts. We have to have the same rates and inclusions on our website as is available to OTAs. Even if it's something simple as a 'view upgrade'. That's added value. That's why when you enroll in the players card we can give you exclusive rates - because a players card is considered a 'private club' even though it's free to enroll.


Q:

My main job was to set the hotel room rates at these properties to ensure we maximized revenues.

Were you maximizing revenue, or maximizing profit?

A:

Revenue, mainly RevPAR or Revenue per Available Room.

The cost of a room is pretty standard and doesn't fluctuate too much. A standard deluxe room at a luxury property costs about $32-$36 per night - occupied or not.


Q:

Interesting.

If I understand correctly, you set rates as if:

• the marginal cost of another person staying is zero

• the hotel's attached casino doesn't capture any additional profit from people staying in the hotel.

A:

Precisely. Think of the hotel and casino as two completely separate businesses under 1 roof.

The casino holds a block of rooms for their players and the casino pays the hotel for the use of those rooms based off a comp rate. So we say a standard room on weekday goes for $130 comp rate, the casino has to pay hotel $130/nt for every room occupied.


Q:

What's a good, nice hotel for a local for a weekend in Jan? Pondering treating someone to a vacation weekend and trying to sort out costs and such. Jan seems to be a big convention month.

A:

Yes it is! We have CES, the porn awards, and a 3 day weekend!

Have you tried anywhere downtown? I like The D or Golden Nugget.


Q:

You mentioned you had previous experience in the hotel industry through hotel maintenance/engineering work. Are there are any other qualifications that you have or that the industry requires to get this type of job? Given it's revenue management I would assume some type of finance experience may be required? Thanks for doing this AMA!

A:

Nope, I had no background in finance.

I do have a heavy passion for Las Vegas. I am a nerd about this city. I follow the industry very closely. I watch what other companies do and what mine does. I know the stupid random facts about this town that you never will. What I think landed me the job besides this, was an intense passion for Vegas.

I started as a lifeguard in the pool area so I got my guest interaction. I knew how to handle guests and intense situations. Engineering was more guest interaction and troubleshooting.


Q:

As a hospitality student pushing through internships and getting those cool hotel jobs soon, do you have any advice about getting into the hotel industry? There always seems to be tough competition, and getting your name through the application process is pretty intense itself.

A:

Yes, it's very, very tough to get in.

I got in because my hiring manager and I were talking on OkCupid (didn't know he was until after I interviewed), I had a friend already in the department, and I was talking to a high level executive on Grindr that helped get my app on the right desk.

So, get Grindr.


Q:

Well I don't know how my boyfriend would feel about that lol. But I appreciate the advice regardless.

I will work on networking then. Thanks.

A:

Network your ass off and don't be afraid to start at a lower entry level job. I started as a lifeguard, then engineer, then revenue. Just being able to get in and do your 6 months is all it takes.


Q:

I want to book a room at the monte carlo or mirage with the highest f&b credit within the next few months( between Jan to march), will there be a certain month I should hold out on from booking? Is booking from a player cards website the same as direct hotel?

A:

February is a really slow month, your rates will be cheapest then.

March is when Spring Break starts and Spring Break lasts March - April here. January is more a convention month with CES and the porn awards in town plus a 3 day weekend.


Q:

12 year NAB vet here. When traveling on expenses no fucks given. When trying to get there to see friends and hang out, fuck you ! 49 a night either side, 350 a night during. How do I fight this?

A:

(NAB is the National Association of Broadcasters and they have a huge convention every year, for those that don't know)

NAB isn't the only thing in town, there's also Spring Break happening. Plus this year the new arena will be having an event on every weekend in April - there is a huge demand for Vegas rooms. Unfortunately, that means rates go up. You may find some discounts out there, but many will be blacked out over NAB week.

Book early and keep checking to see if your rates drop. If they do, call the reservations line and ask for your rates to be adjusted down. If they won't adjust, cancel your room and rebook the same dates at the lower price!


Q:

When you say always book direct, does that mean to avoid using programs like Total Rewards, as well?

A:

Total Rewards is booking direct as it owned and operated by Caesars! Same with M life or Wynn Insider.


Q:

A friend of mine recently hooked me up with someone that works for MGM. He got me and 9 friends two suites in October at Mandalay for 3 nights and all we had to do was tip him $100 a person. Is this common practice that the hotel promotes for some purpose or could he have gotten in trouble for that? He assured us it was all legitimate, but I have my doubts. Had a great time regardless.

A:

It is not common practice, but it is common practice in this industry of the 'Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours'. So someone probably owed someone a favor. You probably went over a very slow weekend (every weekend in October is slow except the first).


Q:

I'm currently in AP Microeconomics in high school; how much of what I'm learning would actually benefit me if I were to do your job?

A:

Im an economics major! We do look at elasticity of demand pretty frequently, however, it isn't used in my everyday work.

As you advance with you'll learn about things like 'tourist trap'. Resort fees are part of that. I actually wrote most of my college papers on revenue management in hotels.

The fundamentals of economics is used every day, but formulas/actual lingo is not.

For example, I want my hotel to be booked with the highest amount of room rate with ALL rooms occupied. And using time series data and pacing, you will figure out if you need to adjust your room rate.