I’m sure this Costco discount opportunity can be found in most locations, and it’s pretty simple. Pay $80 to get a $100 gift card for Vegas.com. This can be used for a variety of Las Vegas services, including air and hotel packages, hotel-only reservations, show tickets, and more. Vegas is incredibly expensive in my opinion for what you get. Where else do you pay $12 for a Bud Light or $180 for a show ticket (I would love to see “O” but have trouble convincing my wallet to open). The hotels are nice, but most are not worth the $150-300 they like to charge. Oh, wait, this is beginning to sound like New York… 😉
Although I would normally discourage booking hotels through a third party, there aren’t a lot of good hotel options on the strip if you want to collect or redeem points. Most of the properties are owned by Caesar’s Entertainment or MGM Resorts, although the Venetian and Palazzo are affiliates with InterContinental Hotels and Priority Club. While it’s one of the few casinos that accept PayPal, you can get credit with your casino players’ club, which might comp you for your hotel, but that isn’t something most people can or should take advantage of. I have never been able to sit at a table long enough to build up a bank of points. And, frankly, earning and redeeming travel points is a lot less risky than gambling. The casinos know the odds are in their favor.
So, given that there are a limited number of chain hotels and most are off-strip, you might as well book through Vegas.com if you can find a good deal. Similarly, you can wait for discounts on the day of and buy your show at Tix-4-Tonite, but if there is something you really want to see you should probably book in advance online. I don’t think you can actually book and pre-pay for a restaurant online (it seems to be reservations only) but if you could do that, I know there are lots of good meals to be had there. I would love to get 20% off at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon. Activities like Grand Canyon tours can also be booked at Vegas.com.
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Vegas Insider VIP card. In exchange for your email address, they’ll send you a list of coupons you can use during your visit. I wish they’d just lower their prices to begin with, but… this is Las Vegas!
We have a stay coming up at The Venetian booked on points when rooms were briefly half-off (only 25K Priority Club points per night!). Last time we stayed at The Mirage across the street, which was also nice, but frankly I enjoyed visiting The Venetian much more. I will probably find an excuse to head back to Bouchon, and Megan really wants to see a Cirque du Soleil show (never been). Mystere was the first one on the strip and one of the cheaper options–it’s also conveniently across the street at Treasure Island! I’ve been to Vegas often enough that roaming up and down the street no longer appeals to me, so anything close is good.
Any other advice? I am a big foodie and need some decent restaurant suggestions. I really want to do an Ethel M factory tour, which I keep passing on. I just need to pay up for the cab ride. I will probably also have to follow up on this NY Times article about top Vegas restaurant critics.