With Record-High Hotel Rates, Vegas Is a Bargain No More

Back in ancient times, when it was known as Sin City, Las Vegas was famous for its $19 hotel rooms and free all-you-can-eat prime rib dinners. Both literally and figuratively, that was a different century.

In this century, with the city’s cringe-worthy resort fees, niggling parking fees, and sky-high prices for shows, a Vegas trip is more likely to be a budget-buster.

Nevertheless, demand for Las Vegas travel remains strong. According to the latest report from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, average room rates reached an all-time high in January, at $150.21 per night. That figure does not include taxes, mandatory resort fees, which can be as high as $40 a night including taxes, or parking fees.

Other highlights of the report:

  • January visitors totaled 3.5 million
  • Hotel occupancy rates average 85.7% in January
  • Weekend occupancy rates were 92.6%
  • Gaming revenue for the month: $926 million

For budget-minded travelers, there is one bright spot in the report. The average daily hotel rate at downtown hotels was just $74.59, less than half the $163.72 rate at Strip hotels.

Reader Reality Check

When you think of Las Vegas, do you still view it as a bargain destination?

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on SmarterTravel.com, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.


  1. Jason Brandt Lewis says

    I’ve never viewed Las Vegas as a bargain. Then again, I’m not much of a gambler, either, so there are only two reasons for me — and, of course, I’m speaking solely for myself and my wife, and our own personal biases — to travel there. (Four, if you count connecting flights, but then I don’t leave the airport, so . . . . )

    First is to attend a conference. Second, Vegas is close enough to become a dining destination for us — usually while attending a conference, but not always. We’ve been known to go to Vegas just for a weekend of fine dining.

    There are still some bargains to be had, to be sure, but — yes — gone are the days of $19 hotels. Then again, would you really want to stay in one of those hotels to begin with?

  2. Garrett L. says

    I think despite the fact that a trip to Las Vegas is quite expensive for the average family budget , At least once in a lifetime worth visiting in this city.

  3. Kalboz says

    If there was no such a high demand, the rates won’t be that elevated – currently, it’s a sellers’ market!

    With smokers allowed to partake anywhere indoors or outdoors, we haven’t visited in ages!

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