Las Vegas Little Black Book Blog
Getting the Best Hotel Rate Part 1 
11/30/08, 1:40 PM - True Vegas Advice


Before telling you the tactics of getting the best room rate, you must understand the structure of how casino hotels fill their rooms. First, you must understand "blocks".

There are five different segments or "blocks" of room inventory for hotel casinos....

FIT (Frequent Independent Traveler)

Also know as the transient segment, the FIT traveler books through the website and calling the reservation number; the FIT traveler usually pays the highest rate of the five segments, but not always.

Groups (Sales Groups and Conventions)

A company will have a contract with the hotel for a block of rooms at a discounted price. These contracts are usually done 1 year to 6 months in advance.

Casino (Casino Rate Players, Casino Comp Players & Casino Events)

Know as the casino block, rooms are dedicated to the casino hosts to put players into. The casino hosts may either comp the room or put a player in at a special lower "casino rate".

Direct Mail (Returning Hotel Guests and Casino Players)

The hotel mails out offers to people in the database to stay at the hotel at discounted rates. The level of discount is determined by the level of the casino player. Play more, get more discounts. Often the discounts are in the form of "add-ons", such as a $100 resort credit.

Wholesale (Travel Agents and Travel Websites)

There are two types of whole sale: Travel Agents and Travel Websites. Travel agents book through the travel agent system, in which they are booking at the same rate as FIT. Travel Websites contract a block of rooms in which the casino gives them at a set price. The travel website then charges what ever they can get for the rooms.

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So how do these segments work? How many rooms does each section get? How do you figure out which way to get the cheapest price? Knowing how the hotels use blocks and how they affect room rate will save you hundreds of dollars. Timing and knowledge are everything.

Part 2 Coming Tomorrow

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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Classic Vegas Mistake: Staying at a hotel this due to blown up in the next year 
10/10/08, 9:30 PM - Classic Vegas Mistakes

You might think it is a great deal, but you don't realize what you are getting yourself into. For example, you choose a place like Bourbon Street casino, because the rates are rock bottom because the property was bought by Harrah’s and it is going to be torn down in six months. Wrong. When a casino is set for demolition, the company is not going to put another dollar into maintaining anything in the hotel. So, the pressure in your shower head might be equal to that of a water fountain. On top of that, they leave only the bottom of the barrel employees there to run the place. So, don’t expect a wake up call because the receptionist just might still be nursing a hangover from the boilermakers last night at the local saloon.
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Classic Vegas Mistake: Trying to Pick-Up a "Working" Girl 
9/30/08, 4:17 AM - Classic Vegas Mistakes

It happens all the time. You are at a bar in Vegas. Suddenly, you make eye contact with an attractive blonde on the other side of the bar. She keeps looking at you. You muster up the courage to talk to her. She seems really interested in you. After about 30 minutes of talking to her, she lets you know that she "ain't free".

How to Spot a Working Girl:

Working girls tend to hang out at the casino center bars: Mirage Baccarat Bar, Bellagio Baccarat Bar, Mandalay Bay Island Lounge, Palms Center Bar, Hard Rock Center Bar, Treasure Island Breeze Bar, Caesar’s Cleopatra’s Barge, NYNY Big Apple Bar are some of the main spots where most of the girls after 11pm are of the working type.

Working girls usually don’t drink too much alcohol. They don’t want to get drunk because they work a long night. They probably are drinking cappuccinos or hot tea.

Working girls like to play video poker. It keeps them occupied between meeting men.

Working girls like to make eye contact with you. They will look at you across the bar and smile.

Working girls tend to work in pairs. They make friends with the other girls and chit chat with them while at the bar.

Working girls tend not to be in large groups. If you see a group of four girls or more, you can pretty much guarantee they are normal.

Working girls dress up in nice clothes. You won’t see one of these girls wearing a T-shirt that says “Vegas”.

In conclusion, if you stay away from center bars at night, you probably won't bump into one. Stick to the bars we talk about in the Las Vegas Little Black Book.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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Football Sundays in Vegas  
9/10/08, 7:01 AM - True Vegas Advice

On most Sundays in Vegas, people wake up late, nurse a hangover, check out of their room and then try to waste time until their flight leave. But from September through December, Sundays are entirely something different. Pro football takes over Vegas.

Yes, as you know, there are no games actually played in Vegas, but that does not matter. On Football Sundays, you can feel the energy around the casino. Betting on football is a passion in Las Vegas. Since Nevada is the only state in the country where you can legally bet on sports, Sundays mornings are a bit different on the Strip.

Ten Tips on Making the Most Out of Football Sundays

1) Games Start at 10 am and 1pm. Remember, you are on the West Coast and that means the first pro football games start at 10am. Many an East Coaster has waken up late and missed the first game.

2) Stick with the Basics. If you are new to sports wagering, don’t worry about the five-team parlay, futures, money lines, or even the over/under. Stick with basics – bet the point spreads. A point spread bet is not a bet on whether a team will win, but rather that a team will cover the point differential. For example, a “Broncos minus seven” bet would only win if the Broncos won by more than seven points. If the Broncos won by six points, then the bet would lose. Conversely, on a “Steelers plus seven” bet, the Steelers don’t have to win, they just can’t lose by more than seven points.

3) Make Your Bets Early. If possible, make all your Sunday
bets the night before. It gets real busy in the Sports Book on Sunday mornings and you will end up standing in a long line. Possibly not getting your bet in on time.

4) Bet in $11 increments. If you win, you get your $11 back plus $10. Any increment other than $11 and you will end up with change and look like you don’t know what you are doing.

5) Create Drama. Spread your money over four or five games so you have a bunch of action and drama going on at once. It is fun to have money riding and trying to keep up with multiple games simultaneously.

6) Only Bet on Televised Games. Yes, even though there may be 150 televisions in a sportsbook, there are plenty of games that aren’t televised. If you bet on these games you’ll miss being able to see your gambling dollars at work.

7) Bet Against New York. If you’re looking to place a bet, there are usually good odds against New York teams. There are so many Giants and Jets fans that are going to bet, no matter what the odds are, that the odds against the them usually pretty good because the sportsbook is looking to cover their bets and not lose their shirts if the New York team wins.

8) Ask for Drink Vouchers. When you are placing a bet, be sure to ask for drink vouchers from the agent. Casinos are clamping down on giving out comp drinks to non-players, so if you order a drink in the sportsbook and don’t have a drink voucher, the cocktail server will charge you.

9) Get on the Cocktail Waitress’s Good Side. This is very important at a sportsbook. If you get on the cocktail server’s good side, she will bring you drinks fast and possibly give you a couple extra drink vouchers. So, tip big. Your generosity will usually be reciprocated!

10) Get a Good Seat. A good seat in a sportsbook is usually hard to find, expect that 75 percent of them will have a “Reserved for Race Players” sign, which means they are-off limits to you. Look for seats that have a view that won’t be blocked by pedestrian traffic. If you can’t find a seat in the sportsbook, there are usually some good views at the adjacent bar.

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The VIP Only Entertainer 
9/6/08, 1:43 AM - True Vegas Advice

A new trend of exotic dancer is developing in Vegas. They don’t have an official name, so I am going to call them a “VIP Only Entertainer”. This is a dancer that thinks she is above giving $20 lap dances on the floor. She feels that $20 a dance is a waste of her time. They only do hour-long sessions at $400 in the VIP room.

Here is a normal conversation with one of them:

“Where do you work?”
“Olymipic Garden”
“Are you a cocktail server?”
“No”
“Are you a dancer?”
“No ”
“Then what do you do there?”
“I am a VIP entertainer, I only do dances by the hour, put I don’t like to dance, I just sit and talk to the guy."
“You’re a Stripper, but you don’t like to dance?”
“Don’t call me a Stripper, I am not a Stripper. I am a VIP entertainer.”
“Don’t the guys want to you to dance if they are paying you $400 a hour?”
“Maybe I’ll do one dance in a hour. I usually can talk the guy out of it.”

In summary, this new breed of “entertainer” almost refuses to dance for you. She knows that she already has you in the VIP room, and you will have to pay her. They get away with it because they are extremely hot, the “best of the best” when it comes to looks. They also are extremely engaging in conversation, and will keep talking to you at the beginning of each song, so you don’t get a chance to ask for a dance. If they finally do dance for you, they will say “wow, I need a break” after the first song and put their clothes back on. When you ask her for another dance, she will say in a rude way “jeez, I just put my clothes on”, and start back up the conversation.

I think you get the idea. Us guys need to stick together and not go into the VIP room with this type of girl. If a girl says, “I don’t do dances on the floor, only in VIP”, then you know what you are dealing with. We can nip this in the bud and squash this growing trend.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.
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Don’t Walk the Strip in Shorts and Sandals in the Afternoon 
9/3/08, 11:37 PM - True Vegas Advice

I know it is hot out there. More times than not, your group will find something to do and you will be stuck the night in shorts, forcing you to go all the way back to the hotel, before you do anything else.

If you are going to wear shorts, don’t get to far away from the hotel. I know you already have a plan to go back to the hotel, but you need to keep your options open, just in case something good happens, like meeting some fun girls.

You may say that the girls will meet up with you later, but don’t take that chance. When you find a group that you are having fun with, stick with them. And that means you need to be dressed for the night time during the day.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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Las Vegas Strip - One Way Street 
9/2/08, 4:07 AM
From Inside Business in the Las Vegas Review Journal:

"The simplest solution to traffic clogging the resort corridor would also have the biggest effect, experts say. Still, insiders say it's a "nonstarter." The idea is to turn the Strip into a one-way thoroughfare north. In return, Paradise Road or Swenson Street would become one-way in the other direction. Insiders say the problem is it would simply move congestion from one street to another. But look at Waikiki, where a similar traffic reconfiguration has worked for 15 years, and you might wonder. Operators complain that this move would turn one of the greatest pedestrian experiences in the world into a rush-hour race of traffic, but it's still the only way to significantly alleviate Strip gridlock."

While I am fairly sure that this won't happen, I am glad that there is some brainstorming on the problem. Whatever happens, there needs to be a major investment into the future of the Las Vegas Strip. It is not going to be simple.

Pedestrian Overpasses
I do know one thing that will help: more pedestrian overpasses. Not just over the streets, but over the entrances to the resorts. The Strip gets clogged down when cars can't turn because of the people walking the Strip. Take the Paris Resort for example, the whole right hand lane of the north bound Strip gets stuck because cars are waiting to turn right into the entrance. Get rid of ten of these problem areas on the Strip, and everything starts to move faster.


Click Here for the Story from the Las Vegas Review Journal
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Doubling Down on a Blackjack! 
8/28/08, 5:44 AM - True Vegas Advice

And you thought splitting tens was strange - now players are starting to Double Down when they have a Blackjack!

Granted, they only do it on a single deck game, where the blackjacks payout 6-to-5, and only when the dealer has a 5 or a 6 showing.

It started as a rumor to combat the -1.39% player disadvantage of a 6-to-5 blackjack. While there is no published math on the advantage or disadvantage to doing this, it is not a smart more to make. Take you winnings when you get blackjack.
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Late Checkout Rates 
8/26/08, 8:33 AM - True Vegas Advice

A new trend at Vegas resorts are published "late check out" rates. If you want to check out of your hotel at 6pm, instead of the normal 11am, it is now getting simpler.

For example, at the Stratosphere they market the following rates:

$20 extra charge for a 6pm check out Monday - Friday
$30 extra charge for a 6pm check out Saturday and Sunday.

This is a win-win for both the resort and the customer. The resort has a way to make some incremental money while the customer has the ability to keep their hotel room later. If you have a flight that leaves late in the day, it really is a pain to check out of your hotel, check your bags into the bell desk and wander around until your flight leaves.

A late check out changes the dynamic of your last day in Vegas, ask the hotel you are staying at if they do this.
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Classic Vegas Mistake: Leaving Chips Under the Lip of the Table Game  
7/21/08, 11:35 AM - Classic Vegas Mistakes

Every day in the casino, the management find chips and coins under the leather lip of table games. When people play, they keep all their chips pressed against the leather. Eventually, some get stuck between the leather and the felt.

If you think a chip is in there, the dealer has no problem with you lifting the leather lip up to find your money.

When the casinos find the money, it usually is too late, the player is long gone. The dealers end up taking it as tip.

I am not saying that people leave $100 chips in there, but if all I did was go around Vegas and collect money from the lips of table games, I would be a very rich man.

Keep you stacks of chips organized and make sure to double check that there are no chips stuck.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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