Here's this week's LVW column...
The price is … strange
Room rates take a curious plunge right around the anniversary of 9-11
By STEVE FRIESS
I am not one of those 9-11 conspiracy nuts. I have an eccentric British pal who does believe that George W. Bush, despite his incompetence at ordering in lunch, was behind the most horrific events of our time. This friend is constantly forwarding e-mails asserting that the Baltimore family behind Vegas casino implosions actually imploded the World Trade Center and made it look to the stupid people of the world as if some “hijacked” airplanes caused their fall.
I reject all this, so I’m sane, right?
Well, maybe. But I won’t hold it against you if you wonder about me after I tell you this:
I am a 9-11 Vegas-hotel-discount conspiracy nut.
Stay with me for a moment. Something weird is going on around here.
About a week ago, for reasons I can’t even recall, I took a look at room rates in September at the MGM Grand. I was surprised to notice that in the week of September 7, the resort’s rates fell to their lowest level of the entire month—$100 a night—on that Thursday. That Thursday is the seventh anniversary of the terror attacks. Every other Thursday that month, the rates were the highest of the Monday to Thursday rates. During that particular, auspicious week, the rates fall dramatically.
Odd, thought I. Could it really be that, lo these many years later, there’s still some residual impact on occupancy because people prefer not to travel or recreate on that date?
My brain said no, but my heart said yes, so the next thing I knew, I was obsessively scanning hotels.com to see if other resorts on the Strip saw similar dips on 9/11/08. Here is the list of resorts that see unusual room-rate drops on that Thursday: Luxor, Bally’s, Harrah’s, Bellagio, New York-New York, Treasure Island, Paris, The Mirage, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas Hilton, Golden Nugget, the Rio, Hard Rock, Wynn and Trump. There may be more.
The Mandalay Bay and Hard Rock were particularly startling. At Mandalay Bay, the room rate is $210 Sunday through Wednesday, then $120 on Thursday, a $90 drop. At the Hard Rock, the rates are $299 Monday through Wednesday and $109 on Thursday. That’s a $190 decrease! The Wynn is also kind of odd: The rate all that week and the week after is $499 per night except on September 11, when it’s $399.
Read the rest HERE