Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is There A 9/11 Room Rate Discount?

Here's this week's LVW column...

The price is … strange

Room rates take a curious plunge right around the anniversary of 9-11


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 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


V.S. said...

Why would your brain say no to 9/11 continuing to be a poor travel day? In a yield management system for rooms, I would have guessed that rates would be lower on 9/11.

Some people, especialy gamblers, are superstitious and fear another attack on the anniversary date.

I think I actually remember reading that H.S. has increased the threat level around 9/11 since '01. If so, many people who exercise extreme caution in their lives might be making somewhat of a reality based decision.

Some people would feel guilty indulging in pleasure travel on the anniversary of the day thousands died, and the world changed.

9/11 isn't Pearl Harbor yet or even close. Memories and fears don't dissipate in seven short years. If someone was 25 on 9/11, she is only 32 this year, not an aging senior with a fading memory. The day is still a current memory in our individual and collective consciousness and will be for at least another 10 years or so.

I'm surprised that you're surprised.

P.S. I'd travel on 9/11 to save a hundred bucks, but that's me.