Monday, November 9, 2009

My $67.48 WSOP-Rio Vegas Adventure

Yesterday morning, having watched the World Series of Poker for 17 hours and stayed up all night, I had a hallucination driving home. It was 6 a.m. and I had a seven-mile straight-shot to get there, but there was a man standing on a traffic island who stepped off it. That's all he did and I wasn't near him, but the nightmare scenario went through my mind that I was beyond exhausted and could have killed him if I had been in that lane.

It was very scary, so I just decided to do the right thing and book a room for tonight at the Rio. The final two -- lumberjack Darvin Moon and 21-y/o college dropout Joey Cada -- will play until one of them had all the chips. Could go quickly, could take all night. Who's to know?

So I did something I've not had to do for quite a long time, I just booked a Vegas hotel room. And the thing that stunned me about doing so was there was no competition or variation of price.

Here's the Rio, Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia.

Kayak was the same, as was Hotels.Com. I have $50 in credit at Hotwire from a crap hotel we had in Boston, but I couldn't pick the Rio specifically with them and having to drive anywhere defeats the point.

And all things being equal I, of course, went with Hotels.Com given that they sponsor TheStripPodcast.Com with the special links on this site. But I was kind of amazed that there was no variation whatsoever. $60 plus tax. Period.

How is that possible? Can someone explain that?

Gotta go check in now and nap before the action. Follow it all on Twitter


Neverland Big Al said...

Steve, not sure if this is the correct way to get in touch ... met you at the Michael jackson event at the Palms in August. I worked for michael for 15 years. I will be in Vegas November 13-20 and wonder if we could meet for a short talk.

online casino said...

I did not chance to watch WSOP 2009 this time but I have watched few telecast in ESPN today.

Anonymous said...

its all contractual now. Expedia and can not undercut the property anymore most likely, they just serve as a channel and take a percentage of each booking (my guess about 18%) much like a travel agent would. It is a lot different than it was around 9/11 where the dot.coms would buy the inventory and resell it.

If you ask the hotels, and they answer honestly, they will tell you that they hate the dot com channels, they basically have to give 18% or so away on each room they sell through them, money they would get if they can convince people to book on their own site (and for the same price).

I'm sure it would be an interesting story, its an interesting relationship that has evolved.

Michael said...

I wish I could tell you why, but Vegas overall is very, very good and getting consistency from the rates across the board from the resellers. There has to be some incentive to do so as consistent as it is.

Some of the price matching by Harrahs may help a bit, find a lower price then our website and we'll give you that rate minus 25% off.

In addition to that Vegas hotels are maybe the biggest direct hotel marketers in the world, with a variety of deals available at any time to the direct public, I'd have to imagine that there's some type of consistency process that the hotels utilize in order to not cannibalize their own marketing.