Posted on: December 14, 2020, 02:04h.
Last updated on: December 14, 2020, 02:51h.
Visitors to Southern Nevada can get a lower room rate on the Las Vegas Strip by booking through Airbnb or other short-term rental sites, according to a published report. These bookings avoid unpopular resort fees that increase the cost of posted hotel room rates.
An analysis by the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows that some room rates on the Strip and nearby tourist areas are much lower when booked through rental sites such as Airbnb and Vrbo.
For instance, a room at the Jockey Club is $299 when booked through the hotel but only $79 through Airbnb. The Jockey Club is on the west side of the Strip at the base of the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Both are next door to the Bellagio and across the street from the Planet Hollywood and Paris hotel-casinos.
Other rates also are low when booked through rental sites. Rooms at Vdara, also on the west side of the Strip, normally are $185, but are only $92 through Airbnb.
A couple of decades ago, condos were popular properties at resorts on the Strip. This trend began to lose steam in an economic slump during the early 2000s, the newspaper reported.
But people still own condos inside some resorts. To this day, 148 of 1,495 units at Vdara are privately held. Renting them out is legal if the owner has a Clark County business license and pays taxes, according to the newspaper.
One noted aspect of Airbnb rentals is that resort fees are not tacked on, the newspaper reported. Resort fees at some properties are $40 or more each night. Even with cleaning and service fees at Airbnb rooms, the rates often still are lower.
One Airbnb ad listing a 540-square-foot suite at Vdara notes the room has a kitchen, king-sized bed, and living room, the newspaper reported. The hotel’s pool, fitness center, and other amenities are available to those who rent the suite.
“This is my personal condo that I live in when I’m in Vegas, but it has the feel of a hotel room,” the ad reads.
Since the onset of the coronavirus in March, resorts have been struggling to fill hotel rooms. Some properties on the Strip, including the Mandalay Bay, Park MGM, and Mirage are accepting room reservations only on weekends. The gaming areas and other amenities remain open. These properties are on the west side of the resort corridor.
On the east side of the Strip, the Palazzo at the Venetian Resort has closed its hotel tower until consumer demand increases. Gaming areas are open at the resort.
Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, also on the east side of the Strip, is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because of low demand. This includes the hotel tower and gaming areas. Other properties have lowered their room rates going into holiday periods, such as Thanksgiving, in an effort to attract customers.
Some executives in the gaming industry are concerned that the short-term rentals are cutting into room-reservation business that normally would go to the resorts. In 2018, the hotel-casinos on the Strip lost an estimated $150 million or more to rentals through Airbnb, according to the Review-Journal.
The Nevada Resort Association, the lobbying arm for the casino industry, is keeping an eye on the short-term rental trend.
“Overall, strong enforcement measures are critical to effective regulations, as is an equitable playing field that regulates and taxes these properties similarly to other highly regulated public accommodation facilities,” said the association’s president, Virginia Valentine.