Sunday, December 9, 2007
And, if you make your reservations DIRECTLY through the slot clubs or VIP, you have a better chance of getting your room comped...another word for complimentary which is free or a dramatically reduced rate. If you buy through another source, like Travelocity or your airline or through a package plan, you aren't going to get comped because you've already paid for your room.
Heres the phone numbers you need to contact the slot clubs to make reservations or to request a slot host. If the phone goes to the general hotel operator and not directly to the slot club, ask to be transferred to the slot club or a slot host.
MGM Grand Las Vegas 1-800-929-9410
Mandalay Bay 1-877-632-7500
The Mirage 1-800-777-6533
Treasure Island 1-800-944-3777
Monte Carlo 1-800-822-8276
New York New York 1-888-469-6958
For all Harrah's group casinos: Use this number 1-800-4-REWARD or use the direct numbers below:
Bally's (877) 603-4390
Caesars (866) 227-5938
Flamingo (888) 902-9929
Imperial Palace (800) 634-6441
Paris (877) 603-4386
Harrah's (800) 214-9110
Rio (866) 746-7671
Bill's Gambling Hall (formerly the Barbary Coast)(866) 245-5745
The Venetian (877) 314-1500
Wynn's (888) 320-7123
Planet Hollywood (formerly the Aladdin) 866-919-7472
The Riviera 1-800-637-5687
The Stratosphere & Arizona Charlie's 1-800-998-6937
Tropicana 1-800-826-8767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Circus Circus 800-634-3450
Golden Nugget: 702-385-7111 or 800-846-5336
Golden Gate 800-426-1906
Plaza 800-634-6575 or email email@example.com
Four Queens 800-634-6045
Main Street Station 800-634-6045
The Vegas Club 800-634-6532
El Cortez (800) 634-6703
California Hotel 1-800-634-6505
Gold Spike 877-467-7453
The Palms 1-866-725-6773
Hard Rock Hotel 800-693-7625
Hooter's hosts: Faye Able 702-597-6032; Mauricio Velasco 702-597-6064; Brandon Manill 702-597-6047
Gold Coast 800-331-5334
The Orleans 800-675-3267
Terrible's Hotel & Casino (yup, its a real place) 800-640-9777
Sam's Town 800-634-6371
Nevada Palace 800-634-6283
Arizona Charlie's East on Boulder Hwy. 800-362-4040
JW Marriot Rampart Casino 877-869-8777
The Cannery 866-999-4899
Ritz-Carlton / Casino MonteLago 800-241-3333
Boulder Station 800-683-7777
Texas Station 800-654-8888
Palace Station (ask for a tour of the OJ room) 800-631-3101
Santa Fe Station 800-767-7711
Sunset Station 888-786-7389
Green Valley Ranch (one of my favorites!) 866-782-9487
Red Rock Station (another favorite) 866-767-7773
Fiesta Henderson 888-899-7770
Fiesta Rancho 888-899-7770
I always rent a car in Las Vegas. Driving in Las Vegas is not that difficult as long as you can ignore the cabbies, the boom boxes, the gawking tourists and you can deal with the thousands of people walking on the strip. If I can do it, you can do it. Las Vegas isn't that hard to navigate and there are parallel roads to the strip, like Paradise that can help you avoid the congestion on the strip.
Renting a car has its benefits. I like to travel around the city and I love driving out to Henderson to the Station Casino's. A taxi will cost a bundle back and forth to the strip. If you are planning to see Red Rock Canyon, rent a car.
All the hotels and even the Fashion Show mall have free valet parking. Just tip your valet. And if you are planning an evening of drinking, get a taxi.
I consider getting the best car at the lowest price hitting the lottery. Rental cars in Las Vegas are not that expensive, its the taxes added on at the end that are budget busters.
Here's how I always score a good price. Check out sites like Cheap Rental Cars at Kayak, Orbitz Car Rentals Tab or Travelocity to get an idea of car prices when you'll be in town. Expect prices to fluctuate if a big convention is in town. Prices change all the time, so keep at it.
has rental desks in all the MGM properties: The Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, NY NY, Bellagio, MGM, Mirage and Treasure Island. If you want to rent a car for the day, this is the way to go. Daily prices may be higher than at the airport, but renting off premises will have lower taxes since you won't have to pay the airport taxes.
Once you've found the lowest rates for your trip, check the rental car site directly to see if it is really the lowest rate. Sometimes the lowest rate is on their web site.
Now here is the fun part: Go to Bjs.com or Samsclub and print out the coupons for car rental discounts. Don't book directly through their sites, because you will have to show that you are actually a member when you pick up your car. Use the discount code when you book and you'll get a corporate discount. Plus, you can use an additional coupon you've printed for an upgrade, a free day or a dollar amount off the rental. I've never had anyone ask me for a membership card to either warehouse club, only the printed coupon. Input the coupon number to see if they will accept the coupon. Most times they will and you end up with a DOUBLE discount! Woo Hoo!! The exception is Thrifty's Wild rate, you don't get to use a coupon, but they'll accept the corporate discount.
Last week I scored a Chrysler Pacifica for $116.32 including all taxes from the airport for an entire week. Now that's a real deal. Cha Ching!!
This is really important: Before you leave home, check with your car insurance or your credit card to find out about rental car coverage. Some credit cards include it in your card agreement. If you have complete coverage, you won't have to buy the additional rental insurance that the agents will insist you purchase with the car rental. There is no reason to pay twice if you are covered. If you aren't covered, buy the insurance.
The agents are trained for a hard sell. The last agent I used was a master at selling. He lowered his eyes, he muttered under his breath about how car damage would bankrupt me and he wouldn't want to be in my shoes if there was an accident. It didn't work on me, I KNOW I'm covered. Check BEFORE you leave home.
Las Vegas is a city that runs on tips. Once you hit the ground in Las Vegas, you start tipping. Love it or hate it, that's the way it works. Since its the best way to get good service, and these are real hardworking people, you tip for service. Most of the people giving you service depend on your tips to make a decent living. They have families, just like you. If you get good service, tip the person.
Here's my TIP: Get $20 in one dollar bills before you leave home and you'll be ready for any situation.
The proper amount to tips: Bartenders or cocktail waitresses, $1.00 per round for one or two people. If you want your cocktail waitress to keep coming back regularly, tip more and they'll come around and even beat on your machine for good luck.
Bellmen: One or two dollars per bag. Tip more if they are really heavy or give you extra special treatment.
Taxi drivers: Minimum of $2.00 or 15% whichever is more. Tip more if its a longer route or they give you information pn good restaurants or directions.
Change people or Keno runners: A dollar or more, tip more if you get a jackpot and they spend time paying you off.
Valets: A dollar or two each time you park or pick up your car. If you want up front service, tip a LOT more and you'll get special handling.
Limo drivers: $5.00 minimum.
Hotel maids: A few dollars a night to clean up your mess. I tip every day so the person doing the work gets the tip. If you request extra shampoo or soap, put the request on the bathroom sink with a couple of dollars and you'll find a lot of extra products. The maid can also be your best source of information about the hotel. I was staying at the Bellagio with one of my employees for a convention. I was in the casino, she was napping. The maid gave her a tour of a high roller suite and gossip on the celebs staying there. Turns out Brad Pitt was spotted there while they were filming Oceans. The maid told her that celebs use different entrances than we do and we'd never see him. We didn't. Wahhhhhhhh.
Room service: Sometimes it will be added to your bill. If not, 15 to 20% of the bill.
Housekeeping for extra service: If you request a refrigerator or extra pillows, tip a couple of dollars for their efforts.
Shuttle service to the rental car building: Since they will handle your bags for you and put them on and off the bus, I tip a dollar or two per bag.
Airport check in porters, curbside check in: $1.00 per bag will insure your bag gets on the right flight.
Restaurants: 15 to 20% of the bill. Large parties of 8 or more may have the gratuity added to the bill.
Buffets: Minimum of $1.00 per person to your waitress who brings you drinks and extra napkins.