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July 22, 2014

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Holidays bring seasonal drop in Las Vegas room rates

Occupancy is higher than last year with slightly lower prices

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Justin M. Bowen / File photo

A view of the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas visitors will find some of the lowest room rates of the year around the Christmas holiday.

Travel Web sites are boasting low room rates for properties on and off the Strip for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with prices like $32 a night at Palace Station on Vegas.com, $34 at the Sahara on Expedia and $25 a night with a buy one night, get one night free deal at Hooters on Travelocity.

Room rates at some of Las Vegas’ more expensive resorts also are below average for a typical day with prices like $125 at Caesars Palace, $99 at Hard Rock and $79 at the Palms during the Christmas holiday.

Vegas.com Vice President of Marketing Bryan Allison said the average daily room rate of bookings from Dec. 21 to Dec. 25 is about $67, which is about $2 lower than the same time period last year.

“There are always really amazing room rates around this time of year because it’s so slow,” Allison said, adding that Christmas typically brings some of the year’s lowest rates to Las Vegas. (Vegas.com is owned by the Greenspun family and is a sister company of the Las Vegas Sun.)

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spokesman Jeremy Handel said Christmas is historically a weak period for visitor numbers.

“As we get on the other side of the Christmas holiday and approach New Year’s Eve, that is when it normally starts to pick up,” Handel said. “Since New Year’s Eve is on a Thursday this year, we expect Tuesday or Wednesday we’ll start seeing that influx.”

Though the Christmas holiday is a slower time for travelers to Las Vegas, hotel-casino companies said bookings are higher than last year.

“We’re just very slightly ahead of the hotel room booking pace compared to last year with room rates identical to or lower than last year,” MGM Mirage spokeswoman Yvette Monet said. “This holiday typically has a very short booking window, and we’re still very early into the window.”

MGM Mirage hotels have average daily room rates for Christmas Eve and Christmas as low as $41 at Circus Circus, $46 at Excalibur and $55 at the Luxor -- and as high as $209 at the Bellagio.

Harrah’s Entertainment spokeswoman Jacqueline Peterson said occupancy is expected to be up compared to Christmas 2008 across its Las Vegas properties, but room rates are slightly lower. Still, occupancy and room rates at Caesars Palace are higher than last year, Peterson said, a result of entertainment at the property.

Peterson said Harrah’s normally brings in special entertainment over the holidays. This year, Caesars is hosting Korean R&B singer Rain on Christmas Eve and Christmas, and Jerry Seinfeld the day after Christmas.

Rates on Christmas Day at Harrah’s properties range from $55 at Imperial Palace to $62 at Harrah's to $125 at Caesars Palace.

Peterson said it’s a different type of tourist who travels to Las Vegas during the holidays.

“I think you get a mix of people who do holidays away from home and maybe those who don’t celebrate Christmas and they come to Vegas instead,” Peterson said. “In the case of this year, for us, we’ll get a lot of Rain fans and Jerry Seinfeld fans.”

Allison said Vegas.com has seen a trend with international visitors traveling to Las Vegas during Christmas.

“They’ll come because of the deals and they know it’s a weekend when Americans aren’t really traveling,” he said.

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