Resort Casino Has Answer for Frustrated Las Vegas Strip Visitors

During the dark days of the covid pandemic, after Las Vegas had reopened, resort operators were basically giving rooms away. 

As casinos sat mostly empty and both Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Free Report and MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get Free Report opened only some of their properties, comps were pretty easy to come by. Even casual gamblers who were members of either company’s loyalty-rewards program got emails (and sometimes real mail) offering up free rooms. 

Back then, Caesars, MGM, Wynn Resorts (WYNN) – Get Free Report, and the other Strip operators simply needed to get people into its resorts so they could eat at their restaurants, gamble in the casinos, and use social medial to show people that Las Vegas was back and open for business.

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For about a year Las Vegas lacked the business travelers and international visitors who pushed Strip resorts to capacity. 

Now, while the business crowds may be smaller, Las Vegas has regained its status as a major destination.

Occupancy rates, especially during major events, have pushed very high, driving prices higher. Now, the only gamblers who get free rooms are the ones who gamble enough to deserve the perk, and everyone who pays for a room has generally been paying ever-higher prices.

That has led some tourists to cross off Las Vegas from their lists of affordable destinations. 

The Las Vegas Strip, however, isn’t the only part of the city with casinos, restaurants, and nightlife. You can find a slightly different Las Vegas downtown, in the Fremont Street area, where one resort casino operator has decided make a major play for people who think the Strip has gotten too expensive.

Fremont St. offers a more classic Las Vegas experience.

Image source: Getty Images

Fremont Street Resort Makes Visitors a Deal

Downtown Las Vegas, which most people think of as Fremont Street, generally offers what you might consider an old Vegas vibe. Every night offers an outdoor party with live music, DJs, street performers, and a laser show known as the Fremont Street Experience.

Except for the new Circa resort casino, most downtown properties are smaller and older than the ones on the Strip. In most cases, staying at a downtown resort (aside from Circa) is cheaper than in a comparable Strip property.

Now, one of those properties, Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino, is leaning into that pricing advantage with its new “Welcome Back to the Downtown Deal” program. It’s a series of deals across the property “aimed to bring back the nostalgia and value that Downtown Las Vegas offers,” the company said in a news release.

The hotel wants to offer both locals and tourists an alternative to the Strip hotels. In the past many downtown properties offered deals specifically aimed at locals who wanted to gamble but didn’t want to pay for parking on the Las Vegas Strip.

A spokesman for Downtown Grand shared a statement with TheStreet.  

Prices have gone crazy on the Las Vegas Strip. We’re introducing “Welcome Back to the Downtown Deal” to bring value back to downtown Las Vegas. We have the best gaming value in Las Vegas with $1 Blackjack and a bonus progressive reaching $30k for just $1 as well as $5 Craps, and Roulette. We’re also now offering “Joe’s Special,” a new secret menu item which includes a shot of whiskey and beer for only $3.50. And where else can guests enjoy a $2 hot dog and beer and FREE parking for gaming, dining, or hotel customers?

All Las Vegas Strip properties charge tourists for parking, while a few have free offers for Nevada residents. MGM and Caesars do offer free parking for people who earn high-level status in the loyalty programs. 

Most Strip properties no longer offer $5 blackjack, and finding $10 tables, especially on weekends, has become difficult. Fremont Street casinos have generally offered lower limits for table games, but $1 blackjack and $5 craps and roulette are rare.

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