July 29, 2009
Las Vegas City Center.
Las Vegas faces a citywide surplus in room inventory, forcing hotels to loosen rate negotiations and policies and to pursue smaller meeting and incentive travel groups than they did previously, to make up for lost business.
“Hotels that never offered less than $300 a night are offering competitive rates at less than $200 a night,” said Scott Washburn, vice president of marketing and business development at Baskow and Associates. “Hotels have been so proactive and very understanding of the client. They have stepped up to the plate to make it easier.”
“The rates are so attractive that they’re attracting a different type of customer,” according to Francine McKanna, president of PRA Destination Management Las Vegas, who noted that as a result, meeting planners who usually book rooms in lower-end hotels can upgrade their bookings to a higher-end hotel.
The lower rates indicate the extent of the highly competitive environment that the city’s hotels find themselves in, as corporations have the upper hand in negotiations.
In the past, Las Vegas, a top U.S. meeting place, was a seller’s market, but now hotels have to be more aggressive and flexible to secure group business, said Mike Uhl, regional vice president at HelmsBriscoe in Las Vegas.
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