I’ve always wondered about how Las Vegas hotel room rates are set. I worked at a Marriott hotel when I was in college and learned that hotels operate on thin margins and must have high occupancy to survive. I’d love to know how hotels adjust their room rates to maximize their profit — a too low room rate will leave profit on the table, a too high room rate will turn customers to another hotel.
Anyway, I’m going to be speaking at the Interop Conference, May 2 – 6, 2016, in Las Vegas. See http://www.interop.com/. The event is at the Mandalay Bay hotel which is quite large. But Interop is the largest IT conference in the U.S. with well over 10,000 people so even the large Mandalay Bay Hotel (about 3,300 rooms) can’t accommodate all attendees.
At the end of February, I went to the Mandalay Bay Hotel Web site to book a room. I’ve been to many conferences at the Mandalay Bay and for most conferences a typical room rate is about $190 per night. I checked the rates for dates during the Interop conference in May and yikes — about $500 per night.
Because my company pays for my speaking, I feel obligated to get the least expensive room rate I can. So, why not stay at a nearby hotel? Well, the Mandalay Bay is at the far south end of The Strip. It’s connected to the Luxor Hotel which isn’t one of my favorites, which in turn is connected to the Excalibur Hotel, also not a favorite.
If you’ve ever been to Vegas, you know how far it is from one hotel to another — these hotels can be nearly a mile long from end to end. But still, I felt obligated to see if I could find a less expensive room rate. I checked hotels, working my way up The Strip. After Excalibur comes the MGM Grand, the Tropicana, and New York New York, all located on the corner of The Strip and Tropicana Avenue, just over a mile north of the Mandalay Bay convention center.
I got a chuckle when I checked the room rates at the New York New York hotel — $84,999.99 per night for a regular room! Obviously there was a glitch in the software system that sets room rates.
Anyway, I’d love to know how software systems at hotels, airlines, car rental agencies, and other businesses set their rates.