I live in Ontario, Canada about 50 miles north of Detroit Michigan which is where we fly out of when going to Las Vegas.
My wife and I love going to Vegas, we try to make it at least 2 times a year. Our main problem now is the cost of airfare from the east. It has gone through the roof,and even if you get a cheap flight by the time you pay baggage costs it’s not cheap any more.
I can’t believe the casinos can’t get hooked up with an airline that would provide reasonable flights to Vegas from the east, if not maybe they should start to charter their own planes and go back to the old junket style deals they had years ago with the champagne flights.
Anything would be better than the price gouging going on today.
Wouldn’t know what percentage of Vegas traffic is from the east but I’m sure the numbers would warrant some thought to finding an affordable way for us too come to your great city. Spent the first week in March this year in Vegas but as of now we are looking at Atlantic City for our next trip this summer NOT VEGAS by any means but for $55.00 each it will have to do.
Years ago in the travel section of a U.S. newspaper, you’d read about free flights to Las Vegas. The only catch? You had to board with X amount of cash. Or sometimes pay it up front and you’d get casino chips at the specific casino running the junket (or variations of such).
The problems with doing that now are many:
1. The cost of flying is really high. (Jet fuel was cheap back them). So… you really would have to tank some money for the casino to even be able to offer you that junket. The minimum for you to get on and bring would be higher than people would be comfortable with. They’d just go ahead and book their own trips.
2. With so much to do and see here now, boarding a plane with X amount of cash doesn’t mean it is going to be gambled away. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip used to be few and far between back then, were smaller, and your host could see that you are tanking the money you brought on the plane with you (and keep you off of future trips if you didn’t play). Now what are they going to do? Track you with your players card and make you take the bus home if you don’t gamble?
3. Serious players are now tracked with their players card. The hotel knows exactly who to fly out here for free and depending on your level of play, they can take care of coach, first class or even send a private jet (or give you the equivalent in free play or other perks). So… they really still are flying people out. Just not the way they used to.
4. Three million people are coming here a month (equal to 2004 numbers). The gaming companies are hurting because of debt and bad decisions they made during the boom. Not from a lack of interest or lack of visitors. 2004 was a great year here for all involved.
5. The absolute fire sale prices on rooms (because way too many new rooms were built during the boom) literally makes airfare irrelevant. So you have to pay $400 to get here. Your room cost is about what you’d pay at a Motel 6 anywhere else for a name brand hotel in a good location here (and a nice room is completely free if you are good gambler).
Having said all of that, summer should be a beautiful time to visit Atlantic City. I wish you so much good luck that you can take the winnings and pay for the airfare to come visit our way soon!
CEO, Managing Editor