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Dear Vdara: Get Real

By MikeE on Thursday, 29th September 2011 5:37pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 9


Taint scortching

Ahhh, so now you're offering comped limos, huh?

It's something we still get excited over: the dude at the bottom of the escalators with a sign holding your name as you descend to ground level at McCarran airport. It doesn't just mean a roomy ride to your hotel. It means your luggage is taken care of. It means you won't have to worry about waiting in line for a cab and then watching the driver throw a bitchfit as you tell him "no tunnel." And of course, it means stretching out after however many hours of being sardine'd in a plane only to arrive in style. In short, it's the best way to start a Vegas trip. And it appears that with a reservation of any suite a one-bedroom penthouse or above, you'll throw in this benefit roundtrip to and from the airport.

It's a desperate cry. You're hurting for occupancy, especially in the higher end, but does a benefit that runs about $110 pencil out enough to make you a more intriguing choice?

In short: no. A sampling of one of the deadest weeks in Vegas - the week before Thanksgiving - we find your one-bedroom penthouse for $375. By comparison, you can get a larger, freshly renovated one-bedroom penthouse at Mirage with limo transfers included for $319. Toss in - are you ready? - VIP check-in, a bottle of wine, a cheese platter, spa access, many more restaurants, many more bars, and a freakin' casino all at the base of the elevator, and you realize that you're going to have to be a lot more aggressive.

I get it. You're marketing to a niche: close to Bellagio, close to Aria, but a relaxing world away.

But not really. You see, you're not that close to Bellagio, not very convenient to Aria, and your looking-for-relaxation-with-a-touch-of-sin clientele are intercepted by Four Seasons, Mandarin, Wynncore Tower Suites, Aria Sky Suites, and even THEhotel.

You're like a really fancy timeshare property and the only person oblivious to your condo roots is you. So here's my suggestion: don't price by your "newness" or by your marketing machine (and it's really nothing more than marketing) advertising your *lack* of amenities as something appealing. Price according to the market.

That means $80 standard rooms, $300 penthouses (with limo still!), and apology line passes to all MGM property restaurants for being so inconvenient to everything.

Tagged: vdara   mirage   aria   bellagio   limousines   


Comments & Discussion:

Wow. Such anger.

OUCH!! Harsh words towards Vdara. I happen to love this place. NON-Smoking, quiet and a easy walk to game at Bellagio, Cosmo, Aria, PH, Monte Carlo. I can grab a quick drink at the lobby bar free of smoke and Ed Hardy douches. I do like the rooms and the large soaking tubs. There is no property that is perfect but I think Vdara stands on it's own with it's no smoke atmosphere and location. The Four Seasons and MO are beyond expensive. The Hotel is very nice but the Casino at Mandalay Bay does not have the swagger it used to and Aria is just to massive for my tastes. I do agree Vdara should keep it's eye on price checking it's competition and lose the worthless resort fee.

I disagree, but only hesitantly, because the other day I realized something: if you don't want to gamble, Bellagio's Spa Tower is the best fucking place on the Strip. You have the conservatory and fountains right there, you have the path out of Bellagio from the lobby to the shiny new restaurants and artsy allure of the Cosmopolitan. You have the tram right there for quick access to Monte Carlo and, once you waddle past some pornslappers, NYNY.

Bellagio Spa Tower is non-gambler greatness, and Vdara is right next to it, so it too really should be greatness, too. But there's just one tiny problem: that path connecting Vdara to Spa Tower closes around 10 PM or so for "security concerns." See, it's kinda dark, and any old idiot could bail out onto the roofs of Bellagio right nearby, and they don't want to invest in having to police it. Bellagio is a big attraction and going over to Vdara seems like a decent plan, but if you're a Vdara guest at Bellagio at dark you're going to have to tram to Crystals and wander all the way through Aria to get to the hotel that's just right over there.

If Vdara wants to be a serious player in the non-gambling market, they need to talk to the Bellagio people about making an actual air conditioned tunnel out of that damn thing. Or put an escalator from the tram platform into Vdara. Something.

Vdaara is a little too antiseptic for me.I went to a vendors Hospitality Suite last year for a couple of hours and when I left I could hardly wait to get back to a hotel/casino . I don't smoke or drink except on Vegas trips,thats when I enjoy exaggerated amounts of Canadian blended whiskies and nice cigars.Count me in for secondhand but I love the smell of a smokey casino.Thats just me.

Well said Mike. Vdara would be a standout hotel in pretty much any other city (you know, a city that Jim Murren actually likes), but in a town like Vegas that's built upon excitement and glamour, Vdara is just plain Vdepressing.

Vdara is nothing more than a booking trap for unsuspecting tourists and business visitors that don't really want to be in Vegas. If they realized there is no restaurant, the bar has very limited hours, and the walkway to Bellagio closes at night they would never stay there. They should specialize the property as an extended stay hotel or limit its use to overflow for Bellagio.

I agree, the free limo, doesn't pencil out compared to other offerings you can get with that perk and the other things they'll provide. I understand some like Vdara, but this isn't really about how nice the place is or isn't. It's about comparing it at a price point it wants to be at vs other places on the strip.

If you consider that Mirage is in the same corporate family and they can't even price Vdara correctly for the market, imagine what the competitors have.

Especially this is about driving people to Vdara, not for the ones that already prefer it there. I think there best bet would be to put some moving walkways in, do a full coverage on the open parts of the tunnel to Bellagio and handle it in a similar manner to Signature at MGM.

I heart bewbies.

When did the path to Bellagio begin closing at night!!?? I was there back in Feb for Superbowl weekend and it was open at around 1:30am. If that's the new policy I retract my previous post!

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