Las Vegas is known for many things – bright lights, big casinos and cheap hotels. In a city filled with larger-than-life experiences, the low room rates can seem almost unbelievable. If you’re wondering how Vegas hotels can afford to charge so little, read on to unlock the secrets behind Sin City’s hotel deals.

Here’s a quick answer: Vegas hotels are inexpensive because they utilize a ‘loss leader’ business strategy, offsetting low room prices by making big profits on casinos, restaurants, bars, shows and other amenities.

Vegas Makes Its Real Money Through Casinos and Amenities

When it comes to the economics behind the cheap hotel deals in Las Vegas, one key factor to consider is the city’s reliance on its casinos and amenities for generating revenue. While the hotels themselves may offer attractive rates to entice visitors, the real profits come from the casinos and the wide range of amenities they provide.

Casinos Provide the Bulk of Profits

The primary source of revenue for Las Vegas hotels is undoubtedly the casinos. These gambling establishments are the heart and soul of Sin City, attracting millions of visitors each year. The casinos offer a variety of games, from slots to poker to blackjack, providing endless entertainment options for guests.

The revenue generated by casinos is not only from the gambling itself but also from the various services they offer. For example, casinos often charge a percentage fee on each hand played at the poker tables, known as the “rake.”

Additionally, casinos earn money through the sale of food and beverages, hotel rooms, and other amenities.

According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, in 2020, the total revenue from casinos in the state of Nevada was approximately $7.9 billion. This staggering amount illustrates the significant role that casinos play in the overall economy of Las Vegas.

Restaurants, Bars, and Shows Also Big Revenue Drivers

While casinos may be the primary revenue generators, Las Vegas hotels also rely on their restaurants, bars, and shows to bring in additional profits. The city is renowned for its world-class dining options, ranging from celebrity chef-run establishments to buffet-style eateries.

Restaurants within the hotels often attract both hotel guests and visitors from outside, with a diverse range of cuisines to cater to various tastes and budgets. Similarly, bars and nightclubs in Las Vegas are known for their vibrant nightlife scene, drawing in crowds looking to enjoy a drink or dance the night away.

Entertainment is another significant revenue driver for Las Vegas hotels. The city is famous for its extravagant shows, ranging from Cirque du Soleil productions to musical performances by world-renowned artists.

These shows not only bring in ticket sales but also drive customers to stay in the hotels and indulge in other amenities.

It is worth mentioning that the competition among hotels in Las Vegas is fierce, leading to the need for attractive pricing strategies. By offering affordable hotel rates, hotels can entice guests to stay longer, spend more money in the casinos and amenities, and ultimately increase their overall revenue.

Cheap Rooms Get People in the Door

One of the main reasons why Vegas hotels are so cheap is because they use a loss leader pricing strategy. This means that they offer rooms at a low cost or even at a loss in order to attract customers to their hotels.

By offering affordable accommodations, hotels are able to entice people to book a room and stay at their property. Once guests are inside the hotel, they are more likely to spend money on other amenities such as restaurants, shows, and gambling.

Loss Leader Pricing Strategy

The loss leader pricing strategy is a common practice in the hospitality industry, especially in cities like Las Vegas. Hotels are willing to take a hit on room rates because they know that they can make up for it in other areas of their business.

The goal is to attract as many guests as possible by offering affordable rates, knowing that these guests will spend money on other services and activities during their stay. This strategy allows hotels to maximize their overall revenue, even if they are not making a profit on the room rates alone.

Ideal Way to Increase Gambling Revenue

Offering cheap rooms is also an ideal way for Vegas hotels to increase their gambling revenue. The logic behind this is simple: the longer guests stay in the hotel, the more likely they are to spend money in the casino.

By offering affordable accommodations, hotels can encourage guests to extend their stay and therefore, spend more time gambling. Additionally, the convenience of having a room in the same building as the casino makes it more likely for guests to participate in gambling activities.

According to a study conducted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, hotels on the Las Vegas Strip generated an estimated $6.5 billion in gaming revenue in 2019. This indicates that the loss leader pricing strategy, combined with the allure of the casinos, has proven to be a successful approach for Vegas hotels in increasing their overall revenue.

Oversupply of Hotel Rooms Keeps Prices Low

One of the main reasons why Vegas hotels are so cheap is due to the oversupply of hotel rooms in the city. This oversupply can be attributed to two main factors: the addition of too many new hotels in the 90s and 2000s, and the impact of the recession on room rates.

Vegas Added too Many New Hotels in the 90s and 2000s

During the 90s and early 2000s, Las Vegas experienced a boom in hotel construction. Many new hotels were built to accommodate the growing number of tourists flocking to the city. However, this rapid expansion led to an oversupply of hotel rooms, resulting in intense competition among hoteliers to fill their rooms.

As a result, hotels had to lower their prices to attract guests and maintain occupancy rates.

The oversupply of hotel rooms can still be seen today, as many of these new hotels are still in operation. While this may seem like a disadvantage for hotel owners, it works in favor of budget-conscious travelers looking for affordable accommodation options in Sin City.

Room Rates Fell During the Recession

Another factor that contributed to the low prices of Vegas hotels is the impact of the recession. During the economic downturn in the late 2000s, the travel industry took a hit, and Las Vegas was no exception.

As people tightened their belts and cut back on discretionary spending, hotel occupancy rates dropped significantly.

In an effort to attract guests and fill their rooms, hotels had to reduce their room rates. This downward pressure on prices continued even after the recession, as hotels found themselves in a highly competitive market with an oversupply of rooms.

As a result, travelers can now find great deals on hotel accommodations in Las Vegas.

It’s important to note that while Vegas hotels may be cheap in comparison to other destinations, it doesn’t mean they lack quality or amenities. Many of the hotels in Las Vegas offer luxurious accommodations, world-class entertainment, and a wide range of dining options.

So, travelers can enjoy a great vacation experience without breaking the bank.

For more information on the economics behind Vegas hotel deals, you can visit

Competition Forces Hotels to Offer Deals

One of the main reasons why Vegas hotels are so cheap is the fierce competition among the establishments in the city. With over 150,000 hotel rooms available, the market is saturated with options for visitors.

This high level of competition has led hotels to offer deals and promotions to attract guests and fill their rooms.

New Hotels Trying to Gain Market Share

As new hotels open in Las Vegas, they face the challenge of gaining market share and establishing themselves in a highly competitive industry. In order to attract customers away from more established hotels, these new establishments often offer discounted rates and special promotions.

This strategy allows them to entice guests to try out their services and experience their unique offerings.

For example, when the famous Resort World Las Vegas opened its doors in 2021, it launched with promotional rates to attract visitors and create buzz around its grand opening. These discounted rates provided an opportunity for budget-conscious travelers to experience a brand-new hotel at a more affordable price.

Established Hotels Match or Beat Competitors’ Rates

Not only do new hotels offer deals, but established hotels in Las Vegas also actively monitor their competitors’ rates and adjust their own prices accordingly. In a bid to stay competitive and maintain occupancy rates, established hotels often match or even beat the rates offered by their rivals.

This fierce price-matching strategy ensures that visitors have a wide range of options when it comes to choosing a hotel in Las Vegas. Whether they are looking for luxury accommodations or budget-friendly options, guests can take advantage of the competitive market and find great deals.

Some websites, such as or, provide a platform for travelers to compare hotel prices in Las Vegas and make informed decisions based on the best available deals.

When and Where to Find the Best Vegas Hotel Deals

Planning a trip to Las Vegas and looking to score the best hotel deals? Timing and location can play a crucial role in getting the most bang for your buck. Here are some tips on when and where to find the best Vegas hotel deals.

Midweek and Off-Season Discounts

If you’re flexible with your travel dates, consider visiting Las Vegas during the midweek or off-season periods. Weekends and holidays tend to be the busiest and most expensive times to visit, as demand is high.

By opting to stay midweek, such as from Monday to Thursday, you’ll have a better chance of finding discounted rates and special promotions. Additionally, visiting during the off-season, which typically falls between November and February, can also result in significant savings.

Downtown vs The Strip

When it comes to choosing a location for your Las Vegas stay, you’ll have two main options: downtown or the famous Las Vegas Strip. While both areas offer a variety of hotels, each has its own unique appeal and price range.

Downtown hotels generally tend to be more budget-friendly compared to those on the Strip. However, keep in mind that the Strip is where most of the iconic resorts and attractions are located.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, downtown Las Vegas offers a vibrant and lively atmosphere, with plenty of entertainment options and lower room rates. On the other hand, if you prefer the glitz and glamour of the Strip, you can still find reasonably priced accommodations by booking in advance or keeping an eye out for special promotions.

Third Party Booking Sites

When searching for the best Vegas hotel deals, don’t forget to explore third-party booking sites. These websites often offer discounted rates and exclusive deals that may not be available directly through the hotel’s website.

Popular third-party sites such as Expedia,, and can provide a wide range of options and allow you to compare prices across different hotels.

However, it’s important to do your research and read reviews before booking through a third-party site. While these platforms can offer great savings, make sure to check the cancellation policies and any additional fees that may apply.

It’s always a good idea to compare prices on both the hotel’s official website and third-party sites to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Remember, finding the best Vegas hotel deals requires a bit of planning and flexibility. By considering midweek and off-season discounts, choosing between downtown and the Strip, and exploring third-party booking sites, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a fabulous Las Vegas getaway without breaking the bank!


While nothing in Vegas comes free, the surprisingly low hotel rates are made possible largely because rooms are simply bait to attract gamblers. By luring guests with loss leader pricing, Vegas hotels can make their profits through on-site amenities like casinos, restaurants, bars and shows.

Oversupply and fierce competition have also driven down rates and will likely keep Vegas hotel prices affordable for years to come.

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