If only the people it was intended for would get the message. Unfortunately, James Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, has proven to be clueless when it comes to knowing who pays the bills at his company’s resorts. So when the message went out that CES is tired of the screw job Las Vegas resorts are giving the attendees of the annual mega-convention, it probably fell on deaf ears up in the ivory towers of MGM and Caesars.
On the opening day of the largest convention Las Vegas hosts, the people behind CES let it be known they don’t need Las Vegas and they don’t have to put up with the hotel’s price gouging the people who work, display and attend the convention. That other cities are now able and eager to host such a large event and are happy to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Including capping the hotel room rates, cutting fees, and surcharges. As well as offering free parking!
Although the article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal mentions this is happening at all the Las Vegas Strip hotels, MGM is the focus because they are the dominate player controlling almost 60% of all hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip and MGM is the leader when it comes to finding new ways to add more obscure charges to the guest’s hotel bill.
Virginia-based Consumer Technology Association, the people who put on the annual CES convention has no problem with the resorts making a profit from the show that fills the city, but they also understand that there is a limit to what people will pay to attend their show. Charging four or five times the daily room rate and adding more fees is unacceptable and will hurt attendance. As we have said all along with the new fees MGM and Caesars keep adding, there comes a time when you just say “enough” and start to find new places to play and stay. CES is at that point.
Jim Murren and his counterpart at Caesars are both life long Democrats and have that mentality that the money will always be there. I don’t think they really know where it comes from, but it’s always going to be there for them to have and they always want more. After all, it’s Vegas and EVERYONE wants to come to Vegas, no matter the cost. Well, maybe with the news from CES, that management mentality may finally be challenged with a serious sting to the pocketbook of the Las Vegas resorts. Unfortunately, that sting will also be felt by all the people who lost their jobs because of the greed.
Jim Murren was excited about losing middle-class hotels on the Strip like the Riviera in order to make more convention space that will attract more people who will have to pay more money to stay at his resorts properties with the idiotic idea that money is no object to convention attendees. It’s Vegas! To the bean counters, they look at it from a spreadsheet/ Business deduction point of view. It’s a business expense, so who cares what the charges are, right?
That mentality worked 20 years ago, but it’s a whole new convention game out there and other cities have beefed up their arsenal for going after the events Vegas used to be able to count on to keep this town moving. Cities like Chicago and Orlando are now willing and able to make deals for the shows by promoting cooperation between the hotels and the event centers. They are willing to be customer friendly, not just profit driven but willing to actually serve the guests interests as well.
When I moved here in 2001, there was no resort monopoly. You had resorts that worked to keep the business coming in the door. You had people in management who walked the floor and talked to the guests. Today you have bean counters in the Ivory Towers deathly afraid of ever having to come in contact with an actual guest. Just get them to empty their pockets at the front counter and everything is ok to them.
A sad state of affairs for such a fun town. I hope the message is heard where it needs to be heard and they work it out.