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Hotel rates blossom as Electric Daisy Carnival arrives

Looking for a last-minute room for the weekend in Las Vegas? Be prepared for "no vacancy" signs or inflated rates.

Strip and off-Strip hotels are asking for, and receiving, premium rates this weekend, when industry experts say the city will be at occupancy. Hoteliers can thank the Electric Daisy Carnival, the International Esthetics Cosmetic and Spa Conference, and a spate of smaller events crowding the city this weekend, for the demand.

With respective estimated attendances of 345,000 and 32,000, Electric Daisy and the IECSC are drawing the biggest crowds, but notable events such as the Manny Pacquiao fight at MGM Grand and large company meetings will draw thousands more, adding to the mad dash for hotel rooms.

Room rates for hotels and motels citywide, as of midweek, were priced much higher than normal. Rate increases for the Strip hotels researched, when compared with an average weekend in June, were up between 9 percent and 95 percent.

Bally’s, for instance, is charging $169 compared with $101 for a run-of-the-mill Saturday. On the higher side, Aria is fetching $364 per night this weekend, compared with $264 another week, while Wynn is asking $594 instead of its average $449 rate.

Off-Strip, Super 8 Las Vegas is getting $165 compared with its $59 standard. And Alexis Park is charging $179 on Friday and Saturday. After the rush, the rate is $89 per night.

All hail the Electric Daisy.

"It’s going to be a great weekend for Las Vegas, and the community will benefit greatly from the many events and big crowds that will be here," said Jeremy Handel, spokesman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Last year, most suburban, Strip and off-Strip hotels in Las Vegas were at or near capacity during Electric Daisy, including those owned by MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. Also, most of rooms booked were at capacity, which is four people for a standard hotel room.

Caesars Entertainment spokesman Gary Thompson said the hotel group is expecting a "busy weekend, thanks in part to EDC and other events."

MGM Resorts is predicting the same.

"We do expect this weekend to be very solid. Reports are that all three shows for EDC are sold out, and this demand is on top of a solid Pacquiao fight, creating compression in the city. We expect all of the Strip properties to be at or near capacity, and we expect rates to be stronger than last year, particularly because we were able to forecast attendee demand. EDC has quickly become one of the largest and most successful summer events for Las Vegas, helping to kick off the summer travel season in excellent form," said Micah Richins, senior vice president of revenue management for MGM Resorts International.

Off-Strip properties, too, are expecting an influx of business from the special events.

As of Wednesday, Alexis Park was at 89 percent occupancy for the peak nights and 80 percent for Sunday, but the hotel is expecting a sellout with plenty of walk-ins on the event dates.

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at lcarroll@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4588.

A Hotels.com search performed on Tuesday afternoon produced these lowest average nightly rates for the weekend:
Bally’s $169
Circus Circus $154
Excalibur $172
Riviera $164
Aria $364
The Venetian $304
Wynn Las Vegas $594
Super 8 Las Vegas $165

A search for one week later yielded these rates:
Bally’s $101
Circus Circus $79
Excalibur $105
Riviera $101
Aria $264
The Venetian $279
Wynn Las Vegas $449
Super 8 Las Vegas $59

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