Updated July 31, 2020 - 10:57 am
Thinking outside of the box will be essential if Las Vegas is going to make it through the coronavirus pandemic.
Hometown Allegiant Travel Co. has come up with an idea that definitely is outside the box.
Allegiant Chief Marketing Officer Scott DeAngelo said Wednesday during the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call that it will roll out a new program in August that will attempt to boost business and leisure travel to Las Vegas while meetings and conventions are in a virus-driven hiatus.
The new Work From Vegas program is being pitched as “Fly, stay, work, play.” What Allegiant will ask consumers is, if you’re already working remotely from home, why not work from a fabulous Las Vegas resort suite instead so that you can enjoy its restaurants, nightlife, swimming pools and casino entertainment when you’re off the clock?
“What we’re hearing from some of our customers in our surveys is they’re bored after they have to work from home,” DeAngelo said in an interview. “So we thought about working with some of our existing resort partners about developing special packages so that people can fly here, check into the resort, telecommute in their normal workday and then be able to enjoy the amenities that are available to hotel guests.”
DeAngelo — the newest member of the LVCVA board of directors — said the idea was generated by a recent spike in bookings of flight and hotel packages. About 5 percent of Allegiant’s bookings are with passengers that are combining leisure and business trips. He said the packages fit right in the wheelhouse of some of Allegiant’s millennial customers who aren’t fearing flying.
DeAngelo said Allegiant would start making a push to sell the new packages with all of its resort partners this week, and in late August make some announcements about working with one specific partner going forward. He wouldn’t name that partner.
Some of the suites in Las Vegas resorts are equipped for business with large conference tables and desks.
DeAngelo said initially Allegiant would book Work From Vegas packages from any of the airline’s nonstop destinations to Las Vegas — and there are 58 cities on that list.
Future efforts will focus on cities with young professional communities, including Oakland, California; Cincinnati; Indianapolis; Rockford, Illinois, near Chicago; and Phoenix.
“We’re looking at cities with big populations of professional workers, many of whom have the ability to pick up and go and work somewhere else,” he said. “And many families may do it, too, because there are many people out there who feel the pandemic has cheated them out of their vacations.”
Another advantage Las Vegas holds is that it is well-wired for internet connectivity.
“A lot of people are dying for a change in scenery,” DeAngelo said, “and some of them are getting away to the mountains but find out their cellphone service or internet aren’t as reliable. That isn’t a problem here.”
While Allegiant is often criticized for not having much flexibility in its booking process, the company is expecting travelers to flock to the value proposition offered by a flight-hotel package. Among the deals available on the Allegiant website are a package at the Flamingo for three midweek nights from Cincinnati for $227 round trip and four nights at the MGM Grand from Indianapolis for $340.
Will it work? It’s probably too early to tell. But it’s an outside-the-box idea that may help some tide over the business customer until conventions come back.