Consumer Reporter Tries To Bash Las Vegas… My Retort

A television consumer reporter from San Francisco evidently hasn’t been here in many years…   but then acts like he knows his stuff. Reference:
Vegas squeezing money for cheap rooms with expensive drinks

Remember when drinks at a casino bar were inexpensive, a buck or less? Those days are now just memories. $6 beers? If you are lucky. $10 cocktail? That is the new normal.

I responded on that blog, but don’t know if the post will be accepted or not. So… here is my response:

With all due respect, the days of the $1 drinks were pretty much gone when I moved here in 1993. (The Plaza downtown was a holdout on that until around 2000).

And… Casino Royale Las Vegas still has $1 bottled beer (varies) and $1 frozen margaritas 24/7 right there on the Las Vegas Strip.

Food and drink specials ABOUND downtown. Just walk around. Want a big pizza and pitcher of beer? $10 at Benny’s Bullpen in Binion’s Las Vegas. $1.99 still buys the huge shrimp cocktail at Golden Gate. $2 Heineken or Corona at Fremont Hotel. Too many more to list.

On top of that, you did not factor in inflation at all. You cite prices from 20 years ago and then are shocked that they have gone up! (Despite the room rates being at 1990 prices in many instances here in Las Vegas).

Plus, the savvy Vegas visitor doesn’t buy his liquid refreshment at the bar. Most hotel sundry shops have a full liquor section (cold beer, wine, hard liquor) and much more modest prices and no tip needed. Also, stores like 7-11, ABC, and other similar convenience stores on The Strip are great places to buy your bottled water, soft drinks, and beer and more realistic prices.

Per a drink costing you more at a video poker machine? Maybe not. If you play properly, you are only giving away (on average) about a nickel per play (at $1.25 a pull). It would take 80 plays to (once again on average) lose the $4.00. Note: Those are averages. Sometimes you may lose quickly. Other times you’ll be up and walk away a winner.

Look… if I vacationed in San Francisco, I’d have to pay the same drink prices you are citing at any decent bar. Oh… except that I’d still be paying through the NOSE for a hotel room. Look at what brand new hotels like Aria, Palazzo, and Encore are charging per night for some of the nicer rooms in the world. Then look at what a comparable hotel in San Francisco (or New York City or Miami) would cost. Not even close.

A Las Vegas vacation is still a bargain with no equal. If you are just not the kind of guy who enjoys Las Vegas, don’t come. Vacation somewhere else (and pay a lot more money)!

Ted Newkirk
Founder/Managing Editor
Access Vegas

16 thoughts on “Consumer Reporter Tries To Bash Las Vegas… My Retort”

  1. Here’s an example of a guy who may visit Vegas once every decade or so, and then believes he knows everything about the place. (In my book, a diet Coke drinker is the least likely Vegas expert imagineable, anyway. Just kidding, sort of.) If he just had to write something about Vegas, he should have read your newsletters, the way most of us who love it do. Thanks for your great retort!

  2. I would imagine that a reporter for a newspaper/magazine would do his/her homework before visiting a city that they are going to report on instead of going there uniformed, Las Vegas is a great town and as far as prices go that reporter did not explore the strip/downtown and just went to all the fancy hotels. Your answer to his charge was on the money. Love you newsletter and read it all the time. I will be in your fair city in 2 weeks.

  3. I am from Massachusetts and my wife and I realized we can vacation in Las Vegas for a week for less money, including airfare, than we could if we vacationed on Cape Cod. Las Vegas is a great place to relax and party, with great hotels, and a smorgasbord of attractions to choose from for entertainment.

  4. Ted, Bravo & Well Done response! And thank you for taking the time to respond to the hack job done by the television consumer reporter from San Francisco. The SF report clearly exemplifies the fact that just because someone has the title (consumer reporter) doesn’t mean he/she has the intellect or ability to process information & correctly correlate it. And what irony – a SF reporter – a city where everything has always been EXPENSIVE!

  5. Great response! You are right…people expect to pay the 1980’s prices for food and drink, while even in their OWN city, a “creative” martini averages $8 or more. I live in a suburb of Cleveland (want to move to Vegas) and a crappy hotel on the shores of Lake Erie near Cedar Point run over $250 night during summer weekdays and over $300 on weekends!! The Bellagio doesn’t even cost that much! They are insane! You were right on to call him out on his comments, especially when San Francisco is such an expensive city to visit. The nerve!! I was just there for my birthday the week of June 21 and we paid $500 each for a package on Southwest for 4 nights at the Mirage, air, a car AND a Cirque show! There is no way you can beat that…even on a cruise or an all-inclusive. We had fun, had a few drinks in the room, as we were gambling and also ate and drank at a few restaurants. Guess what, I came HOME with money…didn’t win at gambling, just watched what we spent and still had a good time. We didn’t cheat ourselves out of fun, we saw 2 other shows while we were there, ate, drank and enjoyed. I want to come back for Labor Day!!

  6. These people who keep bashing Las Vegas are driving me up the wall! This moron is just trying to make his overpriced city SF look good compared to LV which is stupid. I’am with you if you don’t like to have fun and pay a low price for rooms and food then stay home or go somewhere else. Keep up the good work Ted as we need someone to keep standing up for our favorite city.

  7. The reporter from SF should stay at Bill’s (formerly Barbary Coast). Center strip, clean (large) rooms with wide-screen TV, cheap drinks, and excellent free entertainment with Big Elvis. Look around and do your homework. There are bargains galore. Been coming to Vegas for over 20 years and I have NEVER won big, but have ALWAYS had GREAT vacation at bargain prices.

  8. That reporter did not do much investigating before or during his trip to Las Vegas. He went to the strip and did the usual uninformed touristy stuff. Las Vegas has all price range Casinos, resturants, bars, and intertainment.You can choose to go to and enjoy any of these. I visit Bellagio for the fountains and the floral displays, but I don’t go to the bars or resturants. I stay and eat elsewhere.I love my Vegas vacations! I feel I get more for my money.

  9. OK Ted, Now tell us what you really think! Just kidding. But in truth I like the way you take head on in answering an opposing view of an issue. No tip toeing through the tulips just the plain truthful response. The prices are based on what people are willing to pay and as long as there are people willing to pay $6 or more for a beer or an amount considered too much for whatever, the prices will be what the traffic will accept.
    I’m old enough to remember getting a coke for 10 cents from a vending machine. Compare that to what it cost today from a vending machine. Certainly allot more times price increase than beer at most Vegas bars. No attempt to defend the bars just pointing out that this is 2010 not 1960. One can find prices they disagree with on so many things but it’s all relative. Some things are a better bargain than others. As Ted says there are many alternatives for those who can’t or won’t pay a price they feel is too high.

  10. Vegas? Expensive? WTF? Let me tell you about our experience. We are a family of 4. One spring we sat down with our kids to discuss our annual family summer vacation. We were strapped for cash (as always) but we did the figures and gave the kids two options. “OK Kids. We have $500 to spend. Would you rather go to Disneyland for 1 day or go to Vegas for 5 days?” Yep, you guessed it. The kids voted for VEGAS. (Their mama didn’t raise any dummies..lol). Anyway, that was maybe 5 years ago and to this day it’s not even a question, we go to Vegas EVERY YEAR. It’s not to be missed. We’ve squeezed in a Disney trip in the off season here and there but VEGAS is a MUST for our family. You can’t get free rooms, free meals or free entertainment anywhere else. It’s not even an option. Not to mention, if dad has a little luck playing in the mornings while we’re at the pool? BONUS! Where else do you have the chance to come home (after 5 glorious days) with all your money still in your pocket? Vegas is a no brainer.

  11. Allow me to describe a typical scenario: You sit down at a bar in a relatively low priced casino, looking forward to quaffing down a cold Miller light after walking out of the 100 degree sun. The bartender shoves the inviting glassful in front of you and says “That’ll be six dollars”! “WTF” you want to say but you don’t even though you know you’ve been “screwed, blued and tatoo’d”. You add the obligatory dollar tip and the beer no longer tastes as satisfying.— Perhaps the ‘powers that be’ could enforce that all prices should be posted but you and I know that’s not gonna’ happen.What say you, Ted?

  12. I agree an expensive beer tastes a lot less satisfying. I have no shame about asking ahead of time “any beer specials” and/or how much is a (insert name of beer).

    But I usually just hit the gift shop where the beer is cold, cheaper, price is marked on it, and you can get a tall boy if so inclined.

  13. Fremont Street = inexpensive beer, inexpensive/free food inexpensive/free rooms and FREE entertainment..if you haven’t figured that out, you haven’t really been to Vegas or ….you like to part with your money….there are also great deals on the strip, you just have to know where to look and value your time spent researching and planning your trip in advance.

  14. This guy complaining about the drinks being expensive, he hasnt seen all of Vegas. I go to Vegas every year and enjoy it very much. If he doesnt like Vegas then he can go back where he came from and complain to others, just stay out of Vegas and leave it to the people who really enjoy it. Hes nothing but a stuffed shirt.

  15. my husband and i love vegas. we have been going for over 20 years. we travel from canada twice a year by air or we do the 32 hour drive. we look forward to this trip. we see great shows, eat lots of food and of course drink and gamble to dawn every day. we usually spend 7 to 10 days there. we have comp rooms, food and show tickets, but not for the whole trip. there are lots of free things to do and see(watershows,flower gardens)we enjoy each trip we take. would love to retire there.until a person visits vegas, they only think of the gambling, they have no idea the fun a person can have, and doesnot need to cost them alot of $$$$$keep up the great info issues ted, we look forward to reading them weekly. see you in the fall!!!

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