The big chains aren’t as explicit, but have designed their marketing and reservations systems to encourage shorter stays. At Caesars, comped guests, even huge gamblers, are typically limited to five nights per stay. In addition, the Total Rewards website prohibits booking back-to-back stays. At MGM Resorts' properties, you can usually get discounted room rates by booking two-, three-, or four-night stays. Promotions are rarely designed to incentivize stays beyond this length.
The message through these practices is clear: come and visit, but not for too long. Las Vegas resorts do so much to build customer loyalty and attract you to their hotels. From free rooms and show tickets to comped dinners and slot tournaments, they do everything and more to get feet in the door. With so much effort put into attracting guests, why would they want to give you the boot?
Unsurprisingly, the answer is the bottom line. With a fixed number of rooms available, hotels always have an eye on maximizing guest spending. Customers who budget for lengthy stays don’t bring in the same revenue per day as those in town for weekend blowouts. From the casino’s perspective, the ideal customer gets in, goes through their budget, and gets out quickly so that the room can be resold to a new guest with a new bankroll.
In the case of budget hotels, this can be especially important. It’s no secret that Las Vegas hotels gamble by subsidizing room prices. It’s a competitive game, designed to get you in the door by offering what looks like a cheap vacation. In most cases, the low room price is more than made up for through gambling, dining, and entertainment spending. This gamble on the part of the casino becomes dangerous, however, as the average length of a guest stay increases. When hotel guests cut back on their expenditures, the cost of the room begins to become a big deal.
In the case of comped rooms, guests with tight pockets can put resorts in the red if they don’t spend elsewhere. And, at budget destinations like El Cortez, it can be difficult to recoup the money lost on a discounted room. Some hotels offer rates so low that they can find themselves slipping out of the entertainment business and into the residential one. Such is likely the case at El Cortez. With weekday rates that are lower than those of most apartments, the hotel no doubt attracts attention from people looking for temporary housing. The seven-day maximum stay rule seems designed to discourage people from moving in. A Las Vegas hotel needs to be full of customers with open wallets, not budget-conscious residents, in order to thrive.
Three to four days is just about the right amount of time to maximize revenue. Two to three day weekend trips, packed with gambling, dining, and shows, make up the low end. Convention-goers, who have less time per day for spending, make up the high end. It’s just the way the casinos want it to be, and isn't likely to change soon. As a result, if you plan on visiting Las Vegas for more than five nights, you should plan ahead. Know that most hotels aren't looking for long-term guests and you will likely get the best rates by splitting your stay across properties with different owners.