A few months ago my friends and I were planning a trip to Las Vegas. Being in the Vacation Rental industry, I decided to float a crazy idea out there about where we should stay – in a vacation rental! The reaction from the group was consistent and discouraging, “Renting a house in Vegas? Not staying on The Strip? Blasphemy!”. I had inadvertently touched a nerve that exemplifies one of the industry’s major challenges – how do we educate people to understand that vacation rentals are a preferable option to hotels?
Armed with a bevy of insider facts and figures I diligently went to work at swaying the group. I found a few great housing options and explained the benefits.
My home for the weekend
Eight of us were going on the trip. For five nights we were looking at four hotel rooms at about $200/night on The Strip. Total cost = $4000.
The house I found was about $1500 for five nights. It contained ten separate beds across 6 bedrooms. Total cost = $1500.
Food & Beverage
My chosen house had a full kitchen and a 6-foot long grill out back. A quick trip to Costco on the first day and we’d be eating an assortment of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and late night snacks at the house. Compared to the Strip’s exorbitant food prices and $7+ drinks, this was another significant area for savings.
The reason we were going to Vegas in the first place was a reunion of sorts. We all went to college in Virginia together and have become scattered across the country over the last 10 years. Thus, it’s rare that we all get together and this trip was an opportunity for us to catch up. The rental house offered ample space for relaxation and entertainment. It included a beautiful pool, hot tub, pool table, poker table, big screen tv, and a patio with a gorgeous gazebo out back.
This was the final barrier to entry for everybody (self included). The house was about three miles off The Strip. However, we decided that the rest of the benefits outweighed the location, and we took the plunge. Having just returned from the trip, I can now safely say that the location was not as big of an issue as we thought. We rented a van for about $300, and it was only about an 8-minute drive to The Strip. When the occasional taxi was needed it was a reasonable $20 trip. The van even paid for itself with all the airport pickups and drop-offs that would have otherwise required taxis.
Ultimately, we ended up spending more time at the house than anywhere else and everybody felt it was their best trip to Vegas ever. Vegas can be a grind of long hours with minimal sleep, but the vacation house offers a much-needed respite from the indulgences of The Strip.
While heading to the airport on our last day, my friend said it best: “You know, in a year I’m not going to remember the hundred bucks I won or lost at the blackjack table. But I will never forget how much fun we had at that house.”