Old Jul 28th, 2001, 03:35 AM
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we are staying in vegas early sept. at the alladin and i,ve read a lot about upgrades, is it really as simple as just asking for an upgrade (we're from england where its not really 'done') ? - plus seem lots of mentions of 'comps' can someone please explain? thanks a lot
Old Jul 28th, 2001, 08:07 AM
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There have been stories of upgrades just for the asking, but i've also heard that a $20 tactfully given to the check-in clerk will make the process easier. There are also some that claim that it doesn't work at all and felt ripped off since the clerk took the $20 and they didn't get an upgrade.

My opinion: It does work if "better" rooms are available and the hotel is not filled. However, you need to do some research first. You need to know what a "standard" room is, and what a "better" room is (don't expect the high-roller suite as your upgrade). To avoid the "no upgrade but i'm out $20 rip-off", know what you want before you check in. While checking in, i would ask if any upgrades are available (and/or the specific room type you want from the research you did) WHILE AT THE SAME TIME TAKING A $20 bill out of your wallet. HOWEVER, DON"T (repeat DON"T) give it to the clerk just yet!! If you're able to get an upgrade, then of course give it to the clerk, otherwise, as far as i'm concerned, the clerk is out of luck. Here's a link from a quick search i did at another site which discusses the believers and the non-believers:


As far as comps go... casinos know that you have choices on where to gamble, so in an attempt to earn loyalty, they will offer "comps" for people that gamble enough at their property. The way it works is based upon a formula for the game your playing. As an example, let's assume you're playing slots and the hotel knows it will, on average, keep 95% of every dollar put into a slot machine. So if you gamble at a slot machine at a rate of $100/hour, they know they will (again, on average) make $5/hour off of you. So if you gamble for 8 hours at that rate, the casino will make $40 (8 hours at the $5 they will make off of you). In that case, the casino may be willing to give you a $20 food credit (which would be equal to 2 free buffets or something like that). The best thing to do is get the "players card" at each hotel you will gamble at, and be sure to put it into any slot machine you play at, or give it to the pit boss at any table game you play (just put it on the table when you buy chips, the dealer will call the pit boss over to take your card). HOWEVER (and this is a BIG HOWEVER!!!!), DON"T (repeat, DON"T) play just to get a comp!! That (free?) $30 meal could easily cost you $500.

Some hotels are more generous than others on comps (with the downtown hotels being most generous). If you visit the message board above and do a search for "comps" i'm sure you'll be able to read how liberal each hotel is.

Good Luck.
Old Jul 28th, 2001, 01:19 PM
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Nice summary TUA.
Especially important is the last bit of advice.
Do not gamble more than you 'normally' would simply to try to get comps. It's FAR cheaper just to buy whatever you wanted in the firts place.
Now if you normally gamble a lot regardless, by all means enjoy whatever comps you can muster.
Good advice about the upgrades too. You have to assess each situation individually. If the hotel is WAY sold out for some convention, very unlikely to get an upgrade just because you smile nicely.
But Aladdin needs business, and if there's one newer place you're likely to get an upgrade, I'd say that's it.
Old Jul 28th, 2001, 04:10 PM
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I am employed by major hotel/casino and work fron desk. As far as upgrades go...it is much easier to obtain one Sunday thru Thursday..our least busy time. It is more difficult for upgrades..at least where I work...on the weekends. And as far as the $20.00 offer for an upgrade...if management sees that we accept a tip...termination. Sorry..now i know some of you diehards may not believe this but I saw it happen to someone I work with last week. He accepted a tip...no longer with us. Too bad...not worth my job.
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 08:22 AM
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Casino/Hotel Employee,

Do you know if this "no tip" policy is only at your hotel, or is it pervasive throughout the industry? Also, what is managements explanation for allowing valets/bellman to get tips for good service, but not the check-in clerk?

Lastly, was your co-worker fired for simply taking a tip, or did they research the situation and saw that this person gave an undeserved upgrade. Also, is it possible this provided a "reason" to get rid of an employee that they wanted to let go?

(please don't read the above as doubting you or being confrontational, i just figure you are on the "inside" and can provide some insight that others can't)
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 08:37 AM
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People who think you can get your way in Vegas by waving a $20 bill are sort of stuck in the past. (Not a criticism -- I'm stuck the past on a lot of things, too.)

At one time, when Vegas was wide open, a strategic tip worked wonders. But since the town went corporate, that's frowned upon.

The advice to seek upgrades during the week and non-peak areas is generally good -- and early Sep. is probably non-peak. Ask when you book the room, then ask again nicely when you check in.
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 10:15 AM
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First in response to theruare, there is a big difference between a bellman or valet getting a tip for delivering a car or bags to a room, which is precisely the job that they are supposed to be doing, and a front desk clerk giving a customer a room that should be more expensive at a lesser price. I would have thought that this is obvious.

Second, I have received upgrades on rooms at major Las Vegas hotels on numerous occassions by being polite and discreet. I always use the same method and more often than not it works. When I get to the front desk, I ask the clerk to confirm my rate and room type. Then I put my credit card on the counter and hold a folded $20 bill in my hand, so that the clerk can see it, but fairly discreetly. I say to the clerk "if there is any possibility of an upgrade at the same rate, I would really appreciate it". The clerk then responds either, "I'm sorry, there is nothing available today" or something like "yes sir, I can put you into a suite today. Will that be okay?". I say yes and then hand her my credit card with the $20 folded underneath it so no one can see it. She takes the card, slips the $20 in her pocket, and I'm off to my suite.
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 10:38 AM
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You've gotten some excelleent advice.

If you are looking for serious comps( free room, shows, etc) you should tell the pit boss you want to be rated.

It's not how many chips you buy...it's how much you bet and for long. They casino likepeople to bet heavy and play for long periods of time,

Sometimes people think that if they buy a lot of chips at a table they can "fool" the casino into thinking they are a "player". Trust me, no one fools a casino, they knew who buys a $5000 in chips and then plays $10 at a time and cashes in the rest.

The advice to watch how much you bet is very serious. I see too many people buying more chips hoping to break even.
I pick a dollar amount to bet (not how long I wil play), Then, if i blow that amounnt quickly, I leave, and come back another day. I know people that have won up $30,000 one day and 3 days later all that is gone PLUS MORE.
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 10:46 AM
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I agree that it is CUSTOMARY to tip the valet and bellman, but not the desk clerk. I bring up the point b/c there was a post on this board (or one of the others that i frequent) by a desk clerk who's opinion was, "The valet and bellman get tips for simply doing their job", she felt the desk in clerk should be entitled to a tip as well (and perhaps more so) since she has the ability to make/break your trip. It is at her discretion whether you get the room with a view OR the room facing the garage (which also happens to be near the family with screaming kids she just booked in)... both of which are classified as "standard rooms." This is an example of her going "beyond her job" of just simply checking you in to any room that falls under your room category (and isn't service what we tip for)?

How influential do you think the $20 is, and what would you say is your success rate? I'll also add that i like how you word it!
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 11:12 AM
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I know for a fact that many front desk clerks will accept tips. I have a friend who's been working at a top casino in LV for many years and asked him what the biggest tip he'd ever accepted was: $200.
I'm sure "xxx" is reciting her hotel's official policy.
I'm also sure there are hotels which don't follow this policy, and that there are experienced guests and clerks who know how to pass this act off discreetly. Not very difficult to wrap a $$ bill up and hold it under your credit card as you hand it to the clerk at check in.
Old Jul 30th, 2001, 11:49 AM
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Thereuare: I have had success 60-70% of the time. I have had great success at the Paris (4 stays, 4 upgrades) and very poor success at the Bellagio. I've also had success using this method at the Flamingo, Treasure Island, Luxor, Venetian and NYNY. I never offer more than $20 as that it is all it is worth to me. I don't spend that much time in my room in Vegas anyway.
Old Aug 11th, 2001, 04:04 AM
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thanks to all who responded (esp. theruare and jonathon)

like the idea jonathon but we've have pre paid already for our stay on the 'net so no need to hand over c/card..

anyway will give it a go and let u know how i get on (not sure about the $20 inducement though - englishmen are notoriously bad at this sort of thing........)


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