With the Las Vegas Grand Prix rapidly approaching and tickets being far from sold out, local hotels are slashing their nightly room rates to dirt-cheap levels in a bid to fill their empty beds during F1 week.
Some fans are getting refunds and re-booking to save themselves hundreds of dollars.
I’ve done an analysis of over 20 of the biggest hotels on the Las Vegas Strip to show just how much their nightly room rates have dropped over the course of a year.
Formula 1 is heading to Las Vegas for the first time in over 30 years in November. It’s the third and final Grand Prix to be held in the United States this year, emphasizing the sport’s desire to capitalize on its new found US fanbase cultivated through the hit Netflix show Drive to Survive.
But unlike most other rounds of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship, the Las Vegas Grand Prix is far from a sell out. And that’s having a big effect on hotel prices along the Strip.
First the prices rose
When Formula 1 confirmed the Las Vegas GP would go ahead, everyone – F1 organizers, promoters, hotels owners and even the fans – expected the tickets to sell out incredibly quickly.
So as soon as the dates for the race were confirmed at the end of 2022, hotel and casino owners along the Las Vegas Strip hiked their room prices to obscene levels for the Formula 1 week and weekend.
Back on November 7th 2022 just after the dates for the Vegas Grand Prix had been announced, 8 News Now analyzed some of the biggest Las Vegas hotels and compared their prices during the 2023 F1 weekend to the prices from the same weekend a year earlier.
These were their findings:
Their data showed the average nightly room rate increase was over 300% for the hotels that had released their rates, and the maximum increase was 466% for the Rio hotel.
Now the prices have fallen... a lot
After that initial price surge and some panic booking from the fans who thought all the hotels would be fully booked in an instant, prices have steadily declined over the last 12 months.
You’d always expect hotel prices to drop slightly after the surge at the initial release subsides. But the Las Vegas Grand Prix tickets are much more expensive than anyone had anticipated (over $2500 for a 3-day grandstand seat) and that’s meant less people have been planning on coming to watch the F1 in Vegas.
Now, with less than 3 weeks to the Vegas F1 race weekend, hotels are dropping their prices even more in a bid to fill some empty beds.
As a demonstration of just how much the prices have been slashed, I’ve analyzed the current (as of November 6th) nightly room prices of the same 22 hotels that 8 News Now had data for a year ago.
The prices are an average of a 3-night booking from the 16 – 19 November 2023.
The table below shows the comparison. In a bid to compare apples to apples and keep it consistent with the 8 News Now analysis, the prices I’ve listed include tax but not resort fees and were taken from the hotel’s own website booking system.
As the data shows, the Vegas Hotel prices for the F1 race weekend have dropped dramatically.
The biggest nightly rate decrease comes from Circus Circus. A year ago they were charging $649/night for their rooms on the F1 weekend. Now they’re charging just $111. That’s less than one fifth of the original rate.
The second biggest decrease comes from the Rio hotel (who also had the largest increase in the original analysis by 8 News Now). Their rates have dropped by 79% in the space of a year, down from $566/night to just $117/night.
Aria, one of the most expensive hotes in Vegas, have held their rates and are still charging the same as they did when the F1 dates were first announced a year ago.
The average decrease across all 22 hotels analyzed was 58%.
It’s natural that hotel prices will be highest when an event is first announced and then will fall slightly. But what we’re seeing here isn’t a slightly fall in cost, it’s a huge cut in prices that makes a mockery of the unfortunate F1 fans who booked last year.
Expect the prices to go back up a day or two before the event starts.
Get a refund
Most people who booked their hotels for the Vegas Grand Prix last year will have made a non-refundable booking where they paid upfront.
If that’s you, some people have had success with asking their hotel for a price reduction / compensation seeing as the rates have dropped so much.
Ben M emailed me with his story:
“I read your article on the price drop for F1 Vegas hotels. I made a call to MGM, figured I had nothing to lose. After a 30 min call and speaking to the supervisor, they refunded my wife $2173! I was beyond shocked they did that.
I was asking for a possible upgrade. I figured they would never give cash back. Well, I was wrong! Thank you for your knowledge!”
Other hotels will allow full refunds. Some people have even managed to get a refund through the third-party travel agent they booked with, like Expedia.
I’d suggest speaking to whoever you booked with and display just how unimpressed you are at the massive price difference. Do what you need to do to get your money back and rebook at the same or a different hotel to save yourself hundreds of dollars.
Hotels for less than $30/night
The most expensive nights to stay in Las Vegas during the Grand Prix are the Friday and Saturday nights. If you don’t need to be there for those nights, you can find some incredibly cheap rooms on the other nights.
The Rio hotel, for example, is offering a King room on Thursday 16th for just $24 ($71.43 including resort fee).
Or go a little more upmarket and you can get a room in the MGM Grand for $129 for the Thursday night ($190.48 including resort fee).
Considering there’s two F1 practice sessions on the Thursday (see full Vegas F1 schedule for more info) and the Vegas Grand Prix now offer ‘cheap’ Thursday-only tickets, that’s definitely the best way to do the Vegas F1 on a budget.
See my deeper dive in to the Vegas F1 hotels for details on some more cost-effective ways to stay in Sin City to watch the race.