Las Vegas F1 hotel rates slashed by 83% in a bid to fill empty beds

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Vegas hotel vacancy

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).

Rio hotel rate Vegas

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).

MGM grand hotel price

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.

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Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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Myron hatcher

Interesting

Kelly T

Good. I’m glad their greed didn’t pay off. They pay their workers 13-15 dollars an hour but take in billions each year. The workers are inconvenienced and exhausted. Some have to work two jobs to make ends meet. I know because I live here in Vegas and I used to work for the casinos.

Jamey

U known that the casino workers are in a union and make like 21 to 26 dollars and hour and right now they are on strike to get more🤣

Jamey

Sounds like u worked for the wrong Casino 🤣

Walter

Excellent, revealing article. Interestingly a number of the high end packages were billed as non-refundable- non transferable.

Lenard Poon

So, the economic impact to Vegas gonna be $10k less costs of thr road consteuction and headaches for the residents and business employees endurwd the past 6-months. So, actually a loser for Vegas.

Graeme

A cost comparison should be done with travelling to the Macau Grand Prix that will be held on the same weekend by chance. Another casino wonderland with a long 60+ year history of racing. $77 a grandstand ticket on race days, $13 on practice days. Together with airfare to Hong Kong and accommodation. For motorbikes, GT4, touring cars and Formula 3 racing in an insane course. All for a lower price than the original Las Vegas F1GP.

Carolyn

Besides the fact that there may be a strike by the culinary union going on, 8 of the strip casinos had a bed bug problem! They won’t name names, but who cares! This whole thing is a farce, and we’re going to do this 9 more years!!!🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Michael

So 50% of the estimated $1.2 billion take is only $600 million. We’ve already lost that much during construction of this train wreck.

Susan

I think your dates are switched on the chart. You show 2022 prices lower than 2023.

Robert

The hotels in laughlin have no unions because they treat their customers and employees fairly. Don’t go to las vegas. Come to laughlin nv. A better deal.

john d

The 2023 rates are only marginally higher than 2022 rates. Either F1 doesn’t add much value or hotels are encouraging stays and are relying on non-hotel spend. Many of the Caesar’s rates have even gone down after this post (e.g. Horseshoe from 257 to 169, Planet Hollywood down 10%)

Alan

#1 – hotel/casinos in Vegas absolutely rely on non-hotel spend. That is, in fact, the entire model of sustainability for the city. That may also be part of the larger issue in filling the rooms.

#2 – in regards to some of these rates, the ones which fell the most are the ones which have the worst proximity to the strip. Rio is a non-strip hotel which is also under different ownership now than I recall it being at this time a year ago. $500+ base rates for that facility is patently absurd. Their regulars certainly know that.

I could guess at what is going on, but it would be just that. A complete guess. I assume multiple factors are playing roles. It isn’t just a question of pricing, but of what the dynamics are or were expected to be with MGM, Caesars, Wynn, and Genting’s player development schemes around the race.

Anthony

Resident here. I told my out of state family members to stay away from Las Vegas October to the end of the year. The traffic is terrible, the whole strip view is blocked as are the heavily reduced side walks. All the pedestrian crossings are basically turned into tunnels now because the glass is blocked out. You can’t even observe the Bellagio fountains ny more except from the sides. The iconic Las Vegas Strip has been hidden from view. NFR is coming and county will still be removing the track junk and visual blocks for the next three months. I bet NFR followers get as ticked off as the locals. Three months a year and this will be here 10 years. What a dumb mistake. In hindsight, the casinos will be big losers when they find out F1 observers are not as strong of a betting group as the weekenders they will lose.

Dawn S

Great facts provided in your article Mr Alex

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