Episodes

Episode #29 – myVegas and LVCVA Profile

myVegas

When myVegas first came about, I think there was some confusion behind the game. Because MGM was the only partner at the time, many, including myself, assumed it was an MGM resorts experiment. Since then, new partners have been brought in, games have been added, and the rewards catalogue has expanded.

That, however, does not necessarily mean that rewards have gotten better. In its early stages, free rooms could be had at both Aria and Bellagio, offers that are now non-existent. The popular bottle service comps are also gone.  Much has been made of the dwindling value of the rewards, and tightening restrictions, but does that mean the game is without merit? I guess that’s up to you to decide.

Here are some of the recent changes:

Rooms

Individuals are no longer allowed to use back to back room rewards. Couples who play may still be able to swing it based on availability. Room comps can now only be used once every 30 days. I’m happy I was able to take advantage of back to back comps on my recent trip, for it was the last month players were allowed to do so.

Freeplay

To use Freeplay at Mandalay Bay, you must be staying on a paid reservation, no mVegas or other comped nights fulfill the mandatory night stay policy. That is not the case for any other properties, though.

Questions have been asked regarding the ability to use multiple Freeplay rewards if you are staying the appropriate number of days. For instance, if you stay three days can you redeem both the $10 and $25 Freeplay rewards, which require a one and two night stay respectively? Nothing in the terms and conditions say “no” and the chatter on boards and in groups are mixed. Some people say no, some say they have had success doing so. A call to a myVegas representative garnered mixed responses. I would say go ahead and try, if you like, but have an extra reward purchased and ready before you get in town just in case it doesn’t workout and you need to cancel one of the purchases.

Stay requirements

Many rewards and most of the best ones, require a minimum night stay to use now as well. Even some with lower values, like the free or discounted buffets, require at least a one night stay in order to redeem. This is an unfortunate, but obvious move on the part of the partner properties. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of each reward.

New partners

Playstudios is continuously expanding its partner base to expand its rewards catalogue. Some partners make a lot of sense for the Vegas tourist, like Station Casinos or Allegiant Air. Some are downright laughable, like Shaquille O’Neal. You can now use your LPs to secure an autographed Shaq poster or, for 20 million LPs, you can play basketball with Shaq in his home gym. Good luck with that.

Playing tips

I really haven’t played myVegas much lately. I certainly don’t concentrate on it when I do. What I do now is choose games that have limited to no interaction. I stay away from slots with complicated bonuses or require a lot of my attention. I like to simply put it on autospin and let it run in the background while I get work done. Lotus Land does the trick for me. The free spin bonus operates automatically. I’ve even gone the full 500 spins without looking at the screen. The only thing that gets in the way is if they have a particular game or puzzle bonus running.

Best rewards

Rooms comps are still, at least to me, the most valuable reward offers. You still do have to pay for the resort fee, but these redemptions offer quite a bit of savings. That Mandalay Bay room I had on my last trip was over a $200 value. Freeplay is an obvious, popular reward. It’s value is inconsistent as it scales, though. For example, a $10 Freeplay voucher can be had for 10,000 LPs. That equates to 1,000 LPs per dollar. However, a $25 Freeplay voucher costs 56,250 LPs, which is 2,250 per dollar. I’m not sure how much players truly care about the LP per dollar cost of their rewards, but it is something to think about.

If you’re staying at an MGM property during your trip, then the catalogue is yours enjoy. Non-MGM guests are limited and dining rewards may be the best choice. The free Cravings buffet at the Mirage is a decent choice. As too would be the $30 dining credit at Heritage, also at the Mirage. Though you have to spend $75 for it to be valid. This is a great excuse to stop into the underrated Strip restaurant. If you’re in the mood for Steak but at the south end of the Strip, you could also try Tender, at Luxor. It gets above average reviews and the catalogue offers a $75 credit when you spend $150. This would be a nice meal for two. Speaking of steak, one restaurant I’m surprised is omitted from the catalogue is the steakhouse at Circus Circus. It is somewhat of a diamond in the rough and really the only reason some people visit the that property. I would think that a discounted meal offer would be a great chance for MGM to showcase that hidden gem.

I would also not overlook companion passes to the various shows. If you know you are going with another person anyway, these rewards can be had cheaply and be quite valuable. I would call ahead to see if the dates and times of the show you’re considering are available. A final suggestion would be to use the free access for two to the Foundation Room, sponsored by House of Blues. It boasts a cool atmosphere and one of the best views of the Strip atop Mandalay Bay. Plus, it won’t count against your 3 in 30 for MGM rewards. Other than that, there really is not much to get excited about. You really can’t subsidize an entire trip using myVegas like you could in the past, which is fine. It’s not really what the game was intended for anyway. Use it to accent your trip. Perhaps grab a cheap meal, a free drink or two, and take advantage of the monorail or go for a beauty treatment as the one you can see in this HerStyler review. But I wouldn’t plan your trip around using myVegas rewards, as it may distract you from other, spontaneous fun that is sure to pop up.

If you have any thoughts about myVegas and its changes or have a favorite reward or two, let me know!

LVCVA Profile Study

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority released their annual Visitor Profile report. They survey thousands of people throughout the year and analyze the data to see the makeup of who is going to Vegas and why. If anything, it’s interesting to see how you fit into the general visitor demographics. I actually discussed some of the results of 2013 in an early episode, oh how time has flown. Here are some of the more interesting results. You can also check out our friends over at Vital Vegas, who recently wrote about exactly this:

The proportion of people who gambled during their visit: 71%.

No change from 2013, but down from 80% in 2010.

Average hours per day spent gambling: 2.6

Down from 2.9 in 2010

Average gambling budget per trip: $530

This is more than 2010, which was $466. Less people are gambling, but they are gambling more.

The average stay is still around four days, three nights. This equates to an average daily gambling budget of around $133. Low roller unite! It was astutely noted by Bryan on Twitter that Whales were most likely not surveyed for this, and they would certainly skew this number. I would say this survey is more for the average visitors.

While 71% of people did gamble, only 12% of respondents said that their primary reason for visiting was to gamble. 47%, the highest percentage, stated that their visit was for pleasure. But I think gambling is pleasurable, so what are we really to make of this? 3% said they went to Vegas for a wedding.

The use of the internet to plan the trip continues to grow. 68% of respondents said they used the internet for planning purposes in 2014. The other 32% were simply asked what century they were living in. Just kidding, I’m sure the Pony Express is still very efficient.

36% said they visited Downtown during their stay, which is up from 30% in 2013, but down from 45% in 2010. Thanks a lot creepy costumers!

About 50% of visitors paid between $51 and $100 per night for lodging, which shows that Vegas is still budget friendly if done right.

Average trip expenditures on food and drink was about $281 or $70 a day. Again, not that much, and low roller friendly. That’s what happens if you ignore the clubs. Only 8% said they visited a nightclub.

Here’s a fun one: among those who were “somewhat satisfied” with their visit, 10% claimed their Vegas trip wasn’t fully satisfied with their Vegas trip because they “didn’t win enough gambling”. I’m with ya! Get it together Vegas!

And finally, 100% of those surveyed when asked whether or not they listened to the Vegas Fanboy podcast responded by saying, “Who? What?”

Comments about the show, myVegas, or other such items? Comment below to share!

LAX feature photo by MIXEvent via CC BY 2.0

About the author

Adam

Host of the Vegas Fanboy podcast. A reluctant Millennial. An amateur human.