2006 Summer Vegas Basketball Tournament (MASTERS)
Up-to-date as of: 7/6 4:00PM PDT
|Vegas Cheap-Sheet (9/1-9/3)|
Last Updated: 7/6 4:00PM PDT
|OAK-LAS||Aloha Air||Aloha's site||$91 (1)|
|Western Hotel ("Bonafide dump")||TravelWorm||$46|
|El Cortez Hotel||CheapoVegas||$62|
|Sahara (lowest on-Strip)||United.com||$95|
|Rental Car Company||Source||Lowest|
|THEORETICAL COST PER PLAYER||COST|
|Tournament entry fee (1 of 8 players)||$40||Airfare (Bay Area to LAS, estimated)||$225|
|Car (Hertz, $30 gas tank, 3 players)||$17|
|Food (In-And-Out burgers + 1 buffet)||$68|
Please book your flight back home for no earlier than late Sunday night. Last tipoff will be scheduled no later than 5:00PM. Please keep in mind that unpredictable multiple overtimes could result in delays out of our control. If you foresee a problem, please email us at email@example.com.
We understand that last summer we ran over, but last summer was a zoo of 47 teams whereas this time we have the support staff we need. We run a 74-team league in the Bay Area; if we can handle 74 teams every Sunday, we can handle Vegas.
Here are our recommendations with airfare (mostly for west coast people):
- Start with kayak.com to get a sense of what you'll be paying. Kayak is great because you can adjust your time preferences on demand and the sample airfare results re-adjust as well.
- You can then go straight to the airlines' page to find the best price, such as with US Airways (Note: US Airways recently merged with AmericaWest).
- Check United's FlyTed.com.
- Check Southwest.com. Southwest is good if you have booked more than 2 months ahead or are willing to leave on an odd day, such as a Thursday. Otherwise, Southwest tends to be more expensive the less time you have before departure.
- Sometimes Aloha Airlines has cheap one-way flights to Vegas, which you can couple with a one-way with Southwest, US Airways, and United.
- If you are able, try to leave on a Thursday or return on a Tuesday (remember: Monday is Labor Day Holiday), although this could impact your hotel and rental car costs. Airfare will drop about $10 to $20 roundtrip.
Last year we took some of our Bay Area refs with us. While we learned the hard way that doing so was not kind on our budget, we learned a lot on how to find the best Vegas hotel deals. There's a big range of options, but start with:
- United.com has a pretty good stable of choices ranging from inexpensive to luxurious.
- Kayak.com, just to make sure what you see on United is on par.
- TravelWorm.com sometimes has good deals.
- Craigslist Las Vegas sometimes has good deals for some of the luxury hotels on the Strip.
- It is not necessary to stay on the Strip for a nice room. You're probably better off staying off the Strip to save money, since you'll need a rental car regardless, to commute to the gym(s).
- For the cheapskates, you'll need to stay at some downtown hotel. Check the Best Value list on CheapoVegas.com for reviews of these hotels (some are not bad in terms of just having a bed to sleep on). Then go directly to the websites of those hotels to check prices one by one.
- We do not recommend renting a house through any means for your team. There are too many things to worry about such as signing the lease and making sure it's spotless after you leave. To save on costs, we recommend the Cheapo Vegas list mentioned above.
- Looking for a hotel in surrounding areas like Henderson or North Las Vegas will not save you any money.
If the saying "time is money" is true, we recommend that you bypass the long lines at the low-cost carriers and go with Hertz, which has pretty competitive rates anyways. Here are more tips:
- Forget trying to hail a cab from LAS to the Strip or from anywhere to our gyms. It costs too much. Since you need a rental car to get to the gym anyways, the cheapest solution to get from Point A to Point B is renting a car.
- Again, start with Kayak.com if you need proof that Hertz is comparable with the low-cost no-customer service competitors.
- At Hertz.com, sign up as a #1 Club member. It's free and sometimes gets you discounts.
- When booking at Hertz.com, use CDP 1450445, the discount plan for AmericaWest travelers. You do not need to be flying on AmericaWest nor do you need to be a member of AmericaWest.
- If you have an AmericanExpress card, you can probably get signed up for Hertz Club One Gold for free, which has special rates and will save you more money (maybe 5%). You have to call Hertz and/or AmericanExpress to do this. With Club One Gold, you also bypass any lines. Hertz's lines aren't as bad as the low-cost competitors, but can get medium-long during rush hours.
- If you book with Hertz through AmericanExpress, they will give you an automatic 5% discount off the total bill shown on your next credit card billing statement.
- At LAS, you take a 5-minute Hertz shuttle to their terminal for free. Some of the low quotes you get from non-name brand competitors might require you to go to an off-airport place to pickup the car.
- You will probably not save money booking a mini-van for your teammates. It is probably cheaper to rent multiple Economy cars which cost around $20 per day. Squeeze three players per Economy, and that's $7 per day.
- Don't get the gas option. There are plenty of gas stations in Vegas and they are always cheaper than any rental car's gas option. Besides, all Vegas rental cars are unlimited mileage.
- Check if your credit card (such as MileagePlus VISA or AmericanExpress) has automatic rental car insurance. Even if not, take caution if rental car companies tell you that Vegas is filled with drunks who might crash into your car. Vegas roads are laid out in a big grid and traffic on the Strip is always jammed anyways. In short, traffic is pretty "simple and straightforward" out there.
- Remember, all major hotels have FREE valet parking. When you have a rental car, you'll have the ability to visit a lot of Vegas landmarks. Enjoy!
If you are going to an on-Strip buffet every night, you are wasting your money!
- Check the Best Buffets list on CheapoVegas.com and other places on the Internet. You should probably go to just one buffet during the weekend.
- There's tons of fast food. In-And-Out Burger is right off the freeway (you can't miss it).
- There are nice affordable eats in Chinatown. Do a Google search.
- If you really want to save money, you can do a search on the nearest Wal-Mart that locals go to. Not only can you eat in Wal-Mart, but next to Wal-Marts in Vegas are affordable restaurants such as IHOP and the like.
- Hamburger Mary's off the Strip near the Hard Rock has good food that is affordable. If you are homophobic, eat there during the off-hour daytime, not at night!