This past weekend was a fight weekend in Las Vegas, and as you can imagine, it was crazy busy in town. Saturday’s match-up featured Mayweather vs. McGregor, and I’m sure you know by now who won. If you’ve never been to the city during a fight, it’s one epic party. The Vegas clubs especially go all out in their celebrations.
For example, almost all of the clubs have their bottle girls in fight attire, and feature fight themed bottle service presentations. Additionally, two Vegas clubs are selected to host the after party for the fighters themselves.
But with so many people in town getting into both day and nightclubs in Vegas can be a nightmare. Not only that but booking bottle service is often challenging and expensive.
This doesn’t just happen on fight weekends either. No, paying astronomical prices occurs on any big weekend in Vegas including the three-day holiday weekends like Labor Day and Memorial Day.
Now we’re not telling you to stay away on these special weekends in Las Vegas. That would be tragic! Instead, we’re issuing a warning letting you know how Vegas clubs operate during these busy times so you can protect yourself and your pocketbook.
Big Weekend Warning: Bottle Service In Vegas Clubs
Ok, so this one is a doozy. On big weekends, bottle service reservations are where the clubs take full advantage of their increased demand. I’m not saying avoid purchasing bottle service altogether, but we want to warn you about what costs to expect, so you’re prepared.
Not surprisingly, paying more than expected for a bottle service reservation happened to a group I was with this past weekend. Unfortunately, I had never met them before, and they didn’t book through Mike and me so there wasn’t much I could do to help.
I will say though that it was interesting to see their experience from a bystander perspective. So intriguing in fact, I decided to share my weekend adventure with you here. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.) 🙂
Fight Weekend 08/26/17
My girlfriend Kelli invited me out this past Saturday with her and some of her friends from LA. A guy in the group (James) had made a table reservation at a club in Vegas. We met up in their hotel suite to watch the fight first and then made our way to the club promptly at 10:40 pm.
Vegas Primer Tip: On big weekends, get to the club as early as possible. We suggest arriving at club opening (10:30 pm) to limit your exposure. The later it gets, the more it may cost you, and you might risk losing your table too.
Thankfully, the table line was still short, and after going through security, a host greeted us and checked us in for the table. It couldn’t have been more than 10 seconds before he said:
the price for the table you want is now $1,000 higher, so we put you at an outside table instead.
Almost instantly everyone’s jaws dropped (well, except for mine). James was in disbelief and wasn’t going to go down without a fight:
But Sam said that it was a $3,000 minimum for tonight. You know Sam, right?
The host continued:
Yeah, sorry. I don’t know a Sam. We can put you at a table outside for the same price, or you can pay $1,000 more and get the table you originally wanted.
What’s going on here?
Based on our experience, we’ve noticed that many Vegas clubs will overbook their bottle service tables on the busiest nights. (Lots of companies do this – just look at the airline industry.) This means that they may have multiple reservations for the same table. The clubs do this too because inevitably there will be some no-shows.
The only surefire way to avoid the price going up at the door is to book in advance and pay a deposit. You can also pay the full amount of the table if that option is available. Sometimes it’s not.
But with pre-paying any amount of money comes a risk. If you pre-pay in full, you better know exactly which club you want and the table section because there are no refunds after a specific date. This also means that if you get sick and don’t make it to Vegas, the club may keep your money. Check each club’s terms and conditions carefully before committing funds.
Now in my weekend adventure, James hadn’t put down a deposit for the table. And even though he made the table reservation in advance, he was still at risk for a price increase.
Vegas Primer Tip: On non-holiday weekends at most clubs, you can pretty much count on the quoted table minimum price staying the same but on the busiest ones beware! Rates are subject to change even by the minute, so it’s best to pay in full or make a deposit if possible.
What to do if this happens to you.
When the clubs say the price of the table has increased, you’re going to need to raise your bottle service minimum. That is, of course, if you want the same table option you were originally eyeing. Now sometimes you can give the host a “table fee,” and that may work to get you the table you had initially reserved as well. We can’t guarantee this will work, but if it does, it’ll usually cost you less than increasing the minimum.
It’s worth noting that you’re under no obligation to increase your minimum or come up with any additional table fee money. If you want to keep the minimum the same, the club will readily accommodate you. The only difference will be the table location. For instance, instead of a main room table, you might get a mezzanine table instead. And if you decide that it’s not worth it, you can simply walk away.
So what did James decide to do?
The guys huddled together and talked among themselves. There wasn’t any other club they wanted to go to that night. And it didn’t help that the women were staring at them wondering what was taking so long.
Soon the guys pulled out their wallets and began counting up how much cash they had. In total, they came up with $500 (although mostly from James since the rest of them were low on dough). James handed the money to the host who promptly walked away. He returned in less than a minute and said:
We can seat you now.
Everyone smiled. By paying a table fee, James was able to get the table section he had originally wanted and didn’t have to pay up the additional $1,000.
Here’s what happened next.
The host escorted us to the table. Since we were early none of the other tables in our section were seated yet. It would make sense then to assume that we’d get the best table in the section, right? Well, not exactly. If reservations have been pre-paid, then those empty tables you’re eyeing may already be reserved.
We were taken to a middle table where we all scrunched together so everyone could sit down. It was a tight fit. But that aside, it didn’t take long for us to realize that the table was behind a column partially blocking our view of the stage.
It didn’t bother me, but James wasn’t having it – he was hoping for a better view. Unfortunately, this brings me to my next warning.
James asked the waitress and the busser if we could move one table over, but both said it was out of their hands. James then went to the front and spoke to the host again. And, luckily with an additional table fee, James was able to move tables.
Here’s another way to get better table locations.
Book with someone who is well-connected with a club. In this industry, it’s important who you know. Often, hosts will do favors for each other which can help your bottom line or result in perks like better table locations.
Vegas Primer Tip: We suggest booking through an independent host that has strong relationships with the hosts and managers at a club. When an independent host books a lot at a club, the club makes sure their clients are well taken care of too. Another option is to book through a host that works at the club directly. They too will take good care of you.
That said, I’m not saying you won’t have to fork over additional monies on these big weekends. With a lot of demand, comes higher prices. But, in our experience, it’s often less than what other tables have to pay who aren’t represented by well-connected independent hosts or hosts that don’t work directly at the club. Again, this is only our opinion and individual experiences vary.
Big Weekend Warning: Cover Charges At Vegas Clubs
If you’re not booking bottle service, then you’re most likely paying a cover charge to get into a club. And even if you’re a woman, it’s hard to get into Vegas clubs for free on these weekends as there is often no guest list.
Vegas Primer Tip: Your best bet is to get to the club early and buy your tickets in advance. In this way, you won’t risk the price of admission increasing.
And this brings me to our final warning.
Of course, this all depends on how busy the club is. The more people that show up, the more likely the price of admission will increase. We’ve seen a few times when club-goers have been standing in line for an hour, and as soon as they get to the door, the price jumps. Do yourself a favor and follow our primer tip above. On these big weekends, get to Vegas clubs early and buy your tickets online in advance.
To recap, here are our big weekend recommendations.
- For bottle service reservations, pay a deposit (or pre-pay in full) to lock in your minimum and table location.
- If you make a name-only bottle service reservation, get to the club early. The later it gets, the higher the prices may raise.
- Table locations within certain sections may be negotiable with a table fee.
- Booking with a well-connected host can sometimes help to save you money.
- Guest lists are limited.
- Buy tickets in advance. Cover charges are higher at the door and may even go up while you’re standing in line.
We hope we’ve prepped you for what to expect on the big weekends in Vegas. Feel free to call or text us anytime at (702) 816-6738 for guest list and bottle service reservations at all Vegas clubs. Or if you have a question about anything Vegas-related, don’t hesitate to reach out to us too. We’re happy to help!
If you liked this article, we think you may also like our primer on bottle service.