Fight weekends in Las Vegas are crazy busy in town! A recent 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 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
Okay, so this one’s 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 our company, 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.) 🙂
Example: 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 promptly made our way to the club at 10:40 pm.
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 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?
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 total amount of the table if that option is available. Sometimes it’s not.
But with pre-paying 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 can’t make it to Vegas, the club may keep your money. So it’s a good idea to 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.
What To Do If This Happens To You
When the clubs say the table’s price has increased, you’ll need to raise your bottle service minimum. That is, of course, if you want the same table option you were initially eyeing.
Sometimes you can give the host a “table fee,” which may work to get you the section you had initially reserved. 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 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 the main room table, you might get a mezzanine booth instead.
And if you decide that it’s not worth it, then you can also walk away. But if you’ve pre-paid any amount, you may want to confirm that you’ll get the money back before you leave.
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 mainly from James since the rest of them were low on money). James handed the cash to the host, who promptly walked away. He returned in less than a minute and said:
We can seat you now.
Everyone smiled. James got the table section he had initially wanted by paying a table fee and didn’t have to increase his minimum by $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. So it would make sense 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 centrally located 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 wouldn’t have it – he was hoping for a better view. So, unfortunately, this brings me to our 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
It’s wise to book your reservation with someone well-connected with a club. In this industry, it’s important who you know. Often, hosts will do favors for each other, which can lower your minimum spend or result in perks like better table locations.
Even if you book with a well-connected host, though, you may still have to fork over money on these big weekends. With a lot of demand comes higher prices.
In our experience, it’s often less than what other tables have to pay who aren’t represented by a good host. But, 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 if you’re a woman, it can be hard to get into Vegas clubs for free on these weekends as there is often no guest list.
To recap, here are our big weekend recommendations.
- For bottle service reservations, pay a deposit (or pre-pay in total) 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 rise.
- Table locations within certain sections may be negotiable with a table fee.
- Booking with a well-connected host can sometimes help you save money.
- Guest lists are limited, and often they’re canceled entirely.
- 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. If you liked this article, we think you may also like our primer on what is bottle service.