WPPI is always a great time - lots of learning, lots of networking but also spending lots of money! I'm all about saving where you can and here are some tips and deals for saving a few extra bucks for your hotel stay.
The MGM Grand is where everything happens and is where 80% of the people going to WPPI stay. I highly recommend staying on site as by the time you are done going to classes and/or the tradeshow, you are barely going to have enough time to change before needing to be somewhere for an event, dinner or party. Having your room, shower and bed in the same hotel is a value within itself and there is also the savings to be had by not taking cabs, renting a car or taking the monorail. There is also the added perk of the networking that you will be able to do in the elevator lobby and when roaming the hotel.
The WPPI rate is $149/night + taxes for a standard room (click here to book at that rate) in the grand tower which is a decent deal but keep your eyes out on deal sites, particularly Smarter Vegas and Easy Click Travel, for up to the minute deals on rooms. Sometimes you won’t be able to find cheaper room rates but will be able to utilize promotions such as free buffets, dining credits and more. Currently using code INB307 on the MGM website will get you the same $149/night rate but you will also get 2-for1 daily buffets at the Grand Buffet, $25 credit at the Grand Spa and 2 free passes to the Fitness Center. Lately it seems that about a month out is when the rates tend to start drop and the deals are available for the rooms so keep that in mind when booking. Also sign up for the MGM emails and follow them on Twitter for special sales that don’t make it to the public.
The Signature at MGM Grand
The Signature is the 'elite' hotel of the MGM Grand, much like THEhotel is to Mandalay Bay. The rooms are all suites, set up like condos and are individually owned. The hotel is non-smoking and non-gambling so it is a quieter resort like stay. It also offers its own Starbucks (the ones at the MGM are PACKED during WPPI), lounge, fitness center and pool so you'll always have a quiet place to retreat to that isn't packed with people. They are located just behind the MGM with the entrance into MGM Grand by the spa - closer to the convention area than the main hotel bank. Here’s where the deal comes in. I have negotiated a discount rate for Photo Lovecat readers with Blue Chip Vegas (a condo management company for The Signature). Use code WPPI as the Rate/Corp code for 25-30% off the MGM website rate (which takes you currently to $103.55/night). ** The discount code is now invalid as all the rooms they had available booked up, they may reopen closer to the show if rooms reopen. Until then, check out VRBO.com for other condo deals for The Signature**
You can find ridiculously cheap hotels in Vegas ($30/night for some of the lesser known hotels on The Strip, sometimes even cheaper with hotels off The Strip) but make sure that you take into planning that you will be renting a car, walking, taking a taxi or using the tram to get to/from the convention. Often it doesn’t pay to save the few bucks a night when you have to shuttle back and forth and spend a lot on transportation. If you want to stay close, check out NYNY, Tropicana and Hooters for the closest hotels to MGM. They are within walking distance (MGM has an elevated bridge that connects to NYNY) and typically have reasonable rates (currently NYNY is $84/night, Tropicana $59/night). Otherwise you may want to try and stay at hotels that are along the monorail route for quicker access to the MGM (Bally's, Paris, Flamingo, Harrah's, Hilton).
Rent a House
Got a lot of friends but don’t want to sleep like sardines? Think about renting a house through VRBO. The housing prices can run the gamut from cheap to expensive but when you consider that everyone will be splitting the cost it can turn out to be cheaper than staying in a hotel and with many perks that hotels do not offer such as kitchens and private pools.
Hopefully this helps you navigate finding a better deal for booking your stay for WPPI.
Corey Ann is a wedding & lifestyle photographer from North Canton, OH. She is a mix of everything - fashionista, travel guru, deal hound and geek rolled into one. She's had a website online since 1997 and a blog since 1999. When not plotting world domination or her next trip, she can be found reading one of the 100+ books she reads a year. Follow her on Twitter.