Maybe you know this already, but the “sweet hotel deals” in Vegas that are advertised for Sundays through Thursdays, are the biggest scam ever. Like a legal Ponzi Scam.
Last weekend, I took a road trip to Phoenix to catch a baseball game. Fun trip. So-so drive. Fun game. Another stadium checked off my list. I went down with Jason, my partner in “baseball stadium crime.” We were joined this trip by his dad and brother. We left Friday and drove down through Page, Arizona. We went past Powell...my first trip to Powell ever-though I won’t count it since it was just a drive by. If you have never made the Salt Lake to Phoenix drive, take my word for it: it’s long. Not one of my favorite routes. A step above I-80 across Wyoming though. And definitely a step above taking a wrong turn coming home from Colorado and not realizing you missed the I-80 exit until you are 10 miles from Casper, Wyoming which is three hours north of I-80 on I-25.
Once in Phoenix, all was well. We ate good food. We cruised around the city. We saw a game. Chase Stadium, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was actually pretty sweet. It was mostly indoor, with a retractable roof. My big concern going down there was that the forecasted high for the day was 108 freaking degrees. (Yes, the weather man said, “108 freaking degrees.") I was certain we would roast faster then the Stay-Puft marshmallow man after getting lit up by the four Ghost Buster Proton packs complete with the particle accelerators. We had a pleasant surprise on our arrival to find the indoor field was air-conditioned to a near-perfect 74 degrees. Once the sun went down, they opened up the roof and we enjoyed the rest of the game under the night sky. Fun game. Jason’s dad fought for and got a ball that was hit into the stands during batting practice.
We hung around Phoenix Sunday and watched football at a sports bar. (Jason’s dad and brother went to the Arizona Cardinals game.) After the game we debated and nixed the idea to go eat at a restaurant featured on the Food Network called Alice Cooperstown. Adam Richman recommended eating a hot dog called “The Big Unit.” My homophobic tendencies won out and we ate somewhere else. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. No way.
Then we drove to Vegas. I called ahead to some hotels to get one of those sweet Sunday night deals that all the billboards from Boise to Mesquite rave about. (Tangent: I hate the Little America billboards that you have to deal with every two miles all across Wyoming. I will never stay there just because they annoy me so bad.) The phone call was sweet. $27.99 for the night. Two rooms split between four people makes that even sweeter. So I say, “We’ll take it.” Then comes the fine print. The tricky “Hotel Amenity Fee:” $16.99. The phone reservation fee: $3.99. The 18 percent Vegas hotel tax: 6 bucks. Sales tax: 3 bucks. Pillows on the beds and fluffed: 5 bucks. Okay, I made the pillow fee up, but suddenly our room is 50 bucks a night. I ask about the hotel amenity fee. They tell me that they are allowed to charge us for providing stuff in the room. Had I been more on the ball I should have just asked for whatever the $27.99 covers. Probably would have gotten an empty hotel room freshly gutted from the Meth lab discovered there by the maid. Who knows? So now I know...the Vegas hotel deals are essentially the same as airlines that charge you to take your bags with you. I have been racking my brain this whole post to figure out a way to charge you all a “blog-reading fee.”