ISM held their annual event last week at the LVH hotel in Las Vegas. The LVH is the old Hilton, but despite keeping the “H” in the name, it’s a Hilton no more in quality or cleanliness, based on the comments we heard from just about everyone we spoke to who stayed there. Now granted it’s not ISM’s fault as the current leadership inherited the venue (and we don’t think they would ever choose it again). Moreover, we can’t fault the cheap room rates (which for those who registered in advanced were less than a hundred bucks in certain cases – and as low as $42 just before the event!)
Still, it’s hard to believe the hotel gets even a couple of stars on Trip Advisor, despite how inexpensive it is. Some of those I spoke with who stayed at the venue took pictures of old, dirty bathrooms and clogged AC vents that had not been cleaned since Elvis was performing his last shows on the strip. The pictures reminded me of a friend who once had a clogged tub in Bally’s a few years ago and had maintenance pull out a hairball that could make anyone gag from a distance – especially knowing that it was a Vegas hairball.
Las Vegas has become a bifurcated hotel city of ultra luxury and ultra stank and dirt (it’s always been filthy outside, but in the case of lodging, the middling places are getting dirtier and dirtier). However, it’s not terribly expensive to opt out of the places that have not seen a capital expenditure too recently, especially if you plan ahead. The Spend Matters team stayed for less than the cost of a typical Marriott in pre-paid rooms (thank you, Expedia) at the Wynn Encore, a hotel that is just about as over the top as any top-line Asian hotel chain (Peninsula, Mandarin Oriental, etc.). It was a true treat for less than $200 per night.
Visitors to Las Vegas deserve more than the LVH and its peers that have fallen into decline. But on the bright side (if there is one), the conference area for the LVH was just fine. Not fancy, but not dirty either.
However, a warning to conference attendees at the LVH: get your coffee elsewhere.
The LVH serves coffee that makes a cup of Southwest or United joe taste better than a single origin bean brew made in a Clover machine by comparison. Someone clearly sourced the coffee to the lowest bidder – and does not know how to brew a proper cup to boot, something that is extremely important after a long night on the strip.