Plan to attend Vegas market? Book those rooms fast | Sheila Long O’Mara

We’ve made it to November and are rolling full speed ahead into December. The past two months of the year come filled with Thanksgiving feasts, Black Friday promotions, holiday celebrations and more. The two-month period sees most retailers and suppliers sliding into a very busy time of the year. The Furniture Today team is much the same as we prepare several key issues — both year-end recollections and forecasts for next year — as well as our own personal festivities.

What isn’t usually happening for most of us — and, I’m learning, many of you — is making travel plans for the winter Las Vegas Market. I’ll confess to being a late-December, early-January travel booker for the market. Many of you, it seems, are as well.

It’s Vegas, after all; hotel rooms are plentiful, with options galore and affordable to meet nearly every budget. No need to lock in on a room in November.

Until now, and this is where you need to read closely. I’m more than a handful of conversations deep over the past week with bedding manufacturers and retailers who have brought up the topic of travel accommodations for the January event. The three hotels in the new Resorts World are sold out. The Wynn has rooms left for a five-night stay at an opening, average nightly rate of $1,880, and the average rate at Vdara for the same stay starts at $593.

Here’s the deal. The Winter Las Vegas Market is set for Jan. 29-Feb. 2, its traditional Sunday to Wednesday schedule. However, in addition to our bedding and home furnishings event, there are SIX — yes, six — other major conferences or events being hosted roughly during the same time frame.

In addition to home furnishings, Las Vegas will play host to a home inspector association conference, the National Assn. of Home Builders’ International Builders Show, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, the National Hardware Show and The International Surface Event. Even for a city like Las Vegas, that’s a lot when you pair those travels with folks recently untethered from the pandemic and travel restrictions.

Like our event, most of those others wrap up on Wednesday, Feb. 2, which means many attendees and exhibitors are also jockeying for those weekend hotel rooms. Most industry people know that International Market Center works to negotiate rates with area hotels and shares an accommodation link on its website to help those traveling in with seamless travel help.

The site typically opens with about 30 hotels. Early last week, hotels still showing availability for a Saturday-to-Wednesday stay were down to 13. The options are waning quickly. Of course, you may choose to book on your own through your Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors app; however, even there, several our go-to hotels are sold out or the prices are significantly higher than typical.

In no way am I saying stay away from the market. Quite the opposite. I think our industry is stronger with strong, vibrant markets. I’m offering a public service announcement that encourages you to figure out accommodations sooner rather than later to avoid missing out on your favorite room.

Oh, and while I have you focused on Las Vegas Market for a few minutes, Furniture Today’s deadline for market-related news, new product information and photography is Tuesday, Dec. 20. Yes, that falls during Hanukkah and falls five days before Christmas. Yes, it is an incredibly wonderful time of the year, but the deadlines don’t go away.

As always, I look forward to seeing everyone at the market, and hearing about your accommodations. Happy booking!

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