Tour Operators: At Mark Travel Corporation's user-friendly web site, www.vaxvacationaccess.com, agents can book packages from any of the vacation companies under its umbrella, including Fun Jet Vacations, United, Spirit, Southwest and MGM-Mirage. Commissions vary: Go to "Set Your Own Commission," an add-on tool.
GOGO Worldwide Vacations (800-254-3477, 201-934-3500,www.gogowwv.com) offers 17 business development managers (BDMs), Virtuoso specialists and training for agents. The Earn More Money promotion includes regularly scheduled $50-$75 incentives.
With bookings for Las Vegas earning commissions up to a 13 percent, Continental Airlines Vacations (www.covacations.com), operated by Certified Vacations Group, offers inclusive land, air and transfer packages. The GDS code is CAV.
Getting Around: Taxis are the best transportation along The Strip, even with free parking at the hotels. The taxi cost is offset by the car rental fee, plus tips and the time it takes to wait for the car from the valet. A car rental is worth it if you plan to spend a day touring outside the city or golfing in one of the neighboring communities, such as Summerlin.
The Las Vegas Monorail (lvmonorail.com) is economical and convenient. A daily pass costs $15. One caveat: it's located one very long block behind some—not all—of the hotels. Consider whether your clients are in good enough shape for that extra walking (the large hotels require stamina, too). The monorail will link the airport to downtown by 2011.
Hotels: Wynn Las Vegas (702-770-7800, www.wynnlasvegas.com) opened in April 2005 and its Wynn Tower Suites earned the Mobil Five Star award for 2007. The décor, art, haute couture boutiques, fine dining and entertainment appeal to sophisticates. The travel agent contact is Selena Singh (888-320-7179, [email protected]).
Skylofts at MGM Grand (877-646-5638, www.skyloftsmgmgrand.com), one of only five Las Vegas hotels to earn the 2007 AAA Five Diamond honor, is a luxe private sanctuary with 51 two-story accommodations, each with expansive views of the Las Vegas skyline. Atelier de Joel Robuchon also received the coveted Five Diamond Award. Contact Colleen Schmitz, director of luxury sales ([email protected]). There's a 10 percent commission. MGM Grand, The Mirage and Treasure Island have all undergone recent renovations.
The Platinum Hotel & Spa (702-365-5000, www.lvplatinum.com) is perfect for families because each of the 255 suites is 900-plus square feet and has a full kitchen, living room and balcony. The non-smoking, non-gaming hotel has wireless Internet, a spa, a ground floor lounge and a dining room serving pure, fresh cuisine and overlooking the city's first indoor/outdoor pool and The Strip. Agents can contact Laura Besaida, leisure sales manager ([email protected]).
When to Go: Las Vegas has a dry, desert climate and can be hot in mid-day and cool in the early morning or evening; travel plans should depend upon your client's favorite activities. To game, dine and go to clubs and shows, weather isn't important. To golf, choose spring or fall. To swim: spring, summer or fall. Avoid leisure travel during the super-large conventions because it's difficult to get room, dining or show ticket reservations.