The Guide to Male Lifestyle in Las Vegas

Tipping in Vegas, Part I

June 19, 2013

Truly, the city of Las Vegas runs on service. The better service you require to have a good time, the better you should tip. Unlike common hotels and resorts, here you are unlikely to find the servers bending over backward for you in the hopes of a big tip at the end of the night. Servers here work in shorter shifts, and often swing between various locations within the same hotel, within the same shift. They prefer to receive smaller tips as they go, rather than keep running for a customer who holds out until the end. By then, the server may not even be around to collect.

Here is the first part in a series from the Vegas gentleman’s guide to tipping well enough to receive good service when visiting any of our casinos, be they local establishments or on The Strip. This article aims to conduct you from your arrival at a resort or hotel casino all the way up to your room. For even friendlier service, feel free to tip more than recommended.


Drivers

drivers
Taxi drivers in Las Vegas are some of the friendliest people in our city. Thanks to the close proximity of the airport to The Strip, you can expect to arrive at your hotel within 10-20 minutes depending on day of the week and time of day. Even if you’re staying off the strip, our efficient civil engineering should allow your driver to get you to your destination within 15-30 minutes. At non-Strip hotels, they will also help you unload your bags. All that is expected is 15% of the total fare. If you have trouble with math, take 10% of the fare, then divide that in half, then add the two together. Sometimes it’s simply easier to calculate a 20% gratuity, especially if the cab driver is expedient and/or especially welcoming.

Regarding limousine chauffeurs, 20% of the total bill is the minimum. They not only dress impeccably and deliver you in style, they also stock the bar with ice and drinks, and clean and maintain the car themselves. If the limousine is complimentary, then a $100 gratuity for an evening’s service is not out of the question.

Valets

valet
These energetic people run as fast as they can to take your car and park it. In return, how much do they expect? Well, how much did you pay for your car? And — do you want it back?

Seriously.

When a valet takes your car, they are expecting a tip somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.01% of the value of your car. Likewise, the valet who brings your car back must also be taken care of (yes, even if it’s the same person). So if you want to roll up big in a Maserati, you should be able to pay each of your valets in the neighborhood of $10-$15. Likewise, if you just want to park your Toyota Corolla with assurance of trust, you need only offer each valet $1-$2 for drive-away and return.

Although most valet service in Vegas is free, that doesn’t necessarily make it cheap. Parking valet is still higher profile than self-parking, and carries with it certain expectations on both parties.

If I’m not looking for up-front parking or special consideration, I’ll pay each of my valets $3-$5 to park my Honda Pilot.

If you are interested in VIP service at the valet, then tip your first valet between $10-$20 depending on venue, and how busy they are. If they park your car up front where you can see it, then when you’re ready to leave you need only get your keys from the desk and drive away. If a valet still walks you to your car, it is customary to tip the regular amount again, especially if you are accompanying a date.

Front Desk Clerks

front_desk
Las Vegas is a city where the word “bribe” doesn’t exist… Unless you’re talking to a Metro Officer. Don’t try to bribe the police here.

Seriously.

But anyone else in Vegas can be swayed to lend further assistance or special consideration by passing them a few extra dollars. Therefore, if the room you booked wasn’t all you’d hoped for, be prepared to pass the Front Desk Clerk $10-$20 for a possible upgrade depending on the size of room desired or the nightly rate. When requesting suites, you may need to tip up to $50 to be switched to a room with a pool view, if that is your aim.

However, we have busy weekends and booked times of year, such as March, where much to the Clerk’s dismay he or she simply will not be able to upgrade your room. Worry not; your gratuity will be graciously returned without problem.

Porters

porter
The people who take your bags from the car, wait with you at the front desk, and do the heavy lifting all the way up to your room should generally be tipped $1 per travel bag. Often, the porter may ask you afterward if you require directions, a taxi, or show tickets, etc. Vegas porters are very knowledgeable and quite connected, and can get you what you want. Consider an additional $5-$10 tip on top, per extra service requested.


In our next installment, we’ll walk you through the casino floor and introduce you to some of the people you’ll encounter there. Then it’ll be time to hit the pool, and afterward the night clubs.

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