As hinted at below, I spent a lot of time last month investigating the Las Vegas housing market by no choice of my own. (I have indeed found a place — it is a renter’s market here, after all — move this weekend.) All this searching coincides with a handful of poker players reaching out for info about WSOP accommodations. The World Series, of course, brings a lot of visitors to Vegas for an extended stay — anywhere from two weeks to two months — yet they’re hesitant about Extended Stay America because of ricin. Fortunately there are plenty of other affordable, non-casino options for those looking for a home away from home during the annual poker hajj, compliments of, at least in part, a housing crisis that’s being debated in Washington as we type.
The first place you might want to check out, of course, is craigslist. And herein lies my first tip: don’t waste too much time with anything that says “vacation rentals.” This translates to “let’s charge the tourist double or triple because ha ha they’re so stupid!”
You’d be better off just browsing the “apartments/housing for rent” section and doing a search for short-term or something like that. Lots of three-month rentals (which still would be cheaper than two months at a vacation rental, and the fact that they are making them available for short-term really means, damn, we need to generate some cash-flow out of this house that won’t sell!) … and several of them will be willing to break it down by the week. You’ll also find a handful of swanky high-rise options sprinkled in there as well if you want to kick it David Williams-style during the WSOP — some ridiculously expensive, others more affordable than booking a month at Sam’s Town.
Another option is to rent a room in someone else’s house — a lot of this is going on, as people with the threat of foreclosure looming try to figure out how to pay for these houses they bought so easily before anyone really cared about the fiscal solvency of Bear Stearns. Some phat, comfortable crash pads available for a low-stakes buy-in or two if you don’t mind meeting strangers over the internet.
Speaking of phat … if you’ve got a group coming — say a posse of Dallas dealers? — check out places like these:
Standard residences pimped out with their own Real World set minus the cameras — the party house one (which is still available all of June) just added a stripper pole. But note: Pokerati can not verify the non-shadiness of these specific locales, so use your own discretion before handing over the cash. They seem square and legit to me, but do know that Clark County recently passed an ordinance cracking down on places just like these, requiring the property proprietors to go through various licensing procedures.
Last, but definitely not least, you can always call Don Jones, the Rounder Club founder, Dallas poker expat, and now Vegas Valley realtor. It used to be that all you had to do was mention Pokerati and he’d put you up in his own house for free during the WSOP. But then a certain pokerati-in-chief may or may not have gone top-shelf in his bathroom and that was the end of that. But he will still help you find a place even if you’re not from Dallas. Just tell him what you’re looking for, and he’ll give you the low-down on what’s possible for how much and will get back to you with some options. No cost to you.
Hope this helps those of you who are making plans for their summertime pilgrimage to the Vegas desert. If you happen to put off making plans until it’s really too late, I do know a guy who can “fix” things no matter how high-roller your tastes, so just send me an email and I’ll put you together.