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Wrist band needed at El Cortez???

Last edit: n580564x on Monday, 14th July 2014 11:36 am
Last response by n580564x 18th July 12:24pm

Hi Vegas experts, I had a question that was asked to me by 3 younger cousins recently. They were in vegas recently attending the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) and booked a room through an online company ( they decided to share a room and indicated at the time of booking that there were 3 occupants. There was no mention of an additional guest fee, plus the maximum listed on the website was 4 people to a room (reasonable since it was a 2 queens room). When they arrived at the El Co they were given 2 plastic wristbands and advised that they would need to be shown to security to access their rooms. The oldest of the 3 asked for an additional wristband for the 3rd member of the party. The front desk advised him that they would need to pay a $25 charge for any additional guests above 2 for the room. My cousin advised that at booking they had clearly stated that there were 3 occupants, the front desk politely apologized but advised him it would be $25 books extra. My cousin paid it, but he thought it seemed like a scam. Have any of you ever heard of this? Is this the next waive of changes coming to Las Vegas? Are other Hotles doing this? I am considered by friends and family as their Vegas expert, but I am stumped on this one after several days of research. please help me keep face and my reputation as the family Vegas guru. lol

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 anawas responded on Monday, 14th July 2014

I have no direct knowledge of this, but I can put forth an educated guess:

You mentioned Electronic Daisy Carnival. I'm guessing the wristbands were used to help control the El Cortez's hotel rooms during the massive festival.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn some people were throwing 20-person parties in their rooms in all of downtown Vegas' more reasonably priced hotels.

Those parties would be both a safety/security risk for the hotel and bad PR for the unfortunate few guests there who aren't interested in festival shenanigans.

As for limiting the number of wristbands to two, and not four, that seems a little authoritarian, but they probably had few complaints, as El Cortez isn't exactly a family friendly hotel.

 n580564x replied on Monday, 14th July 2014


I would agree with you about the reasons why the El Co made this decision. The only complaint my cousins had was how the $25 wristband fee was undisclosed until after check in. I don't know what the EDC is or how crazy it gets (I'm a couple of months away from 40), but it seems as if they were targeting the EDC crowd. It left a bad taste in their mouths so I doubt they will ever go back. Either way, I doubt that the El Co was shooting for the early to mid 20's demographic. lol No loss I guess.

 anawas replied on Tuesday, 15th July 2014

This probably won't find much support from the hospitality industry, but if a hotel offers a room with two double beds and all four people are cool with being sardines in one hotel room, I think that hotel's policies should allow for quad-occupancy at no charge.

(NOTE: I did not say "occupancy of The Quad," which should never happen until the elevators are fixed and the rooms updated.)

But I don't see quad-occupancy as a frequent problem at the El Cortez, which usually doesn't have a party-hotel vibe, nor is it a place most parents bring their kids.

 n580564x replied on Tuesday, 15th July 2014


I have stayed at the Circus Circus and Excalibur with my 2 oldest and my wife, we do this because quite frankly we don't trust our now almost 18 year old in a room where she can choose to walk out anytime she feels the need at all hours of the night, not because I can't afford another $50 a night. lol I just think that it should be laid out ahead of booking (kind of like resort fees are now advertised on these websites), again he paid the $25 bucks with no problem. His biggest issue was that it wasn't disclosed and if he knew it was going to be an additional fee, he would have booked at a nicer place. he also was upset because according to them the security was harassing the EDC goers (he feels that this was the reason for a much tighter security). He had stayed their before with friends and that is why he felt comfortable staying there this time.

 Chuckmonster responded on Monday, 14th July 2014

Room rates are universally based on double occupancy, fine print upon booking usually states that there are extra person fees beyond basic occupancy.

Wrist bands prevent crash pad weekends - EDC. Witnessed a 12 person crash pad in room at Circus Circus for Phish halloween weekend in 1998.

 n580564x replied on Monday, 14th July 2014

Wow! I didn't know that. I thought based on these websites (,, travelosity, etc.), that max occupancy was 4 people. Good to know.

 antcomp replied on Monday, 14th July 2014

Max occupancy (What the fire marshall and insurance cos. will allow them to have in a room), is typically 4 in a 2 bed room. If the max is 4 people in a room, the hotel won't allow you to have 5. When hotels say their room rates are based on double occupancy, they mean that they assume only two guests will be staying in the room, but that you can have more, provided you let them know, and they then have the right to charge you for it per their terms and conditions.

 adztheman replied on Tuesday, 15th July 2014

MGM Resorts hotels now list 2 as the max in a room..I noticed this when booking Excalibur earlier this year...I had three in the room, but had person 3 kinda stand behind us when we checked issues...

Wondering when this outdoor concert venue is built where the Wet and Wild was located if this policy on wristbands will spread to Strip properties, which use room key polices for NYE, and have for years, before allowing anybody in to their respective properties...

 n580564x replied on Tuesday, 15th July 2014


Thanks for the detailed explanation, I myself have never had this issue. I have stayed up to 4 in a room (myself, my wife and older 2 kids), in my younger days I stayed in a room with as many as 5 buddies in one room. I never had an issue, never had security bug me, never had a knock on the door. We knew to stay low and shut up, if you bring attention to yourself THAT is when you get caught.

 n580564x replied on Tuesday, 15th July 2014


I really believe that the wristband policy will begin to spread, especially if the El Cortez was able to make a nice chunk of change by charging for additional wristbands per room.

 lunchboxcity responded on Tuesday, 15th July 2014

I guess I can see why the wristband thing makes sense, but I would be pissed if a hotel made me walk around all weekend wearing a wristband just so I could get to my room. I think I'd probably find somewhere else to stay.

 n580564x replied on Friday, 18th July 2014


My cousin was very pissed, he tried to find another room. When he stepped away from the front desk to look online for another room the prices were through the roof. He went back swallowed his pride and paid.

 levans responded on Thursday, 17th July 2014

It makes sense that the hotel wanted wristbands to make sure the rooms were over capacity. I wouldn't be annoyed by this if I was a guest. Most places made you show your room key to get up to your rooms before they decided to stop doing so.

 n580564x replied on Friday, 18th July 2014


I agree that it makes sense to hand out wristbands to avoid 8 to a room, but they clearly indicated 3 at the time of the reservation. My cousin was upset that he was not advised of the $25 per wristband cost. The way it was explained was that it was for the wristband, not for the 3rd person. In other words they were not saying that it was for additional occupants, it was for all purposes a fee for the actual wristband. That is what makes it sound sketchy. He had friends at the Main Street, Cal, Freemont, 4 Queens and the Grand, the El Co was the only one doing this. My cousin paid the fee, but he felt swindled.

 motoman responded on Thursday, 17th July 2014

I've noticed that when looking at MGM sites even for two-room suites like Mandalay X1500 and the similar end-cap suites at MGM, the rate goes up when you choose more than 2 guests on the drop-down menu. I don't recall reading it up front, but move that slider down to 3 or 4, and each addition gets an additional, per person charge. (This was a year or more ago.) Even two-room Skylofts when I checked just out of curiosity (because those are out of reach for us). I believe Wynncore does the same.

I can understand using wristbands to prevent key-sharing as a means of circumventing security, and perhaps ElCo was more strict especially because their customer base may not be the festival crowd. And we've usually had to flash our card at Wynncore, Aria and Vdara.

The shocker is that the clerk at Sky Suites actually asked how many additional keys we would like. Really...? So the "fancy people" really do get away with more.... Sad.

 n580564x replied on Friday, 18th July 2014


This is exactly what he was saying. Why didn't the fee get added on at the time of the reservation, when he clicked on 3 he should have seen an increase of $25. It was done to corner you into the $25 fee at check in when you have lost all leverage. If they disclose the fee who is going to pick the El Co over any other hotel in downtown, let's be honest, the El Co is the worst hotel Downtown now that the Vegas club has shuttered it's hotel. It was an underhanded ploy. My cousin also advised me yesterday that he did try to find another room online, but by that time prices had skyrocketed to the point that it made the El Co the only option.

 saharalv replied on Friday, 18th July 2014

ElCo the worst downtown? Hardly (see Cabana Suites).
You are stating that prices were sky high at other hotels, but complaining when ElCo charges $25 when you have gone over capacity for their room...what, exactly is the problem??

 n580564x replied on Friday, 18th July 2014


I have stayed at the Cabana Suites before, I agree that they are very nice (if not extremely loud. lol). I myself have stayed at the El Co in the Tower and Pavillion rooms (those are the ones I'm talking about. My cousin booked a 2 Queen beds room, clearly stated that there would be 3 occupants at booking. He booked his room a couple of months before the EDC. Now... If you know anything about room rates, you know that if you book a room with enough notice you will get a better price if you try to book one on the same day. For example, If i were to book a room for the El Co on 08/22 and 8/23, I would pay $50 a night. The same exact room tonight and tomorrow would be $96 a night. that is what the problem is, if the El Co would have disclosed that $25 "wristband" fee ahead of time he would have booked with the Main Street, Cal or Freemont just to name a few. All of the regular rooms are much nicer that the Regular rooms at the El Co. It is a bait and switch, you disclose that there will be 3 occupants in a room, they agree to the price at booking and THEN they spring it on you at check in. I did not book the room so I don't take that personally, but I do agree with my cousin that it is shady the way they did it.