Crazy Truth!

Who Owns What Now?

So you think by shopping around you’ll find a great deal? Well maybe, maybe not. The fact of the matter is this – the travel industry is owned by a few corporate giants. And those giants control the “Brands”. Expedia, Hotels.com, TravelAdvisor, Hotwire are all under the same umbrella.

Expedia, Inc. is parent company to some of the world’s leading travel companies, providing travel products and services to leisure and corporate travelers in the US and around the world. We own and operate a diversified portfolio of well-recognized brands — including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, TripAdvisor, Egencia, Classic Vacations®, and a range of other US-based and international businesses. Together, these popular brands and innovative businesses make Expedia, Inc. the largest online travel agency in the world, the third largest travel company in the US, and the fourth largest travel company in the world. And we are on a mission to become the largest and most profitable seller of travel in the world, by helping everyone everywhere plan and purchase everything in travel.  Source:   http://www.expediainc.com/

And the Corporate Nepotism spreads wide and deep.  Priceline is owned by the same company that owns Harley Davidson.  Orbitz was founded by 5 major commercial airlines (Now owned by Cendant, who also owns CheapTickets.com among others).  Sabre Holdings which provides nearly all the back end booking services to over 50,000 travel agents worldwide owns Travelocity (Which in turn owns a number of related companies like Showtickets.com).

In Las Vegas proper you have the MGM Mirage owning the MGM Grand, Signature at MGM Grand, The Mirage, NYNY, Excalibur, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, Luxor, Circus Cirus, and at the time of this writing the “City Center Project”.  The city center project has a huge foriegn investment from the Country of Dubai. In 2008 Treasure Island was sold by MGM Resorts to help offset the economic downturn.

Station Casino’s – Red Rock Resort, Green Valley Ranch Resort, Aliante Station, Palace Station, Sunset Station, Santa Fe Station, Texas Station, Boulder Station,Fiesta Rancho,Fiesta Henderson, Wild Wild West is in some serious financial trouble and at risk of bankruptcy or selling out to another investment group.  If Station were to to go under they would take 14,000 jobs with them.

Boyd Gaming is rumored to be interested in some or all of the properties depending on the price.  Boyd Las Vegas properties include the California Hotel, MainStreet Station, Fremon Hotel and Casino, Sams Town, Sun Coast, The Orleans, And Gold Coast.

Las Vegas Sands Corp owns and operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, THe Palazzo Resort Hotel CAsino, The Sands Expo and Convention Center and other properties world Wide.

Steve Wynn owns the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.

The point is not to figure out every single owner, but rather to open up your knowledge a bit about how the industry unfolds.  It’s tough to find a great rate on a Large Corporate Hotel because the rates are pretty much fixed by the corporations.

What about Websites?

Vegas.com and Las Vegas.com – Same people.  Looking for Show Tickets, again a handfull of owners.  And they all use “Branding” to sell their offerings.  And how would you know?  You probably wouldn’t.  And in the end it really doesn’t matter.

OnlyVegas.com and VisitLasVegas.com – The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors authority.

It’s your job to shop around and find the best deal, just keep in mind you may really be “shopping” the same place even though it has a different name or look.

The bottom line is Big Corporate Money controls what you find in the Search Engines so don’t get your hopes up too high about finding a “secret” deal no one else knows about, because ultimately the only real secret about Las Vegas is it’s a Business – plain and simple.

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