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March 24, 2017

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At one Las Vegas hotel, $7,500 gets you everything

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Christopher DeVargas

The European pool is shown at the Artisan Hotel on Sahara Avenue, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017.

The Artisan Hotel

The lobby area is shown at the Artisan Hotel on Sahara Avenue, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Launch slideshow »

You don’t need to be as rich as Steve Wynn or Sheldon Adelson to control a Las Vegas hotel. In fact, all you need is $7,500.

That’s how much it costs to rent out the entire Artisan Hotel, including its ultra lounge, bar, pool, private dining rooms, outdoor patio, indoor and outdoor wedding chapel and all 63 rooms.

Granted, the $7,500 is the base rate. You’ll pay more on New Year's Eve or during big conventions and busy weekends, such as next month’s Super Bowl. And yes, $7,500 for 63 rooms works out to be $119 per room, which is neither a great deal nor particularly expensive for Las Vegas.

But then again, most rooms don’t come with their own pool and wedding chapel.

Complete buyouts aren’t unheard of in the hospitality industry. During conventions or the banquet season, companies and trade groups often will buy out an entire restaurant, bar or nightclub for a few hours to host a meeting or event.

But in a city with some of the world’s largest hotels, buying out an entire property is rare.

Anthony Curtis, author of the Vegas blog, lasvegasadvisor.com, said if other Las Vegas properties are offering buyouts, they’re not talking about it.

“Not as a public policy,” he said. “I've heard of these sorts of arrangements being made all the way back to Howard Hughes at the Desert Inn. But it's usually a private negotiation. The Artisan thing is kind of cool.”

One example of that is Tahiti Village, a smaller resort on Las Vegas Boulevard, south of the 215 Beltway. The Tahiti will let guests buy out the whole resort, but the option is not marketed and the price is negotiated on a case-by-case basis, a salesperson said.

The Artisan is owned by the Siegel Group, a real estate investment company that has seven other hotels in its hospitality portfolio, including the Resort on Mount Charleston. The Artisan is located on the southeast side of the Sahara Avenue-Interstate 15 overpass near Highland Drive in an industrial area.

The feel of the Artisan isn’t the old Vegas vibe of Fremont Street casinos or the ultra lounge chic places like the Aria or the Cosmopolitan. And it’s not Motel 6 either. The decor is eclectic and funky, with wood and richly colored fabrics prevalent.

The Siegel Group purchased the hotel in 2009. The property has no gaming, but Michael Crandall, senior vice president for the Siegel Group, said he hopes to add video poker in the bar later this year.

Crandall said his company offers buyouts at their other properties, and the Artisan has offered the deal for some time. But the business has really picked up since Siegel formally started marketing the option early last year.

“On average, four to five nights a month are buyouts,” Crandall said. “It’s now a big part of our business.”

Crandall won’t say who his clients have been — he doesn’t want to give competitors an edge — but the list includes celebrities, businesses, wedding parties and private groups.

“We definitely have had some cool and notable clients,” Crandall said. “I can’t disclose who they are. We don’t talk about our customers. But the list runs the gamut from celebrities to people like you and I. That’s what’s cool about the program we’ve put together. We really do make it affordable and attainable for everyone.”

Typically, the buyouts aren’t long, Crandall said. But occasionally, someone will lock out the entire place for a week.

“We had in the middle of last year, maybe July, a six-night buyout,” he said “That was a corporate piece of business where they basically had almost their own convention at the Artisan. During the day they would have a mini-convention and at night they would have big big parties for their clients and customers.”

The deal isn’t just for tourists. Crandall said about 15-20 percent of the business is local. And if for some reason you need a hotel almost right away, the Artisan will try to make it work.

“A lot of people are booking far out in advance, and that’s ideal,” he sad. “But we’re also able, if they see the ad tomorrow and have event in a month or even three to four weeks, we’re able to make it work. It doesn’t have to be a year in advance.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Gold Spike is a Siegel Group property and the number of hotels in Siegel Group's hospitality portfolio. It is a former property, and Siegel owns a total of eight hotels in its hospitality portfolio. | (January 24, 2017)

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