News that Floyd Mayweather Jr. would indeed fight Manny Pacquiao on May 2 led to a scramble to secure some of the choicest rooms in Las Vegas.
The reservations website for the MGM Grand, where the fight will take place, soon showed that rooms had sold out, but a representative at the hotel said that some standard rooms were still available by phone. By 8 p.m. ET, wait times to make reservations by phone neared 40 minutes. On Friday night, a room at the MGM Grand that usually costs $190 on a Saturday night was available for the night of May 2 for $705.
Even nearing a sellout of rooms is not an easy thing to do. The MGM Grand has the second most rooms for a hotel in the world (more than 6,800) only surpassed by the Venetian, which is also in Las Vegas.
If there's a city and an industry that know how to capitalize on a huge event, Las Vegas and the hospitality business certainly are it. And there are more hotel rooms in Las Vegas than any city in America.
With the fight that many thought never would happen, most of the priciest of the hotels in the city, including the MGM Grand, went to two-night minimums, while the cheaper hotels raised their usual rates by two to three times their average price.
A room at Circus Circus, which can usually be had for $99 on a given Saturday, cost $199 for the night of May 2.
A Tower Room at the Excalibur, which could be had the Saturday before the fight for $159, costs $349.
At the New York New York Hotel, a room that costs $175 on the Saturday before the fight costs $425 on fight night.
The price for a Terrace Room at the Cosmopolitan even shifted as the night went on. The hotel's website showed a price of $880 for the night of the fight at 7:30 p.m. ET. By 9 p.m., the cost for that model room was up $100 to $980.
The weekend was already in somewhat high demand for the betting crowd. May 2 is also the day the Kentucky Derby will be run.