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My fellow Canadians: How does the low dollar impact your Vegas trip?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by cjohnson202, Oct 21, 2014.

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  1. cjohnson202

    cjohnson202 VIP Whale

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    Hey Everyone,

    just curious to hear from those Canadians here and how the very hurting Canadian dollar is impacting your Vegas trips. I know some of you have been going to Vegas for a long time, and the dollar's current value is still way better than it used to be 10 years ago, but I only started going to Vegas in 2009 and since then have enjoyed a very strong Canadian dollar. This year, however, has been a different story. Before I would buy maybe $500 US dollars to start and take the rest out of the ATM's as I needed it. The conversion rate from the ATM's isn't terrible and I'd only be paying the ATM fees, so my budget would hardly be affected. However now with the dollar so bad, I usually buy a couple hundred US a few times a month and have my full budget (usually $2000-$2500) converted in US before I leave. I usually take about half in cash with me, and then take out the rest from the ATM if I needed, and convert it in my bank account through my banking app as I use it. Still costs a bit more to do it that way, but I just don't feel comfortable travelling with $2500 US.

    But yeah, it's definitely not making these trips any cheaper. For example, Yesterday it was $780 cdn to buy $675 US. A year ago, $780 probably would have bought $750 or maybe just slightly less. Not a lot, but it definitely adds up.

    So far, it hasn't stopped me from making the trip down south and it probably never will, I love it too much. It also hasn't changed my budget, I just buy more US cash earlier so I don't feel the impact all at once right before the trip. And before, if I came home from a trip with US cash, I would convert it back, but now I have a US bank account where all the leftover cash goes for next time. So yeah, just curious what everyone else's thoughts are on the issue and what strategies you guys use with the new, less powerful Canadian dollar.
     
  2. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    Vegas is still a bargain in my view. If the dollar is in our favour, it's more of a bargain, that's all. I try to keep the glass half full instead of half empty when it comes to Vegas. There's nothing here that compares to the bang for the buck of Vegas. Having said that, I need the airfare to be within my comfort zone.
     
  3. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    I remember a few years ago when the dollar was above par and for a Vegas trip I went to the bank and got $3000 converted to USD... they wound up giving me almost $3300 so that was pretty good :)

    The big advantage I see for going to Las Vegas is the comps: if you get your room comped and some food that can really take a chunk out of the cost of a vacation and then some other little things like the free drinks in the casino: at our local casinos its $7-8 for a beer, $9-12 for a mix drink, at the casino... if I were to go through 10 drinks a day that'll pretty much make up for the exchange rate.

    Mind you, if it keeps dropping... I remember doing a trip back about 15 years ago when the exchange rate was 1.64 - something like that would keep me from going to Las Vegas where just stuff like $25 for dinner is really like $40 or a $200 room is costing $300/nt, a $20 cab ride is actually $30...
     
  4. zenvegas

    zenvegas Low-Roller

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    Las Vegas is still a great deal. I don't believe the dollar has fallen more than 5 or 6 percent since last November(my last trip).
    I have another trip coming up in a little over a month. Furthermore, I fly on points, get at least 3 and usually all 4 nights comped.
    Not a big deal.
    I think that resort fees are a bigger problem.
     
  5. bobby jones

    bobby jones Low-Roller

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    Not bad enough to eliminate a visit, just a slightly smaller bankroll. I remember that time ten years ago going to UK and Europe - 1 pound was $2.40! I Euro was $1.70. that was a pricey vacation!
     
  6. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    I tend to gamble "smaller" in Vegas anyway so my budget for gambling won't be affected much. Rooms and meals are comped. So rental car would be my next biggest expense and if Uber ever makes its way to Vegas I'd consider ditching that. The tipping point for me would probably be closer to a low - mid 80 cent dollar.
     
  7. VegasChic-

    VegasChic- VIP Whale

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    Great question!

    More then anything, I feel utterly stupid for not having converted a big chunk of $$ when the Canadian dollar was above par....we have the means, I knew it wouldn't last, so there really was zero excuse not to do it. Totally dumb.

    I buy a set amount each month for strictly the intention of Vegas, and add it to whatever I came home with last trip. So far, I too am just paying the extra to exchange it. I also remember the painful days at 1.64, and if it hit that again, I would consider going less frequently rather than take anything away from my experience when there.

    I totally agree with Auggie on the comps. Free play is a huge win on its own.

    One other benefit to this is on the gambling wins. Earlier this year I had a hand pay, so when I do eventually get the tax return done, it's actually worth more!

    So, the next question is how low is it expected to go? I already missed out on the huge opportunity when we were above par. Now we're at .89. I could still get a chunk of $$ and it be a benefit if it were expected to continue to drop by much more~
    My only hesitation for just doing it is that we hold pretty solid investments, and the US accounts I looked into basically pay nothing while it sits there if you want liquidity for access to go on trips.
     
  8. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

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    Besides Vegas, I like to cruise, which also requires payment in US dollars. To try to smooth out some of the ups and downs of the Canadian dollar, I opened a US dollar account a couple of years ago and deposit a set amount of money, converted to US, every pay. So far this has helped me maintain my bankroll, and as mentioned, if you include comps for rooms, I don't feel like I'm paying out much more per Vegas trip compared to a year or so again. I also leave any US money as is so there are no exchange losses.
     
  9. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    It doesn't affect me too much other than give me a bad feeling when the dollar is down and a good one when its up. We stashed some bucks in a US account, so any markers I have to pay off come out of that. And big wins (yeah right!) could also be deposited there too, I guess.

    Most of our base expenses (room, food) is comped so we don't have that outlay to worry about, just the gambling budget, primarily.

    Now, some years ago when the dollar was $0.63 - that was different.
     
  10. MoneyToBurn

    MoneyToBurn Low-Roller

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    Yeah, not too much different. The over the top meals cost more, but they always do, anyways. I wouldn't spend a few hundred on dinner at home, but a few hundred times 1.1 on holidays, eh, why not? Most other stuff is comped, so I'm just losing the same amount of Canadian dollars, just more quickly!
     
  11. cjohnson202

    cjohnson202 VIP Whale

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    Thought I'd bump this old thread of mine to see if people's opinions have changed. Obviously the Dollar has continued to tumble and looks like it'll be at 80 cents within a few weeks / months. I've already had my US cash for my next trip bought months ago, but I'm starting to fear the low dollar could have some impact on my other two trips this year or at least next year if things continue to go the way they are going.

    On the flipside, hopefully flight prices start to come down as a result of the plunging oil prices, which would definitely help balance things out.

    thoughts?
     
  12. Jordan

    Jordan Caveman

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    I have a US account that I usually stuff a few dollars in to bankroll at least one trip with...with 4 loosing trips this year, that's been taking a beating though....When it comes time, I'll just hit the bank for the US cash and pay the exchange.....I'll mentally write it off to a bad slot session....
     
  13. Char1

    Char1 High-Roller

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    One Word: OUCH!
    Not happy, but still going. Hopefully better by May when we go back.
     
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  14. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    I wouldn't expect airfare to come down: though much of it was going up because of oil, now that the airlines know people are willing to pay current levels for airfare they'll mostly want to keep it the same. However it will allow more wiggle-room for the airlines to offer better specials now and then and be a bit more competitive.

    Otherwise, for the dollar itself it won't really affect my decision to go or not, either I will or I won't and when I work out a daily budget I think in terms of what I want while I am in Vegas in US dollars so its just going to cost me more to buy what I want/need.

    Through much of the late 80s and early 90s the exchange rate was in the 28-36% range and then near the end of the 90s it went up to 55-60%, so right now that its around 22% isn't as bad as I've seen it in the past... and when it was at or better than par in the mid 2000s I was able to take advantage of that pretty nicely for some trips, so I think in the grand scheme of things it all kind of balances out.
     
  15. Sweetvibes

    Sweetvibes Low-Roller

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    Having been spoiled over the last 10 years with USD f/x rates (often times CAD above USD) it does have an impact for me (I am definitely not a high-roller than can endure this hit) This year I have 7 trips already booked and planned (most flights and rooms are comped so haven't seen the effect here yet to deter me from going) but I think I will really feel it during our nightlife expenditure. Perhaps dinners at STK now will be reduced to Holsteins :)
     
  16. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    Off topic a bit, but I used to visit Windsor a lot from like 2000 to about 2007 or so I would go once or twice a year. This defiantly gives me incentive to travel to hit Caesars Windsor again. I like the idea of getting more $ to gamble with. I know it evens out in the end but still. Sucks though for my Canadian buddies who visit Vegas though...

    I wonder if it would impact gambling more or meals, entertainment or better hotels...
     
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  17. cjohnson202

    cjohnson202 VIP Whale

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    Today with the bank of canada's announcement, the dollar seems headed below 80 cents within the next few days. It's dropped 5-6 cents over the last few weeks with no sign of slowing down. Makes me sad. Still planning on three vegas trips this year but I guess I'll have to see what my losses are from one to the next. I've been increasing my bank roll each trip but may have to "level out". A few years ago $2500 cost me $2600 maybe $2700. Now $2500 is well over $3000. It makes a difference, especially when I'm going every 3-4 months.
     
  18. VegasChic-

    VegasChic- VIP Whale

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    I hear ya, I go 4 times a year as well. It is starting to get very unpleasant. I exchanged some money on Monday at the Royal bank and after bank fees etc, it worked out to almost 25% more, $800 US was $983.44. Making the free play portion of the offers a whole lot more valuable for sure!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I hear ya, I go 4 times a year as well. It is starting to get very unpleasant. I exchanged some money on Monday at the Royal bank and after bank fees etc, it worked out to almost 25% more, $800 US was $983.44. Making the free play portion of the offers a whole lot more valuable for sure!
     
  19. Sweetvibes

    Sweetvibes Low-Roller

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    Wow what a terrible drop. This has actually a practica. impact on my seven trips this year. Thankfully flights and hotels are taken care of, but now the spending, gambling, eating all become significantly more. It may actually reduce a trip or two if this downward spiral doesn't stop.
     
  20. touche22

    touche22 Low-Roller

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    Overall, this sucks for Vegas trips. It's like being down 25% of your bankroll before setting foot in the casino. I would only see myself going 1 or 2 a year and likely not hammering the dollar slots like in the past. Leaving behind 30% on hand pays for taxes also suck. I would be a low roller, probably get bored and move to table games for good. Not taxed on table games.
     
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