The Mandalay Bay Conundrum
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, promotes itself as a 39-story luxury
hotel offering unmatched luxury, fine dining, renowned entertainment, and personal service.
The main hotel boasts over 3,300 rooms, a 135,000-square-foot casino, a variety of water
attractions, including a wave pool and a lazy river, nongaming entertainment options such as
the House of Blues, and 24 restaurants and cafes. Mandalay Bay is owned by MGM Mirage and
is connected by a free tram service to its sister properties, Excalibur and Luxor. Professor Taylor
(ironically, a services marketing professor) and his wife were looking forward to spending four
nights at the resort and casino and spending some time with his sister and brother and their
respective spouses who live across the country—a mini-family reunion was the purpose of the
Professor Taylor’s brother, Ted, had received a direct mail piece from Mandalay Bay months
earlier that offered a promotional rate of $69.99 a night (a discount of $30 a night off the
regular room rate). After contacting his siblings and agreeing on a date, Ted immediately
booked three rooms for each of the three couples, and the mini-family reunion was set.
Upon checking into the hotel in August, Ted and his brother-in-law, Bill, renegotiated all three
couple accommodations. The deal resulted in a double upgraded room for each couple
consisting of a 765-square-foot mini-suite, a Jacuzzi bathtub, and views of the Vegas strip. The
additional cost for these upgrades was $25 a night—a price everyone agreed was a very good
Professor Taylor and his wife arrived at the hotel a day later than the other two couples who
had rooms on the 10th floor. Due to availability constraints, the professor and his wife were
given a room on the penthouse level (floors 35–39) of the hotel that are uniquely numbered as
floors 60–64. This room was the same size as the other two couples’ rooms; however, the
penthouse floors came with the added advantages of an express elevator and enhanced views
of the Vegas strip due to being placed at a higher elevation.
Everyone was very pleased with their rooms and all the accommodations available at the
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The couples attended shows, took advantage of the hotel’s
swimming pools, walked the strip, enjoyed dining together, and dabbled in the various hotels’
casinos—many of which are owned by the MGM Mirage. The days passed quickly, and the
couples often found themselves returning to their hotel rooms around 3:00 a.m. each night.
On the second night of their stay at Mandalay Bay, the professor and his wife returned to their
room, 60201, and noticed a slightly foul smell present in their room that had not been there
earlier in the day. The couple went to sleep that night and never thought about it the next day
because the smell was no longer present in the morning. Upon returning to their room at
around 3:00 a.m. on the third night, the foul smell had returned. By 3:30 a.m. the smell had so
greatly intensified, the couple was nearly over- come with nausea and called security to
investigate. A young security employee noted that the smell was not present anywhere else in
the hallway except for directly outside of Room 60201. Not sure what to do, the young security
employee, covering her nose (the smell was really bad), called her manager to help investigate
The security manager, with finger under nose, entered the room and immediately called for the
hotel’s engineering staff (maintenance). The security manager briefly apologized, then called
the front desk to arrange for another room for the professor and his wife. Engineering entered
the room with spray deodorizers in hand and attempted at least to mask the odor. Engineering
believed that a gas bubble had built up in the hotel’s sanitation system, and the smell was the
result of a “burp” that was directly venting into Room 60201. A new room was provided for the
couple, and a bellman helped pack up their belongings around 3:45 to 4:00 a.m. Other security
guards were now present in the hallway, with hands covering their noses and mouths as they
attempted to get “upwind” (their words) of “the smell.”
The new accommodations for the professor and his wife were located one floor above their
existing room (still on the penthouse floors) and were quite nice. In fact, the room was no
longer a room—it was now a five-room suite. The new accommodation was approximately
1,700 to 2,000 square feet, consisting of a full dining room, wet bar, living room, entertainment
options including a large plasma television and enhanced audio capabilities such as docking
station for an iPod with speakers located throughout, a four-poster bed, electronic curtains,
and two bathrooms (including a steam room). The regular price for the room ranged from $350
to $500 per night (the professor and his wife were not charged the additional price). The
professor and his wife spent their last two nights at Mandalay Bay in this suite. No one from the
hotel initiated contact with the couple after they were placed in their new accommodations.
Other Notable Considerations
• Although nice Las Vegas hotel rooms can be obtained at reasonable rates, guests spend the
majority of their “Vegas budget” on airfare, child and/or pet care, meals, entertainment
(including gambling and show tickets), car rental and/or taxi fees, and retail shopping. The vast
majority of meal and entertainment dollars are spent on property. It would not be
unreasonable to assume that a couple could easily spend $1,500 to $2,000 for a five day/fournight stay.
• The professor and his wife vacation in Las Vegas approximately once or twice every five years.
• The professor’s brother-in-law talked to the manager on duty the next morning who had no
idea the situation had taken place. The manager advised that the guests affected should file a
formal report with security. Security was contacted, and took a formal report, but were visibly
confused as to why they were involved.
• The professor’s wife complained of nausea and a headache that lasted for approximately 12
hours after the incident.
• The professor’s wife called the front desk to inquire about the cause of the foul odor and was
instructed to contact the Risk Management Office. Risk Management offered to compensate
the couple with two free nights at Mandalay Bay that could be used anytime in the next two
years. When asked if they could provide accommodations that were similar to the couple’s
original room (765 square feet), the Risk Management Office noted that they could not
guarantee similar accommodations.
• Mandalay Bay was to send the vouchers for the two-night stay to the home of the professor
and his wife. Several weeks have passed, and the couple received no mail from Mandalay Bay.
Purchase answer to see full