Insider Vegas Secrets You Really, Really Don’t Want to Know About Las Vegas Hotels

This blog post is not for the faint of heart, because it talks about Las Vegas secrets most people would prefer not to know. This post is for everyone else. Fair warning.

So, every once in awhile you hear about something weird or morbid happening in Las Vegas. But what you might not know is strange, disturbing, morbid things actually happen all the time, you just never hear about those. That’s because a city built on tourism has to sometimes keep things on the down-low.

In the case of Las Vegas, 99% of what happens in hotel-casinos stays in hotel-casinos. Journalists are complicit. Law enforcement is complicit. Hotel employees and management are complicit. Just about everybody’s in on it, because if you freak people out, the thinking goes, they might not visit.

That’s boneheaded thinking, of course. It’s Las Vegas, and in Las Vegas, morbid things are fun and any weirdness just adds to the allure of Sin City. So, here we go. It’s time for some awkward Vegas secrets.

Las Vegas sign

Last chance to just skip this blog post altogether. We have others (781 to be exact).

Las Vegas had more than 40 million visitors in 2014, and guess what: Any number of them died in their hotel rooms, most of natural causes. According to the Clark County coroner’s office, about 1,100 visitors die while in Las Vegas each year. The coroner’s office says 67 percent of those deaths are the result of accidents, 15 percent committed suicide and 11 percent were the victims of homicide. No cause of death could be determined in six percent of the deaths.

That’s not the weird part. What makes it weird is what hotels do when they find someone’s died in their room: They relocate the body. The reason? If a body is discovered by authorities in a hotel room, there’s a mandatory two-week quarantine of that room. That’s two weeks of potential revenue lost by the hotel. So, a few intrepid souls on the hotel staff move the body to a place on the resort grounds where a quarantine isn’t required.

Just try and find a single media story about anyone dying of natural causes in a Las Vegas hotel room, ever. We’ll wait.

Las Vegas hotels aren’t entirely cold-hearted, of course. For example, when a hotel guest dies, it’s standard practice to comp the room. Magnanimous, right?

They don’t tend to be as generous in the case of suicide, however.

When someone offs themself in a Las Vegas hotel, if the suicide results in damage to the hotel’s physical property, they will bill the family and survivors for that damage.

For example, if you shoot yourself to death, and the bullet goes through hotel furniture or the room’s window or TV, the estate of the suicide victim will be billed for the cost of repair or replacement. Imagine the shock of getting that bill!

hearse

We knew this hearse photo would come in handy someday.

And, yes, suicides are frequent in Las Vegas hotels, no matter how seldom you hear about them.

Aside from the usual drama in people’s lives, there’s also an element of desperation in a Las Vegas visit for some people. A common scenario is that people come to Las Vegas as a last-ditch effort to turn their remaining assets into a life-changing windfall. When Lady Luck doesn’t smile on them, they often see suicide as their only way out of the hole they’ve dug. Tragic, but anything but uncommon.

Just a tiny fraction of suicides in Las Vegas hotels are reported by the media. That’s how Vegas secrets stay Vegas secrets.

Hotels try to handle suicides discreetly, of course, with hotel team members handling deaths with military precision. Local ambulance companies and funeral parlors are sworn to secrecy. Journalists don’t talk about the deaths because if you cross a Las Vegas hotel company, you’re blacklisted, making your job nearly impossible in a town where hotel-casino public relations departments are the gatekeepers of information and access.

Some of the most gruesome suicides happen off of hotel balconies and parking garages, but the absolute winner in the area of ghastly suicides has to be the Luxor. Why’s that? Well, because if you jump from a balcony or parking garage, you land outside. At Luxor, because of its pyramid design, jumpers jump inside the building, into the casino and reception area. Yeah, horrifying.

We could regale you with endless morbid stories, but often there’s no way to tell if they’re real or urban myths, unless you witness it first hand or know someone who has.

It’s no secret, though, that bodies have been known to surface at the Linq hotel (formerly The Quad) during heavy rains.

That’s because something called the Flamingo Wash crosses the Las Vegas Strip at The Linq, and when it rains, victims (often homeless people who live in the storm drainage tunnels running under the city) end up floating into the casino’s parking garage.

Police car lights

Oh, the stories these police car lights could tell if they weren’t under strict orders to keep things on the QT.

There’s also the story of a Rehab partier dying of natural causes in the Hard Rock’s pool surrounded by hundreds of sun-seekers. In time, guests realized the guy wasn’t just playing a practical joke and lifeguards removed him from the pool. Hotel staff quietly whisked the guy away, greased some palms at the ambulance company and the story was never publicly told.

Not everything we don’t want to know about Las Vegas has to do with death, of course. Sometimes, it’s just plain gross or awkward. Naturally, we’re sharing it!

First, there’s a casino practice that happens at every casino, but which only a few insiders know about. Brace yourself.

Each night, members of the casino’s maintenance staff go from slot machine chair to slot machine chair with a combination of a sponges and paper towels, pressing them down on each seat. They do this to determine which seats have been urinated on by patrons too tired, drunk or lazy to get themselves to the restroom. (This problem happens with table game chairs, too, but much less frequently.) High-powered, industrial-strength devices, called “extractors,” are used to clean and dry the chairs.

Worth noting: When customers inquire with casino staff about their chair being wet, they’ll most often claim someone spilled a drink and offer a replacement chair.

Hey, when we said these are things you don’t want to know, we meant it.

IP Las Vegas

Trust us, this photo would have been hilarious if it were still called the Imperial Palace.

Here’s another Las Vegas hotel truth: Every hotel-casino has security blind spots management would rather nobody know about. We’ve all heard a lot about the incredible surveillance hotels and casinos have, but here’s a true story that’ll make you think twice when staying at your favorite Las Vegas hotel.

A few years ago, a hotel guest at a hotel we won’t name checked in, paying for his room in cash. The next day, housekeeping entered the room to discover everything in the room had been stolen. And we mean everything. Every piece of furniture, fixtures, lamps, TVs, the whole nine yards, including a king-sized bed. Security scrutinized video footage from the hotel hallways, elevators and casino, but even after days of investigation they found not a second of video showing the removal of any of the stolen furniture.

Thefts and robberies in Las Vegas hotel rooms aren’t uncommon, unfortunately, so we recommend using common sense: Don’t leave valuables out in the open, take advantage of the in-room safe and keep your cash on you during your visit.

Another thing you probably don’t want to know about your Las Vegas hotel room? People you don’t know have had sex on absolutely everything in your room. Every piece of furniture. Every counter or table or other flat surface. Every sink and bathtub. Everything. The visual is great, but it’s best not to think of your room as you would your home. Housekeepers are very, very busy in Las Vegas.

Here’s a final Las Vegas secret you may or may not want to know. It involves sex again, so please don’t send a link to this blog post to your grandma.

In every major hotel in Las Vegas, there’s a special bin. It’s large, on wheels. And often, it’s filled to the brim with sex toys left behind by hotel guests. Every week or so, or sometimes more frequently, depending upon the size of the hotel, staffers dispose of the scores of sex toys into hotel trash dumpsters.

Bondage kit

People get their freak on in Vegas. And they often leave some of their freak behind.

From what we know of this practice, the sheer number of sex toys found in rooms and disposed of via these bins is staggering. Visitors come to Vegas looking for a wild time, make their toy purchases at one of the many adult shops in town (many of the hotels have their own sex shops as well), but don’t necessarily want folks back home knowing what they’ve been up so, so they leave the toys in their room.

We’ve even heard people on staff at the hotel take their pick of the toys, presumably sanitizing them before use.

One notable find was a whopping three-foot-long device called something along the lines of the “Moby 3.” We are not making this up. Three feet. Because Vegas, baby.

It’s been so therapeutic purging all these weird Las Vegas facts and stories, so thank you for reading this far. If you have stories of your own, we’d love to hear them in the comments section! Now back to our regularly-scheduled blog posts about Las Vegas restaurants, shows and cocktails. Especially that last thing.

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  • Blonde4ever

    Wow..I am scarred for life now! Thanks Scott!

  • “This one time…….at Vegas camp.”

  • tsh85

    The Moby 3 is around $1000….that was a great find

  • Great article!

    • Thank you for dropping by, and thanks for taking the time to say so.

  • Rebecca Kennedy

    Hey Scott, how did you find out about the hotel bin of sex toys? And tell me more about….(many of the hotels have their own sex shops as well) ….are they at their hotel, or do they own a shop somewhere in town? Some of this article would be perfect for Halloween!

    But really I’m stuck on those bodies washing up in the Linq! What a picture!

    • I learned about all those items from first-person accounts! I guess I figured lots of toys were left behind, but until I learned about the bin, I had no idea how many. In the bigger hotels, it’s thousands a year.

      • boulder steve

        I hope your right about the staffers putting the sex toys in the dumpster. It would be real easy to rinse them off and put them back on the store shelves..GROSS!

        • Scott Roeben

          Agreed. We assume those stores have an “All sales final” policy, too. “)

      • kimberly miller

        You are SO right about thousands of sex toys being left a year- it’s unbelievable. Many people go to Vegas for fun…and don’t want to return home with evidence, so they leave them on a nightstand, bathroom, etc. At the properties I worked for, these items were considered unsanitary and were immediately discarded. It’s amazing to me there are hotels that actually keep them in lost and found. While our procedures were were HAD to keep personal items for 30 days in case of a claim, sex toys were exempt due to the fact they could be potentially hazardous material, as it’s well known that toys that may have porous surfaces can leave things you do not want hanging around…hanging around! 🙂

        • Thanks for your thoughts on that. A very weird aspect of Vegas most people would never even think exists.

  • Dreakie

    ‘Imagine the shock of getting that bill!’ … laughed really hard at that lol Thanks for the post, very good to know, everything you stated so far. I stayed once in a hotel on the strip (don’t wanna state the name though), I was really happy cause I found a nice hotel offer for 2 nights, but then I accidentally heard I got the room where ‘they found something incredibly gross’. I wonder if they also meant a toy or something different. I’ll never find out … haha.

  • Kerr

    On the suicides at Luxor, how can the hotel cover those up? In the lobby, there always dozens of people (hundreds during the day) milling around, shopping, etc. and most don’t work for the hotel. So how can the hotel keep that quiet? They can’t pay off all (or even most) of the witnesses.

    How could someone empty out an entire hotel room without anyone seeing anything? That sounds like an inside job.

    • Scott Roeben

      You’d be surprised what the hotels can cover up! The stories sometimes get out, but people tend to not believe them. The room theft was definitely not an inside job. The thieves were just very familiar with security and were really, really sneaky. It was planned, though, as they paid in cash.

  • kimberly miller

    Hi Scott! First off, awesome blog. I’m a new visitor. I used to live in Vegas after being offered a job I couldn’t turn down working for a company I’m sure you know that owns a number of properties on the strip. MAJOR hotels. I am no longer employed, as I opened my own business, so therefore obviously feel no obligation to keep secrets. I’m curious about the info you were given on how deaths are handled. As I was in a managerial position, I often had the heartbreaking job of dealing with them (on multiple properties). I’m particularly confused about the two week quarantine claim. When a death occurred there was a standard procedure. Housekeeping were naturally the employees who discovered them the most. First, we secured the area. While this wasn’t particularly necessary for deaths of natural causes, it was crucial for obvious suicides as in Nevada suicides are considered crime scenes that warrant a full investigation. There’s a very methodical process for dealing with deaths (which includes two employees MUST be in the room at all times, as you don’t want accusations from family that items were stolen). There’s also a whole process of gathering and realizing personal property to families that can be very tricky as we needed an estate certificate to release certain types of belongings (ie; valuables). This could take weeks, months, and sometimes even years. The *only* time there was a procedure for quarantine is if the death was suspected to be caused by a contagious illness/disease, particularly if the deceased was visiting from a foreign country. Besides that, for a natural (I hate to say it, but “mess free” death), it was business/housekeeping as usual with extra sanitation. Suicides are obviously a different story if it was gory, or if the body was decomposing. This was rare, as housekeeping is generally in rooms daily. That required massive cleanup and haz-mat crews. The entire process IS very discreet as you said, as it could cause PR nightmares. Elevators / hallways are secured so guests do not see what is taking place, etc. As for moving the body— that seems VERY odd and nonsensical – not something you could get away with or there would even be a need to do. Putting a corpse in a public area would causes SO many problems and be a worse PR nightmare.

    • Thanks so much for your insights on this!

    • Terry Licia

      Agreed, and like you, could ‘prove it’ but … hey, it IS Vegas, baby! LOL But true that, no ‘quarantine’ — too much CSI? 😉

  • Scott, I guess you really get the inside scoop, even on things you don’t really want to know about Vegas.

    • Thanks. Yeah, some of this stuff I sort of wish I didn’t know.

  • Breezy Vegas

    If any of this blog is true, cite your sources. I’ve lived in Las Vegas my entire life and worked in many Casinos. None of this is true. Actually you don’t even have to cite the source, provide me with one undeniable piece of evidence that supports any of those situations.

    • No. Although, 1,100 people at year die visiting Las Vegas a year, many in hotels. How many of those deaths have you seen reported in the media? These incidents are well-known among hotel-casino employees.

      • Breezy Vegas

        My point exactly. You have no real facts. Just “blog worthy” false information. I’ve worked Casino Security and I can assure you, there are never any cases past, or future that a body is moved. Forensics would be all over that in a heart beat. They would verify very quickly the body had been moved. “Two week quarantine”? Asinine.

        • Appreciate your thoughts, but just because you’re not aware of something doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Sources are longtime hotel and casino folks and have no reason to lie.

          • AgentPink

            I knew a VIP host at one of the MGM properties who once told us that hundreds of suicides occur every year in hotel rooms and that staff is highly trained to have the room clean, wall patched and repainted if necessary and ready for the next 3:00PM check-in. So goes the machine.

          • Yeah, people don’t hear about the deaths too often, so they tend not to believe there are so many. Often, there’s nothing nefarious going on, but everyone involved knows it’s better for everyone to keep things quiet.

          • Nicholas Hefflin

            No. It’s about 5% true. I’ve worked security for 9 years now. 6 years in dispatch and 4 writing reports (multiple positions at once). Everything goes through our report system, EVERYTHING. From sleepers to suicides. I bet none of your sources know what our report writing system is even called, or the previous system. Your sources are liars.

          • bdb Dbd

            Thank You, Im tired of this nonsense. Sure its fun to make myths but its absolutely against the law to move a body from a death scene and Im sure they do standard procedure and move the body through the employee elevator end of story.

          • Terry Licia

            Maybe pre-1989, a few bodies could’ve been moved but there’s nothing like that happening now, regardless of your ‘first person’ accounts. Nothing is less reliable than ‘eye witnesses’ as you likely already know. 🙂 I mean, why bother? What employee earns so much or so little money that they want to be intimately involved in moving a suicide, especially when protocols exist to keep things moving to AVOID publicity? Nahh … someone has played you, hon. Even if it were a murder, what? Multiple house staff gets paid millions in hush money? HA! Good movie, good novel, but not real life. Not anymore anyway!

  • Rad26

    It’s not a “cover up”… there are rules and regulations that the media must follow when it comes to reporting suicide, to avoid sensationalizing it. Please educate yourself.

  • Kris H

    WOW! This was a very interesting article! Some of it a bit creepy and I think from now on I will buy Lysol and Bleach wipes before entering any hotel room. Lol Thanks for writing a great article!

    • Thanks for the comment, and not a bad idea. “)

  • E Grimm

    Actually, he is telling the truth. I work alongside security in majority of MGM property casinos.. And I’ll tell you right now I’ve heard stories.. And I’ve seen two people commit.. You think Luxor has a lot? (Which yes they did have a suicide there and with people standing around. But people will close off the area and get people back.. They have procedures in place for when this happens, because it does happen.. When Cosmo opened it was #1 for suicides. The young female who died (jumped to her death at ****** ******) the woman who was wanted by the feds jumped from (*********) in broad daylight… Whom I seen.. The gentleman who jumped from ****** garage.. Saw him laying on the ground for a while in broad daylight.. The story about the young man who died on the ******** (I’ve seen the film..) Died… Then his older brother, a year later, jumped from the ******** hotel and casino, all because he felt responsible and couldn’t take it.. I have named more than a few.. No, didn’t reveal the names because I actually work for a company that works with security. No one talks about it but trust me it does and has happen… Sadly some just come here to end it..

    • Brandy Jean Brandeberry

      I lost someone close December 12th of last year. He died by suicide in the MGM. Nothing was published of his death. Could you tell me how I might be able to find more information? Ive been told a police report may only be obtained by the next of kin. His mother and he were not close. I can not contact her. Any help would be appreciated,

      • It’s tricky. Sorry I can’t help, but maybe one of my readers can.

  • lani

    Great…I’m reading this from a hotel room now…… aaahhh

  • Samuel Mazzini

    Sad ,Suicide is never the answer,life is a fucking game; some people win and some lose ,accept that and you’ll be fine .

  • Grumpy Mets Fan

    Not sure if anyone will still see this but I had to add a comment about what occurred on my last trip to Luxor. I was sitting in the dining area of the taco restaurant near the show rooms on the atrium level and all of the sudden I heard the loudest boom as if something had crashed and fallen with an insane amount of force. I’ve never heard anything like this inside of a casino. Everyone looked around and the place went silent for a good 15 seconds. Me and the table next to me began speculating that someone had jumped from the upper floors.

    The luxor is no joke when it comes to those low railings and high floors. I stayed on the 26th floor one time and almost lost my lunch when I looked over the railing. I’m not sure what it was that caused the loud boom on my last trip but it definitely wasn’t planned and sure as heck sounded like it weighed the same as a body would if it had fell over. It sounded like it landed near where the chapel and fantasy show room is located.

  • Richard A Pico

    used to work at a hotel as a security agent (i wont mention names) and bed bugs were discovered in one of the rooms. the hotel emptied the above, below & adjacent rooms of everything–bare, no rugs, just walls and floors. then fumigators arrived. after a day or so, new furniture, beds, etc were re-installed. the kicker is we were sworn to absolute secrecy or be fired forthwth. what was amazing is was how quickly the hotel emptied those rooms of everything. incredible.

    • Terry Licia

      Thus, was created the great mystery of the emptied room! Shades of Sherlock and “The Adventures of the Speckled Band,” Carr’s “The Hollow Man” and the thousands of other “locked-room” mysteries throughout the ages! Viva Las Vegas! (I just love saying that!)

  • Richard A Pico

    yeah, as a security agent for a hotel, we handled lots of noise complaints. i saw it all: naked men & women; drunks; dope; firearms; children crying, animal turds. but the worst is arriving to a room and a subject has been on a 7-day drunk, drinking their brains out. not pretty. the room a disaster; body fluids all over…just plain sad…man oh man…

  • Terry Licia

    Fun, funny article based loosely on the evils of Las Vegas, aka Sin City. Even if Las Vegas has been dressed up in its Sunday school best, underneath there’s still a voluptuous body ready to rumble! Ahhh, the wages of sin are lucrative, fun and oh so very dangerous – occasionally.