Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), the struggling e-commerce coupon company, has become desperate enough to expand its business model. Part of this expansion includes pre-packaged vacations trips. And, some of these include “deals” which are 50% below what Groupon says are their face value.
Among the most heavily promoted deals:
A casino hotel “near” the Las Vegas Strip. The fact that it is not on the Strip is almost certainly the reason that the package has a discount of 58% off, and the room rate in an extraordinarily low $21 a night. The rooms are in the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino which describes itself —
The highlight of LVH is probably its 95,000-square-foot casino, where you’ll find row upon row of slot machines and gaming tables. But the sprawling resort also contains enough restaurants, bars, and live-entertainment venues to satisfy a small city. These include the hotel’s flagship restaurant, Benihana, where you can dine on steak and lobster prepared by hibachi chefs. For a more casual meal, head to Burger Bistro, where burgers include the California lamb and vegetarian.
Another 50% off deal is to visit the Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg in Williamsburg, VA. Anyone who buys the package even gets free tickets to the local water park. Too good to be true, at least as far as Groupon is concerned:
High above Fort Mackenzie — a four-story waterlogged treehouse that feels like it could be a part of The Swiss Family Robinson or Pirates of the Caribbean — a 1,000-gallon bucket slowly fills with water. Suddenly, the big bucket topples, drenching those gathered below in a torrent of water. Heated to a balmy 84 degrees, Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg’s indoor water park and its 15 splash-filled attractions draw visitors looking for an aquatic getaway no matter the season. In addition to braving Fort Mackenzie, you can crash into 3-foot waves at Beaver Tail Pond, careen down a six-story funnel slide at Howlin’ Tornado, and unwind on a raft in the Crooked Creek lazy river.
Too good to be true? Depends on whether you like water parks.
Also too good to be true, at least for the budget minded — Club Ambiance in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. And, at $459 a day, 52% off the $960 retail price. However, crime on the island is relatively high compared with many other warm water destinations. The discount, under those circumstances, may not be so much of a find. Nevertheless, some details:
From the rolling rhythms of reggae music to a dress code of swimsuits and flip-flops, Jamaica’s resort communities embody the concept of “laid back.” Club Ambiance, an adults-only, all-inclusive resort located on the island’s secluded north coast, fits the bill with unlimited cocktails, a clothing-optional beach, and a disco club that stays open as late as revelers want. This laissez-faire atmosphere is one of the reasons the hotel attracts repeat guests, many of whom reportedly refer to Club Ambiance as a “home away from home.”
Particularly if your home has a high crime rate.
And, finally, the best for last — honey moon destination Niagara Falls, for 68% off. Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview in Niagara Falls, Ont. So it is not even in the United States. That does not matter if the goal of the visitor is to go over the falls in a barrel or tire. The deal:
Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview is located within walking distance of one of North America’s most famous natural wonders: the roaring Horseshoe Falls. The hotel also boasts easy access to one of the area’s most popular manmade attractions, thanks to an indoor walkway leading to Fallsview Casino Resort. Here you’ll find more than 100 gaming tables, 3,000 slots, an array of video-poker machines, and a performance venue that hosts music and comedy acts (this Getaway includes a $25 credit for slots).
Gamble first. Go over the Falls second