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Some Call It 'Scalping'

February 09, 1992

I recently tried to make a last-minute hotel reservation in Las Vegas for a busy convention weekend. After calling five hotels directly and having no luck, I saw an ad in the yellow pages for Las Vegas Lake Tahoe Reno Accommodations. I called and they gave me about five choices, including the Dunes at $159 a night.

Since this seemed a little on the high side, I called the Dunes direct. I was able to book the same room for $59. I called the Las Vegas division of tourism and they said that such a markup is entirely legal. The reservation companies buy up blocks of rooms and can charge whatever the market will bear. A 169% markup brings new meaning to the term "scalping."

LAWRENCE A. POST

Beverly Hills

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