Ladies' Day at the Beach

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The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas boasts the Moorea Club, which it advertises as offering a European-style beach, with entry limited to ages 21 and over.

It does not advertise that the price of day use is $50 for male customers and $10 for female customers. While examples of price discrimination are ubiquitous, this is one of the purest examples of demand-based price discrimination. The service the club offers is the same to men and women: a place in the sun, which is equally costly to the club regardless of the patron’s gender.

Presumably, women’s price elasticity of demand for the pleasures of the club exceeds that of men, justifying the price differential. As a vacation spot, I’m not impressed with the Moorea Club, preferring a real beach in Europe. But I suppose the overall cost of going to an artificial European beach in Vegas is less, as there’s no need to buy a trans-Atlantic air ticket. To me this Club is useful, though; it offers one of the most clear-cut examples of this type of price discrimination.

(Hat tip: DJH)

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  1. jonathan says:

    It’s like Ladies Night at the bar. The pricing is not so much about the elasticity of male demand but the supply of women at the beach: men go where the women are. I’ll bet they don’t charge attractive women at all, without letting that be known.

    Go to a nightclub with a beautiful woman. The bouncers open the rope as she approaches so you don’t even slow down to get in. It’s not you they’re letting in but her and the reason they let her in is so all the other guys can be in the room with her – even if they have no shot.

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  2. Neela says:

    There’s always the fact that the value of the beach to men is posivitely correlated to the number of women using the club…hint hint European Style bathing is a euphemism…

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  3. Ben says:

    Actually, a ticket to Europe isn’t that expensive if you know when and where to look. No more than a ticket to Vegas I’d imagine.

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  4. Quin says:

    Perhaps, in true European style, they also allow topless patrons, or more exactly patronesses. That would help explain the gender-based price disparity.

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  5. aaron says:

    An alternative, though somewhat related, explanation is that the club is simply trying to increase its ratio of female to male patrons. This strategy would be similar to that used by dancing-type clubs; allow girls to enter without paying cover or waiting in line– more girls makes the club more attractive to guys and thus they are willing to pay a premium to get in.

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  6. Grant says:

    Uh, Quin, I think that’s the point…

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  7. Michael says:

    Number 1 is right. There is a particular positive externality with women at the beach and thus it makes sense for the Club to subsidize their presence there. Lowering the cost of women to use the beach effectively encourages women with lower reservation values to attend, thus creating a “socially optimal” beach allocation.

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  8. Robert Myers says:

    Not sure what “price elasticity of demand” means, but I would assume the difference is designed to get more women in, thereby attracting more men at the higher price, the same way bars and clubs offer ladies nights with cheaper drinks and a lower cover charge. Since ‘European-style beach” most likely means “clothing optional”, the lower price for women would be a major selling point. I’m surprised they don’t advertise the price more blatantly.

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