12/21/10 Las Vegas Resort Fees

    In an era of online discounted travel via air, cruises, hotels, and cars, Las Vegas is no exception. Considering the amount of competition on the strip alone, casino hotels have had to get creative in order to present bottom-line prices so as not to be buried several pages in any given travel search engine. Thus has arisen the “resort fee”, an additional cost paid upon check-in with any major credit card that is accumulated based of the number of days one stays. So what is exactly a “resort fee”? It is a fee ranging from $4.95 to $25.00 a day that covers the guest’s use of hotel amenities.
      What are considered hotel amenities covered by resort fees vary from hotel to hotel. They can be things such as having newspapers available in the lobby to “complimentary” bottled water in the rooms. Other popular resort fee items include spa and business center access, free internet, and free local telephone calls from the room. As I am looking at my “complimentary” Monte Carlo Key holder and welcoming info card, I am struck by a fine print paragraph above where the key would be placed. It says, “For your convenience, a resort fee is added each night to your room account and includes the following hotel services: in-room wired internet, fitness center access, daily newspaper, complimentary copying and faxing, boarding pass printing, and free local and toll-free calls. I can honestly say that I did not use any of those amenities on my trip other than picking up a newspaper one day to peruse the headlines. None-the-less, I incured the $9.95 fee.

It is useless to ask for the resort fee to be waived as they will never do this as far as my research has concluded. The only way one can fight this is by staying at hotels in Vegas that don’t charge the fees. Three casino hotels to this day that do not charge a resort fee include Planet Hollywood, Paris, and Cesar’s Palace. However, when it all said and done, one must do a cost-benefit analysis to determine if the savings from booking a Las Vegas casino hotel with a resort fee on an online search engine negates the costs incurred from the daily resort fees. I guess if one is willing to drop a few $100 on a game of chance per day then what really is a resort fee? My only concern is that when products are “marketed” as being great values, only to be realized that the final price does not agree with what was originally offered, we should take a step back and see if we really want to provide that particular company with our business. If we accept these nuances more and more, than I fear for the way business will look 5, 10, or 20 years from now.

Along with Planet Hollywood and Paris, Cesar’s Palace does not pass on resort fees to its customers.



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