Home » VT News » MGM Grand Adds Non-Smoking Guarantee Fee

MGM Grand Adds Non-Smoking Guarantee Fee

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 20th January 2011 3:05pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 20


Before I quit two years ago, I smoked a pack and a half of cigs a day, double that if I was in Vegas on a bender. It took about a year to get used to prowling the casino floor without a cig burning at my fingers. I don't hate the smoke, but I do hate dank dusty stinky ass hotel rooms that reek like dried out musty and nasty cheep cigarettes (The Mirage.)

For those who absolutely abhor - or are allergic - the kindhearted folks at the MGM Grand have decided that instead of doing the right thing and accommodating non-smoking room requests, they're going to charge those poor anti-smoking fuckers $20 to GUARANTEE that the room will be smoke free.

MGM Non Smoking Guarantee

I'm calling bullshit on this straight away. Back in my days as a smoker, I was booked into a non-smoking room/floor at Harrah's after telling the person at the front desk my smoking preferences. Being thoughtful, I called down to the front desk to state the obvious... "uhm... you booked us on a non-smoking floor and we asked for smoking." The operator said "we'll take care of it. Thank you!" and hung up the phone. Twenty minutes later, housekeeping arrived with two ashtrays and three packs of matches.

Problem solved!

But what about that poor fuck who is going to have to marinate in the aftertaste of a weekends worth of chain smoking I'm about to engage in?

Only the fee happy suits at MGM Resorts International could dream this one up... charging the anti-smoking nazis a non-smoking guarantee fee! Between the non-smoking fee and the goddamn resort fee you're paying an extra $40 BUCKS PER NIGHT!!!.


Tagged: mgm grand   smoking   resort fees   


Comments & Discussion:

For all of their wanting more and more of my money to stay there, I'm less and less inclined to give it to them. Just jack the base rates up and get it over with already!

They have to pay for that hideous Aria wrap somehow...Honestly can't see myself staying at an MGM or CET property ever again.

While I do like the option of being able to purchase a late check-out (you want my hungover ass packed, ready, and out of the room by 11? Fuck you!), the non-smoking fee is just another push towards the airline-ization of hotels.

I do find it interesting that they offer the option towards rooms in the West Wing, which is already entirely non-smoking. Genius.

I'm a very occasional smoker, I have no problem going without smoking but I certainly think the more 'militant' non-smokers can be douchebags. Part of me likes the idea of charging them for their moral self-righteousness.

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with a preference and as such I think that its perfectly reasonable for people to be able to get non-smoking rooms easily.

Finally I'll put my economist cap on. Its an issue of supply of non-smoking rooms versus demand for them. If demand is outstripping supply I don't see WHY it is somehow wrong for people to be charged for it. You can argue its a bit tight-fisted sure, but this is no different to the differential charges for a king bed room vs. two queen bed room.

Bed configuration and smoking/non-smoking rooms are both categories of different product. Since each product has different levels of supply and demand, it makes sense that there will be a differential charge.

What MGM is forgetting is that unlike air travel, we can decide if we want to visit Vegas, and more importantly, stay at their hotels. My wife has asthma and is severely allergic to smoke. So she already avoids most of the casinos.

If she now learns she has to pay extra for a non-smoking room, we will take a pass and either stay at a more friendly property, or skip Vegas entirely and go to a more friendly vacation spot.

An issue for Vegas now is that many states are completely non-smoking (including hotel rooms) and a number of chains (such as Marriott) are non-smoking. So Vegas has to be careful since I already believe the push for non-smoking hurts their business.

I understand smokers not wanting to be preached to, and I'm sure not preaching about evil smokers. But if you look at pure economics, the US is weighed in favor of non-smokers. So charging the majority more is just bad business especially considering that the costs of supporting smokers is higher (odors, cigarette burns, etc).

Yes, Vegas is about drinking and smoking. If that is where Vegas decides it wants to stay, fine. But in the long run it will cost them customers and shrink the eligible future customer pool.

I say this fee is squarely aimed at the Vegas virgins, in all of my trips to Vegas only once was I given a smoking room when I wanted a non-smoking and they switched me to a non-smoking room the next morning. Once out of 20 or so times is I risk I'll take.

Sad, I'm a current smoker and I hate the fee (especially since it's a per night charge), I wondered when I first saw the post on twitter if it was in addition to the late check out/checkin that Luxor ran as a test for awhile, glad (sic) to see they are moving that across properties too.

I could almost understand it if it was a one time fee, but even then as Chuck pointed out it's not like they've kept these rooms smoke free.

I'm sure MGM is making some coin short term on these fees, but I do have to wonder whether it has long term implications. Harrahs seems intent on keeping resort fees out and would look foolish to implement them (not that it would stop them). With what I'm seeing from CET and MGM in regards to comp rooms starting to dry up a bit for lower levels.

Don't you wonder if the tourism authority cringes at the fact that MGM and CET essentially dictate how Las Vegas will be viewed. After all 75% stay in their resorts during a trip. They can deal with CET's disinterest in upkeep or being severely nickel and dimed by MGM at every turn. Nothing leaves someone satisfied like staying somewhere dirty or feeling like they've been fleeced.

This pretty much is the last nail in the coffin for MGM properties for me. Every year there's one more reason why I choose not to book with them. Charging an extra $20/nite for non-smoking on top of the resort fees...a $60 room ends up being $100. For someone like me who's very allergic to smoke, this would be the equivalent of charging someone in a wheelchair $20/extra a nite for a handicapped room...and you can imagine what kind of trouble that would raise. One more reason to give your business to the independent properties (Tropicana/Cosmo) or downtown.

But here is something....why is this a PER NIGHT fee? If the guarantee is purely to ensure you get your room, then why do you have to pay this fee for the subsequent nights you are there? Is there a possibility that you will get the boot midway though your stay? This is not a what they are advertising it as - a guarantee that you will get a smoke-free room. This is purely a tax on the non-smokers. Would it not make more sense to place this tax on the smokers - for a cleaning fee? When you bring pets to a hotel room there is generally an extra cleaning fee for that, so why not the same for smokers? Non-smokers are not going to make the room reek....generally speaking.

Disclaimer - this is not me advocating a smokers tax, this is me just pointing out the ridiculousness of the fee.

I hope that what @Omlette says is true, that this fee is aimed at vegas virgins who will pay the fee up front because they don't know any better. I have never had a problem getting a non-smoking room in all of the years that I've been going to vegas...so I would be suspicious if people all of the sudden have problems getting non-smoking rooms unless they paid the fee. Hopefully MGM will not be tactical with this.
I wonder what would happen if you requested a non-smoking room but didn't pay the guarantee fee, and then wound up receiving a smoking room....would they charge you $20/night to switch to non-smoking? Regardless of supply & demand, that can’t be legal…any attorney’s reading this?

Excellent. May I also recommend a $5.00 "No Turd Guarantee" to ensure you get a sparkling clean toilet upon check-in? Another $5.00 for a "No Used Condoms Under the Bed Guarantee"? And perhaps a $20 nightly fee for a "Douchebag-Free Neighbors Guarantee"?

Man, I shoulda gone to Wharton. Fleecing customers is easy!

^^ laff riot!

This story to be 'broken' by the Las Vegas Sun in 5-4-3-2.....

When is the Excalibur going to put a "no food poisoning" charge on the buffet? Oh, right, that option isn't available.

I like Miss Monkay's suggestion; a single flat "cleaning fee" imposed on those that want to smoke in their rooms. Cleaning up a smoking room does cost a bit more for the property owner AND smoking in a room can damage said room's value for non-smoking guests. So it makes sense. I am an occasional smoker and I don't approve of the demonization of smokers, but smoking does indeed create a negative externality for hotels (damage to their capital).

And just when I had considered giving MGM some play again, after many years. Twenty MORE bucks for a room that is tired and worn?
They can rot, while I stay at Cosmo again next time. Now that place ROCKS!!! I, for one, still enjoy Vegas very much, but from now on, I think I'll stay with the independent guys, even without a comp. Screw the other baaastads.

I have no inside knowledge, but I believe this is a way to ding people who are the least likely to play in the casino.

Militant non-smokers (the ones most likely to pay extra to guarantee a smoke-free room) are least likely to gamble. For two reasons:

1. Non-smokers simply don't gamble as much.

2. Militant non-smokers are probably not going to sit in a slot row, table game, or even any gaming area where smoke exists.

Don't take my word for any of the above:


I realize that this stuff is more up Dr. Dave's ally. Perhaps someone may want to inform him of the studies.

This is about the bottom line in more ways than one. With the low ADR's in Las Vegas, people are coming to vacation who are just going to relax by the pool, have some nice meals, nap the afternoon away in their room. A normal, vice-free vacation.

Most gamblers (myself included) understand that gambling and smoking go together. I don't smoke cigarettes. Don't like the smell. Some cigarette smokers don't like the smell of my cigars. (Distinct difference between the smell of the two). But I don't dislike it to the point I'll leave a gaming table or refuse to enjoy a casino. Nor do they.

Makes sense, AccessVegas, especially since you'd expect them to charge a fee to guarantee a smoking room, since smoking rooms are actually the scarcer commodity these days. But they don't DARE piss off their gamblers that way.

To take your point further, this is probably also aimed at fleecing business travelers in town for a convention, too. It's no skin off a conventioneer's back if his or her company has to pay a little more to guarantee them a non-smoker. Just another tax-deductible expense.

This is complete and utter bullcrap, and virtually guarantees that I'll never stay at MGM Grand again. What a load.

To AccessVegas' point, I am a non-smoker (though I don't think I'm "militant" about it) and a very active gambler. I understand that gambling and smoking go hand in hand. Not thrilled with it, but I understand it and accept it.

But I need my hotel room to be a respite from that. At the end of the night, when I get rid of my stanky clothes and take a shower, I want to sleep in a room that doesn't smell like the casino downstairs. I need a 6-8 hour break from the smell of cigarettes, or the headaches will kill me.

Last year, I stayed at MGM Grand. The first room they gave me, ostensibly N/S, absolutely reeked of smoke. The housekeeping staff had tried to cover the odor with room deodorizer, but that just put one heavy smell on top of another.

To their credit, MGM quickly moved me to a different, cleaner N/S room. It isn't their fault that some a-hole smoked in a N/S room. But they should have dinged that customer with a $100 cleaning fee after check out, as it was completely obvious that there'd been some HEAVY smoking going on in that room. (And who knows -- maybe they did charge him/her/them.)

Tribune Media Services has finally picked up on the story:


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