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Golden Nugget Adds Fine Print Fremont Experience Fee

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 13th June 2013 11:12am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 18


Starting July 1, the Golden Nugget will be adding a $5 Fremont Experience fee to all of their room offerings.

Guests arriving on or after July 1, 2013 will incur a daily $5 Fremont Experience Fee plus applicable taxes added to the room rate at check-in.

When questioned by VT staffer Blackjacker1979, the Fremont Street Experience twitter account provided some explanation:

So now, nearly 20 years after the FSE Viva Vision opened, and three different owners later, the hugely successful, highest rated, largest casino downtown, the Golden Nugget has finally decided to DIRECTLY pass their HOA fees on to us, the consumers.

I don't doubt that these things cost money, but right now Fremont Street is the hottest destination on The Strip... not a typo. How about upping the price of each drink sold under the canopy a quarter and not telling us why.

Add on fees are the devil's toehold... a slim precipice upon which is constructed a universe of distrust. Instead of telling their guests "you get this free attraction when you stay here" you're telling them "you get this free attraction when you stay here and pay for it."

If a hotel can't cover their expenses, then they need to raise prices or trim costs. With hotel prices in a constant state of minute by minute fluctuation, few people will notice or begrudge a resort when an rates are adjusted to account for costs.

My spidey sense says that there is something else behind this.

Thanks to VT reader KayDay GNug email tip.


Comments & Discussion:

I was wondering when there would be an article about this bullshit. I just wish these casinos would just raise their prices by a tick and no one would ever notice. Enough with the resort fees and the like. $5 is no big deal, unless you do it in a way that blatantly says "fuck you consumer"

Incredibly stupid on GN's part PR wise. Should've just raised the room rates by $5 and no one would've noticed or complained!

There were rumors in recent months of the Golden Nugget adding a resort fee and this bullshit fee is not what was expected. What's next, a $5/day fee to help cover the costs of shark food?

After a less than positive experience about a month ago at the Golden Nugget, I'm beginning to wonder if the gold is beginning to tarnish. A busy poker room on a Friday night having ONE cocktail server assigned to it and the guys running the poker room having to apologize for something they had no control over. I also heard that the Hideaway Pool area over Memorial Day weekend was extremely dirty and the pool manager were nowhere to be seen. For a place that is supposed to be the top tier property on Fremont Street, those are some things that are uncharacteristic and alarming. Gone are the days when there was a major drop in room quality when staying anywhere else Downtown. The D has put some pressure on them as their rooms are as nice as the Carson and Gold Tower rooms at the Golden Nugget. Later this year, the Downtown Grand will open up and based on what they've put out to the media, their rooms will be really nice and up there with the Golden Nugget in terms of quality.

Some people are saying on various sites and Facebook pages that it's only $5 a day and that folks should suck it up. Myself, I have no issue with hotels charging a resort fee as long as there is some value to it. WiFi, a couple of bottles of water and in-room coffee is worth paying $20+ a day, but what the GN is charging has no value at all. No other property is charging this fee (and I doubt any of them will) and is on par with the Four Queens charging hotel guests that make use of their parking deck $3 a day.

GN will be bearing the brunt of the criticism for now, but if business stays steady look for the other hotels to pass on their costs to the patrons (of course Binion's has no available rooms to charge a fee on, so maybe their machines will be tightened up).

Doesn't matter to me ! I'll stay at The D.

Well said, vespajet.

@Mitzula provided some interesting math. GN runs at 70% occupancy a, has 2500 some rooms, and at $5 a pop that's close to 250k a month in fees taken from consumers who stay there. That's $3 Mil a year just from the GN. Makes you wonder how much it costs for FSE to run per year.

I will disagree that wifi, a couple bottles of water, and in room coffee are worth $20+ a day, but I don't hate resort fees if there is value in them, this is a cash grab, a less irritating one based on the price, but a grab nevertheless.

Dumb and lazy.

Dumb, because adding $5 to their $47 base rate would hardly be a deal breaker, but jerking guests around like this may be.

Lazy, because they don't even pretend to add any extra value for the extra cost. For that extra $5 a day, we get to pay their overhead. Cough it up, chumps. That's how I read it.

Vespajet, I also had a disappointing stay at GN, last summer, and I've been a Nugget fan for 15 years. We split our trip between Paris and GN, two hotels that should be on par with each other, yet the difference in overall service and staff attitude was impossible not to notice. I'm not a picky guy, but at every turn it seemed like there was something to shake my head over. Too many employees seemed like they didn't give a damn. It's a shame, because we loved the new Rush Tower room.

Our next downtown stay will be elsewhere, probably the Downtown Grand when it opens. This year, next week in fact, we're staying at Paris again for our entire visit.

The Golden Nugget has been my favorite place to stay when playing in Vegas. I probably would have been okay with a small resort fee as practically every strip property has them and it was only a matter of time before they made their way downtown, however this "Fremont Street Experience fee" is complete bullshit. This fee gives no value to the guests of the Golden Nugget that they can't get at one of the other downtown properties. I would have no issue paying $10-15 dollars extra a night if it gave me free daily in-room wifi and access to the fitness center. However this fee basically allows me to enjoy the FSE for an extra $5 a day while everyone else gets to see it for free? Screw that, it's the principal of it that pisses me off and definitely affects my decision on where to stay the next time I'm in Vegas.

This has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of. How can you charge a guest for something that anyone who can walk or lumber to will be free? I have a feeling that this will not happen because there are so many better options on Fremont.

I wonder if this is a way for downtown hotels to start drawing attention to how much they pay into the pot. I don't know the exact numbers, but I heard The D pays a whopping $70k a month. That's a staggering amount over the course of a year, and it's compounded by the fact places like The Plaza and Mermaids and La Bayou don't pay into the fund, even though they benefit from The Experience. I can't think of a practical reason to break out a fee like that separately, other than to say, "Hey, this doesn't happy by magic." Makes me wonder if certain hotels are feeling like they're not getting value for their contribution, and I'm curious if we'll see more of this.


Up next: A $5 fee for bells, whistles and thingamajigs. What a stupid money grab.

From what I heard, this fee was added to all reservations after June 1, but the fee wasn't necessarily common knowledge until this week. Is that true?

Dear Golden Nugget....blow me.

Coming soon to the Las Vegas strip:
Bellagio: $10 Fountain Fee
Mirage: $10 Volcano Fee
TI: $7 Sirens of TI Fee
Wynn: $10 Mountain and Lake Fee
NY, NY: $10 Statue of Liberty Fee
Venetian: $10 St. Mark's Square Fee
MGM Grand: $10 Lion Fee
Luxor: $10 Pyramid Fee
and finally
The Quad: $10 Linq Ferris Wheel Fee

And one more
Aria: $10 Harmon Fee

I'd be especially outraged by a $10 lions fee at the MGM Grand. I think the lion enclosure was removed to build the Hakkakakakakasan complex.

But, jokes aside, I'd actually pay a small Flamingos fee at the Flamingo, if they actually use the money to clean the "zoo" gardens up.

The funny thing is, because this fee offers zero extra value from being a non-hotel patron at the GN, the fee is actually punishing you for staying at the hotel. In that respect it's the opposite of a resort fee. It has anti-value. It's like (as Dulac55 said) a Mirage Volcano fee.

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