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The Resort Fee Arms Race

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 25th November 2014 12:56pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 20


War Games Professor Falcon

Caesars Entertainment announced recently that they were upping their resort fees to $25/night across the board at all of their Las Vegas properties. In some cases, the rooms themselves aren't worth $25/night, let alone the $25 fee on top of it.

With Caesars upping their fees, it is only a matter of time before other property owners, specifically ones that feel their products are superior, begin to make adjustments accordingly.

In the coming weeks, MGM Resorts International will follow suit, announcing $25 resort fee for Monte Carlo followed shortly thereafter by an increase to $25 for their other C level resorts New York-New York, Excalibur and Luxor. One can guess that a slight increase could also be seen at their premiere level properties as well.

Not ones to leave money on the table, we can expect Venetian, Palazzo, Wynn, Encore, Cosmopolitan and everybody else to start tracking their resort fees into the $30-40/nt range.

Caesars financial woes + market dynamics = a $30/nt room for $55, not only at Caesars, but across the entire city.

Tagged: caesars   mgm   resort fees   monte carlo   luxor   excalibur   new york new york   


Comments & Discussion:

You forgot to mention all of the downtown properties. I see no reason to believe these won't be $40 by next year at this time and $50 by 2016. Then again, what will force them to eliminate fees? Not go to Vegas? We're all going; that's why we read VegasTripping

It's going to take successful lawsuits from Priceline and/or Expedia (who I doubt get any cut of the resort fees) in a federal court for these "resort" fee shenanigans to stop.

I'd much rather pay $100 a night (plus tax) for a hotel room than $70 a night plus a $30 unwaivable resort fee (and tax). Individual fees should be incurred for optional activities, not bundled together and forced upon all hotel guests.

Nugget is still only $5, correct? As long as the fee stays reasonable, Nugget will continue to be my go-to place. Nice, reasonably priced accomodations and better gambling value for your money downtown, and I'll meander down to the Strip whenever I need a break from the cards and dice.

The only holdouts Downtown are the Four Queens (although they have long charged hotel guests $3/day for parking) and the Boyd properties (Which is surprising considering Boyd charges a resort fee at their other Vegas properties.).

I don't consider the $5/day the Golden Nugget charges a resort fee, I consider it a subsidy, as guests are helping subsidize their payments to the FSE.

I think that $30/night may be the upper limit we'll see in regards to resort fees. The airline industry with a few exceptions has stayed with the $25 fee for the first checked bag for quite a few years. Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier are the only ones that deviate from that fee as well as charge for carry-on bags (They charge different prices based on when you pay for the checked bag or carry-on bag and sometimes based on the sort of ticket purchased.).

The day resort fees go away will be the day they have to get included in the advertised price. Once that happens, they cease to have any reason to exist.

Well except one reason. Hotels don't have to pay travel agency commission on the resort fee. This matters, because it means the hotel keeps the money - which is better for the Vegas consumer.

The fees made a certain amount of sense during the downturn when rates were in the basement but they're ludicrous for the higher properties now - Bellagio is back up around $250 a night except it's not "$250" but $275.

Then I stayed at the Wynn which didn't have a resort fee and got a "free" upgrade to their tower suites which DID include a resort fee but at least included a paper every morning (That I didn't read...)

MGM's contemplated resort fee increase is probably why we're all still waiting for the release of the new myvegas comp date calendar. They need to hold off on making new comp dates available so the increased resort fees will apply to those stays. The current myvegas calendar only goes through January.

The only thing that will make this acceptable is getting more for the raise in fees. Luxor gave me free boarding pass printing priviledges, a free newspaper (USA Today but if they are gone Las Vegas Sun) and I got a coupon book with discounts for there. Excalibue and Mandalay Bay. The book covered the fee in my case since I made use of it. Maybe other hotels should do this.

Skywise, I hear you. (But, I thought the fee situation at Wynn was the reverse of what you describe…?) Horrifiyingly (if that's a word), Aria's Sky Suites charge the fee right up to the two-bedroom Penthouse. (Rationalization: at least you "split" that cost vs. two separate rooms….at that level, hardly matters. So, why charge the blankin' fee??)

levans, the book is a good idea. You'll spend money in house, they win. Places like Wynncore and ex-CityCenter probably think that's too tacky. Their loss.

Oh, great "War Games" reference, Chuck.
(Nobody got my ST:TOS reference re: the circular sculpture behind the bar in the Resort World renderings? :-)

Skywise is indeed incorrect, the Resort Rooms get charged the resort fee, the Tower Suites do not.

Well MGM Resorts has announced new resort fees:

$29: MGM Grand, The Mirage, Vdara, Aria, Bellagio, Signature @ MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and Delano.
$25: NYNY, Monte Carlo, Luxor
$20: Excalibur
$15: Circus Circus

With the tax, the $30 barrier has been broken.

For my trip at the end of February, I eventually decided to take advantage of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals and booked two nights at The Linq and three nights at The Plaza. At The Linq, I'm paying more in resort fees than I am for my room (but not by much). The Plaza recently hiked their resort fee from $10 to $12, which is still not that bad of a resort fee.

12 isnt bad at all

Vegas will have a record number of tourists this year (40 mil+) so the hotels' bean-counters have decided now's the time to gouge 'em a little more!

Vespajet, where did you find that information on the MGM resort fee increase? Thanks.

I'm afraid resort fees are the normal. It isn't just Vegas. It's everywhere.

@Gringo On a site whose name rhymes with Vegas Shatter as said article has been posted on several Vegas-related groups I'm a member of on Facebook.

@levans $12 isn't bad when you consider that hotels that don't offer free WiFi or include in the resort fee amenities (Some places screw you with slow WiFi speeds and if you want decent WiFi speeds, you have to pay for it.) often charge $10-15/day for it. The WiFi speeds at the Plaza were pretty decent for hotel WiFi, at least they were on my floor when I stayed there for VIMFP last year. I stayed at Vdara in May 2013 and the WiFi that was included in the $25/day resort fee ($28 with tax) was slower than the data speeds I got on my 3G smartphone that I had at the time.

Much like the airline baggage fees, resort fees are here to stay. I wonder how long before we see a hotel "unbundle" and charge for various things currently included in the price of the room. You want housekeeping to clean your room everyday? $5/day. You want your bags carried up to your room? $5+tip. You want to store your bags at the bell desk? $2 for the first 2 hours, $1 each additional hour. Want to check in with a desk clerk? $10 fee. Want to check out of the hotel with a desk clerk? $10 fee. Key card issuance fee: $3 per card. Key card replacement fee: $7. Non-return of key card(s) $5 fee. Booked your room via a third party travel site? Daily resort fee is $5 higher than had you booked directly. Some of these are possible, especially if more hotels roll out the self check-in kiosks or allow one to check in via an app (which could also function as a room key using NFC technology).

"…MGM Resorts International will follow suit,… One can guess that a slight increase could also be seen at their premiere level properties as well."

Yep. Shit. It's happened. As Vespa noted, the $30 "barrier" has been blasted through. $34.48/night ($29 plus tax). Sonofabitch. I was only joking when I said the resort fees might become more than an entire room downtown….

I'm amused to death that MGM still regards MGM Grand as a "higher-end" property. (My December comp offer had MGM included in the upper tier, as well.) Hey, Circus Circus Enterprises changed their name to Mandalay Resort Group when their namesake property was outshone by their newer creation. The name don't mean nuthin'….

"Unbundling" actually may not be a bad idea. Some MGM properties grant early check-in/late check-out, or express line check-in, for a fee. I for one do not need new towels and soap every single day.

A friend coined the term "Extort Fee." Sounds about right....

For the first two nights of my trip at the end of February, I'm staying at The Linq and I'm paying more in resort fees than I am for the room.

MGM regarding MGM Grand as a "higher-end" property is funny. Checking rooms rates, MGM is usually one of the mid-tier in terms of pricing for me through Mlife. When I was checking room rates for my upcoming trip, I could get some really excellent rates at MGM and Mandalay Bay that were cheaper than Monte Carlo and Mirage. I'd put MGM and Mandalay Bay as higher end of mid-tier, with Signature and Delano definitely being higher end.

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