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PGP: MGM Charging $20 More For Bed Preferences

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 4th February 2016 2:44pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 20


Late in 2015, MGM Resorts International launched a brand new suite of website templates and a new booking engine. Great! While doing some research about resort fees and parking charges yesterday, I noticed something interesting about how MGM properties are parsing out room offerings in the reservation process.

Below is a screenshot of Bellagio's booking engine with sample dates plugged in. Take a look.

MGM Resorts Booking Fees

The first listing is a "Resort Room" and priced at $189/night. The second listing is a "Resort Room King" and priced $20 more at $209. These are identical rooms.

In the "Resort Room" line item, the bed type - a king or dual queen - is assigned at check in based on availability or luck of the draw. The "Resort Room King" listing guarantees the bed choice and charges guests an extra $20 for the privilege.

For an extra $20 per night, MGM will sort of guarantee that you and your special someone can do a little spooning in the butt.

By comparison, here is the February rate schedule for Wynn Deluxe Panoramic King and Wynn Deluxe Panoramic Double rooms. In Wynn-speak "deluxe" means "recently renovated", "panoramic" means "high floor" and "double" is dual queen beds.

Wynn Las Vegas King Bed Prices

Same price.

So, let's say you booked Bellagio's "Resort King" with the $20 spooning fee, then arrive at the hotel... "Sorry Sir, we only have dual queen beds available." Spooning denied, will MGM refund you that $20 you spent on the guarantee? Let's look at the fine print:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your requests for specific room type and location however, we are unable to guarantee any requests as rooms are not assigned until check in. Additional fees may apply depending on the specific requests.

The fine print opens up this scenario: "Sir, we do have a king bed room, but it is on a higher floor with a fountain view, do you want to pay for the upgrade?"

Yes, we're talking hypotheticals here, but at this point can we honestly trust anything at MGM Resorts properties?

Tagged: mgm grand   bellagio   aria   excalibur   mandalay bay   monte carlo   new york new york   profit growth plan   resort fees   bed fees   fees   


Comments & Discussion:

MGM...bound and determined to become the Allegiant Airlines of the Strip.

Weird......I thought most places had been going to charging extra for rooms with 2 beds. This looks like the opposite.

Remember the good ol' days when Caesars was the laughing stock of the Strip? Thank you Murren for your comedy gold.

^ an early draft of this article contained an apology to Gary Loveman.

Gosh darn it murren is taking all the fun out of going to Vegas.
Love that the room quote includes a resort fee now up to $35.84 US (incl tax), that is crazy. For Canadians with the exchange rate that is like $50 bucks a night on resort fees.

In this scenario it sounds like anything/everything could be an upgrade. If you sign up for two queens, then all we have is a king on the lower floors, but for $XX you can get your two queens a couple of floors higher.....and as Chuck cited in the article, the next guy could have signed up for a king and get the same response except to get his king he pays $XX on a higher floor. Same thing with close to the elevator or at the end of the hall. They'll make you feel like it was you that either turned down your preference or decided to pay the upgrade. SLICK.... Hey, we tried but you decided you did not want it. Overall horrible vibe to staying there and Bad, Bad, Bad for the long term sustainability.

It's all in play now.....parking closer to the garage entrance +$20, more than 3 flushes a day +$3 per flush (will the flush-o-meter be tied to your M-Life card?), Or even the amount of water you use period......like those long hot showers after a night of spending money in the casino.......sorry, you better be rinsed off after 15 gallons or you'll need to swipe your room card for $2 per gallon to get the soap off.

Ridiculous examples of course!? Well maybe not.......most of us have no idea of the culture of the bean-counters when a rah-rah girl like Jimmy fans the flames of slash and dash (slash cost and dash out the door with a big bonus). For myself, I see it happen with each incremental money grab, but I know others that only notice it when they get their credit card statement. It will be interesting to watch all the possibilities that rear their ugly heads before Jimbo goes or it implodes.

This: "parking closer to the garage entrance +$20" is not ridiculous.

There's a mall near us where the entire area anywhere near the only elevators out of the parking lot has the area restricted to valet. For an extra fee, obviously. Self parking means you have to literally walk for 10 minutes to get to the movie theater. I can easily see this happening in Vegas.

You just know what's coming...

"As part of our commitment to the environment, we change linens on a weekly basis. For a $20/night (plus tax) environmental fee, we will ensure you have freshly-laundered sheets on check-in."

Why are we giving Jimbo & Co. more ideas to fleece us?

Hotels will try to charge whatever the market will bear. That's business 101. Obviously the folks at MGM feel their product offering is so great, they can stretch the fees and rationalize it by saying the big hotel chains in other cities do it. A guy on his corporate charge account will not flinch at the extra fee since its aligned with other hotel markets. Upper middle class tourist forking out $350 a night may bat an eye, but probably not complain too loud. The value conscious travel and gambler will complain and be ignored since Murren has declared war on them. Murren is obviously trying to re position his properties towards another customer segment who he thinks will continue to frequent his hotels at these prices. The only left to do is vote with your feet.

^ he's right.

@Vegasdaze, you summed this up perfectly.

Coming next will be an up charge for a bed without bedbugs.

Man, I need to get my @jim_murren_MGM twitter account unsuspended... Missing out on some great material.

:"Free market, folks!" First-day-of-Econ-101 explanation in internet comments section:

:takes a drink:

Wow, and we all thought Ticketbastard was bad about fees and divvying things up.

Yep. Gouge while the market is good, roll back when you need fannies in the beds.

Personally, I think the convention industry has peaked. Vegas is bucking the trend because of its destination appeal, but sooner or later it's going to start slipping. Meanwhile, they'll milk it for all it's worth.

Nest there will be a fee for a bed or roll top ones in each room.

I wouldn't necessarily consider it part of PGP, MGM has done this for some time, with different bed types having a different price assigned. Not sure for how long, but believe it's been a couple years. Back during the 2nd or 3rd round of Mlife updates, it readily became apparent as Excalibur would have 40 room options available if you tried to book an offer. Regardless of when or why they implemented this, it's still stupid.

@jinx make no mistake about it, this is definitely PGP.

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