Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vegas: Resort Fees?

I went to Chicago a few months ago, and noticed on the hotel bill that I had the option to refuse the free daily USA Today newspaper and get a 75c refund on my nightly rate.  Since I'm a huge hitter, I didn't go for this freeroll, but it's nice that they at least give you the option.  I mention this because I just booked another trip to Vegas, and was annoyed by the growing phenomenon of "resort fees."  

I get complimentary room offers from The Venetian all the time, on account of my persistent green chip play,  and I called to accept one of them for this trip at the end of June.   "Sir, we have a mandatory resort fee of $17 a night plus tax,"  the operator told me.  

I literally laughed at her, "Oh yeah?  What's that for?"  She seemed slightly surprised that I asked, but continued, "It's just a new fee that we're imposing this year."  I was at the Venetian in January, and wasn't charged this fee, but I didn't want to argue with this woman at this time, and explain to her that if it was a mandatory fee then the room wasn't really complimentary.  She proceeded to check availability, and told me that they had no comp offers for me for the days I'd chosen.  (See, I'm not that big a hitter...)

"What's the rate you can offer me?"  I inquired, forgetting to add in, "DYKWTFIA?"  after all, she must have known already, as I had the comp offer on my account.  

"$229 sir," she replied, but I cut her off, "AND the $17 resort fee, right?"  "Yes sir, that's correct."

I laughed out loud again, thanked her, and hung up the phone.  I dialed the Mirage, where I also had an offer.  "The rate is $45 and $55 for the two nights, sir, plus a $15 resort fee,"  the operator told me.

"No - I want the rate for the FREE offer you sent me," I explained, having already given her my account number.  "Oh yes sir, that would be just the $15 resort fee per night, can I go ahead and book that for you?"  I sighed and confirmed that would be fine, thank you.

So, first, the channel checks:  Venetian quoted me $229 a night, and Mirage quoted me around $50 a night.  These are two hotels, immediately across the street from each other, both of which would be considered high end.  They have both just undergone extensive room reservations.

NOW - wtf is up with this "resort fee" bullshit?  Look - if it's a fee you can't waive, it should just be quoted as part of the room rate!  According to, the Mirage's resort fee covers:

  • Daily in-room internet access
  • Daily newspaper available for pick-up at the Impulse Store and the Bell Desk
  • Daily bottled water delivery (two bottles per day)
  • Daily admission to the cardio room (does not include spa or fitness center)
  • Two robes provided during stay
  • Complimentary printing of boarding passes at the business center or concierge
  • Complimentary notary services at business center
  • Unlimited local and toll-free calls
  • Free copies and faxes (up to the first 5 pages) at the business center (excluding color and large print jobs)
Obviously, this is a load of crap - they've taken fees which used to be charged for a la carte, and bundled them into a mandatory package that you have to pay for.  ROBES?  You're f'ng charging me for robes now?  You can bet that I'm going to wear that friggin robe down to the Pai Gow table, light up a cigar and drink a glass of port while I put my feet up on the nearest vacant stool.   Fortunately, complimentary printing of boarding passes is still complementary - I guess, if you ignore the fact that I have to pay a $15 fee to get it.  And unlimited toll free calls!  Wow! Thanks guys! (SARCASM ALERT!)

Kudos to the Harrah's empire, who thus far has avoided "resort fees."

If you're traveling to Vegas, or anywhere else for that matter,  just make sure that you incorporate mandatory resort fees into any room quote you're given, to make sure you're comparing apples to apples. 



mrwiizrd said...

First 6:5 crapjack and now this nonsense. Benny Binion is rolling in his grave...

Anonymous said...

I think this is a way to raise rates while gaming the Travelocity/Expedia rankings. When Joe Blow looks for Vegas hotels, then sorts by "lowest to highest", these hotels don't drop down the list even though they're effectively raising their nightly rates.

Kid Dynamite said...

yes anon - definitely. it's also a way for them to juice their REVPAR (revenue per available room) in the same manner at the same time.

Yangabanga said...

no different than the food companies that offer new "reduced calorie" packs or the new cheaper price on smaller propane tanks.

Companies are either charging more for the exact same thing or giving you less rather than being more honest and raising prices. Even Vegas.

But more importantly: "I want him to think that I am pondering a call, but all I'm really thinkin' about is Vegas and the fuckin' Mirage."

Kid Dynamite said...

whoa - i didn't notice a smaller propane tank... not sure i've encountered that one yet.

the thing i notice most in a smaller size is ICE CREAM! now 1.5 quarts is standard instead of 1/2 gallon (2 quarts)

J Johnson said...

I love it Kid! I just booked a Vegas trip at MGM, although, I should have stuck with a Wynn hotel:) Anyway, I didn't notice any fees, but rather just the tax. If you are in Vegas at the end of June (6.26 - 7.1), I'd love to buy you a drink...although you probably get them comped being the high roller you are and all

Mark said...

Kid, you are the first person in a long time to compliment Harrah's. Ever since they screwed up the Rio, I have hated the place.

When you get to town, please email me at Thanks.

Kid Dynamite said...

j johnson - i will be there june 29, 30th and july 1st. i am guessing that you will notice the "Resort fee" on your bill...

Mark - i will email you before that - although i am a huge hitter, i do not have mobile email... ;-)

EconomicDisconnect said...

OMG, is this a serious post?

KD, you really have to pay that kind of crap?? High roller and all?

Kid Dynamite said...

yes GYC _ and obviously, it proves that I'm not a high roller... if any REAL high rollers out there get a full comp, but still get charged the resort fee, PLEASE let me know - i'd be shocked...

Anonymous said...

I am somewhat of a low roller at the Luxor and they waive my resort fee every time I go (usually stay there on free night offers) as part of my comp level. I have also had it waived at Mandalay Bay.

However, last January I went to Vegas and stayed at the Mirage - not my choice - and they charged me the resort fee but waived almost everything else. When I went to check out I noticed the charge so I went to the Players Club desk and asked to have the resort fee taken off. The moron at the desk told me it was a Nevada State Regulation and it was not able to be waived. When I got home, I fired off a letter to the Mirage "Customer Service" people and explained to them what I was told and how this was obviously not true. All they did was apologize for the "misunderstanding" and said they would "educate" their staff more.

Then I went to the Luxor this past March and told my host this and they laughed at the stupidity of their fellow MGM co-coworkers and then made sure my resort fees were taken care of for my current visit.

Moral of the story, don't stay at the Mirage. EVER! And I tell everyone I know.

Kid Dynamite said...

if they try to tell me it's a state regulation, i will go apeshit - i'll tell you that much...

J Johnson said...

Well Kid, if you are down, I'd love to meet up...if you want to coordinate my twitter handle is jojohnson and my email is jacob.johnson16 at

I too do not have mobile email, so we would have to coordinate prior too (I will be checking my email however) - it'd be cool to make something happen.

Mark said...

Kid, it looks like you might have to spare some time for a little bar party when you get here. I join with J Johnson in offering to buy you a drink (I don't think I have ever had to buy a drink here). I look forward to it.

Bayne_S said...

GL finding a Blackjack table at a Harrahs property.

They have a bunch of tables that pay 6:5 for a 2 card 21.

That is no Blackjack IMHO.

My last stay at Palazzo was in March and there was no resort fee on my comped room