To fee or not to fee: The truth about resort fees

Posted by on Apr 29th, 2009 and filed under Featured, Hotels. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Vegas enthusiast No. 1: “I just got a sweet deal on my hotel room. Only $50 a night!”
Vegas enthusiast No. 2: “Wow, enthusiastic Vegas vacationer, that is a pretty sweet deal. But what does the hotel charge for its resort fee?”
Vegas enthusiast No. 1: “Resort fee? WTF?!?!”

We’ve all been there. You score an amazing deal on your Vegas hotel room rate, only to discover upon check-in that you owe the hotel significantly more money. WTF indeed.

Some hotels in Vegas charge a mandatory resort fee, ranging in price from $1 to $24.99 per night (depending upon the hotel) and covering a variety of services. The hotel will require you to pay the fee in order for you to check-in. This charge is not charged or collected by or other travel companies, and it is completely independent of the price of the room.

Frustrating? Yes. But really you must be used to this by now. If you flew here, you may have paid an extra fee to pick your seats on the plane and check your luggage. If you drove from Southern California, you probably encountered a toll road or two. In this day and age it seems like there’s a fee for just about everything. My cousin’s friend’s brother once got charged an “extra-weight” fee for paying an attendant the $2 parking fee with all pennies and dimes. Ironically, he paid the “extra-weight” fee with even more pennies and dimes.

My suggestion: Send an anti-fee message by staying in one of the city’s many fine hotels who do not charge a resort fee like Bellagio, Caesars, Flamingo,  Golden Nugget, Harrah’s, Las Vegas Hilton,  M Resort, Rio  and more (hotels subject to change). The booking price may seem higher, but without the added fee, you may just find it all evens out in the end.

If you do end up in a hotel with a resort fee, however, don’t just give up and walk out. You’ll most likely spend a lot more money on Red Bull and booze if you’re aimlessly wandering the Strip all night long because you have no place to sleep, not to mention the cost of posting bail after you get so wired and drunk that you end up streaking down Las Vegas Boulevard.

I like to look at it like this: We all know you have to spend money to make money, right? Think of resort fees as an investment in your Las Vegas future. The next time you’re dealt an 11, you can double down with confidence knowing you will get a blackjack — the house owes this to you!*

*Disclaimer: The house does not owe this to you.



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