LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Looking to book a ‘staycation’ at one of Las Vegas’ most popular resorts? It may turn out pricier than you’d expect.
While prices may look reasonable at first glance, there’s a high likelihood they’ll appear higher on the final bill due to a controversial charge: resort fees.
MGM Resorts International raised fees from $39 to $45 at Aria, Bellagio and Vdara, in accordance with local and nationwide marketplace standards on August 1st.
Two weeks ago, a MGM spokesperson told 8 News Now they “don’t make business decisions like this lightly.”
Prices have also been raised at Wynn-Encore, Palazzo and Venetian and the Waldorf-Astoria.
The charges encompass a wide range of products and services, from pool and fitness center access to parking and internet and vary throughout the system. They’re also a large source of income for resorts.
Data from ResortFeeChecker.com shows fees around the valley start as low as $10 per room per night, climbing all the way to a staggering $51.02 per room, per night.
To set the stage, here is an example of just how high resort fees bring the total bill. The Venetian is advertising a luxury suite for two adults Aug. 23-25 at $284.25 per night, not including taxes or the $45 resort fee. After all things considered, the total cost is approximately $329.25 per room, per night.
One of the big questions consumers ask is if they have to pay the fee regardless or whether or not they use the amenities. The answer is: yes.
Chad Beynon, a senior analyst at Macquarie Group Limited told the Reno Gazette Journal, “It is mandatory. So even if you don’t use those products, you still have to pay a $30 to $50 fee that is not being advertised when you book your room.”
But it’s not just Las Vegas consumers affected by the rise in resort fees. Resorts around the nation are raising prices, as well, from $50 in Miami to $40 in New York City.
Tourists are not a fan of the extra costs, and one has taken it on herself to pitch legislation to ban the mounting charges.
Lauren Wolfe founded “Kill Resort Fees” in 2016, labeling resort fees as “the most deceptive and unfair pricing practice in the hotel industry.”
Wolfe, who is a licensed attorney in Washington D.C. and Michigan, offers tips on how to avoid paying these fees, including:
- Refuse to pay
- Dispute the charge with your credit card company
- File a consumer complaint with the attorney general
- Sue in small claims court
She’s studied the effects of resort fees in Las Vegas, stating on her website, ” In a city where tourism is the industry, hotel resort fees are singlehandedly ruining an entire town’s livelihood.”
8 News Now has reached out to Wolfe for comment.
What are your experiences with resort fees?
This is a developing story.