Las Vegas hotel rooms have always come with a few potential extra charges. If you get room service or take an item out of the mini fridge, then you’ll need to pay more.
Of course, you fully realize that additional charges are coming in these instances. Resort fees, however, continue to astound Sin City visitors.
Most Vegas casinos now add these fees onto your bill for the entirety of your stay. The worst part is that resort fees are increasing, too!
I’m going to discuss more on what these extra charges are along with evidence that they’re increasing across the city.
What Are Las Vegas Resort Fees?
In the past, Las Vegas resorts included every room charge upfront. The only exceptions included were when you wanted additional services (e.g. room service).
Such costs are typically mandatory. The size of resort fees vary depending upon where you stay. They can range anywhere from 20% to 100% of your room costs.
If you stay in a $150 room, for example, you might end up paying $225 (50% fee). Of course, these fees aren’t unique to Las Vegas.
The hospitality industry has been tacking on resort charges across the world. However, such fees are larger and sting worse in popular tourism destinations like Sin City.
Why Do Casino Resorts Charge These Fees?
You may see these additional charges as a cheap way for gambling resorts to bilk you for extra money. If so, you aren’t alone in this line of thinking.
Many Vegas visitors on a budget are fed up with having to pay more than their initial booking cost. Some even vow never to return to Sin City.
The casinos, on the other hand, feel like resort fees are completely justified. They see the booking charges covering the rooms and fees covering amenities.
Las Vegas casinos have been in an arms race with each other to see who can offer the biggest complexes and most memorable experiences. They’ve been upping their game with regard to amenities.
Free airport shuttles, cable, in-room coffee, and Wi-Fi were once impressive. However, these services are quite commonplace today and even expected. So, casinos offer additional amenities that range from business centers and gyms to lavish swimming pools and free valet parking.
I use the word free sparingly here. Nothing is truly free in Sin City these days, including basic amenities like Wi-Fi and laundry room access. Gaming resorts don’t charge you for every little service separately. Instead, they bundle these fees into a single cost.
Casinos actually view their bundle prices as a discount. But you may not see resort fees as a great deal, especially when you don’t use everything being offered.
Why Do Vegas Visitors Hate Resort Fees so Badly?
Resort fees force Sin City visitors to pay more for their stays. Many casino hotels already charge enough for their rooms. Nobody wants to pay an extra $50 to $100 on top of everything.
Additionally, hotel customers don’t like surprises on their bills. They’re very unhappy when they expect to pay $200 for a room and find out that it ultimately costs $275.
As mentioned before, you probably don’t use every amenity that goes into a resort fee. For example, you might not go swimming or work out during your trip.
Casinos will still add these luxuries into the resort charge, though. You end up paying extra for services you don’t use as a result.
Current Trends Show That These Fees Are Increasing
In fact, some casinos are even increasing resort fees. Caesars Entertainment, in particularly, has raised such charges fairly recently.
They increased resort costs at Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s, and the LINQ from $35 to $37. Including tax, the total fees are now $42. This increase is slight. However, it represents an undesirable trend that will continue propelling resort fees higher and higher.
Caesars argues that they needed to increase these extra costs to stay “in line with relevant competitors.” Perhaps they have a point when looking across Las Vegas.
In the summer of 2019, MGM Resorts increased their fees by $6 at the ARIA, Bellagio, and Vdara. The price hike brings each property’s resort charges to $45 per night.
MGM likely made this move in response to Wynn Resorts. The latter increased resort fees at the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore from $39 to $45 in the spring of 2019.
Now, these fees are at their highest level in history. They show no signs of slowing at any point in the near future.
What Can You Do to Avoid Paying Higher Vegas Resort Fees?
You obviously want to pay the lowest resort costs possible. That said, you should consider using one or more of the following tips to get these fees reduced or even waived.
Look for Vegas Casinos That Don’t Charge Resort Fees
Resort charges are seemingly prevalent everywhere you look in Las Vegas. However, some of the less-heralded casinos have resisted this trend.
Four Queens, La Quinta Inn and Suites, Red Roof Inn, and Royal Resort don’t force you to cover resort costs. Each hotel also charges less than average for rooms, too.
Pick Casinos With Lower Resort Fees
The average resort fee on the Vegas Strip ranges from $40 to $50 with tax included. But hotels located downtown, on the Boulder Strip, and in Henderson typically have lower extra charges.
Arizona Charlie’s Boulder, Cannery, Desert Paradise, El Cortez, Gold Coast, and Main Street Station currently have $20 resort fees or less.
Unfortunately, they all expect you to still cover these charges. But you won’t be paying an extra $45 or more per night.
Ask If the Resort Will Waive the Fees Before Booking
Some casinos are willing to negotiate the fees ahead of time. Of course, the majority of Las Vegas resorts still want you to pay the full cost.
In these cases, you can still try negotiating with them for lower fees. You can point out which amenities you won’t use in hopes of getting $5 to $15 knocked off the final cost.
Some of the possible amenities that you might not need include:
- Airport shuttle
- Concierge service
- Fitness center
- In-room coffee
- Swimming pool
Talk About the Fees During Checkout
Casinos will inform you about the resort fees upon check in but they don’t officially take resort fees until you check out. The latter represents a good point to haggle over the resort charges.
You could flat-out refuse to pay them by saying that you didn’t use any of those amenities or didn’t know about the fees. The casino is unlikely to budge here, but the clerk may be willing to negotiate (if authorized).
They’ll ask you if there were any problems or even if you didn’t use certain amenities. You might not get the entire fee waived, but you could potentially get it reduced.
Here are some issues that you may run into when staying at a Vegas resort:
- Poorly cleaned room
- Problems with heater or cooler
- One or more lamps not working
- Room service is poor
- Staff members are rude
Book Your Stay With Loyalty Points
Las Vegas casinos offer loyalty programs that see you accumulate points. You rack up points by dining, gambling, shopping, or staying on one or more of a company’s (e.g. Boyd Gaming) properties.
They classify these bookings under “award stays” and don’t tack on resort fees to keep your stay completely free.
Attain a Higher VIP Status
Casinos reserve their best perks for high-level VIPs. If you hold a high loyalty status, then you may be able to get resort fees waived.
Caesars may impose $45 in resort charges per night. However, they’re willing to waive these big fees for both Seven Stars and Diamond VIP members.
The smaller resort companies don’t even require you to reach a lofty VIP status. They’ll remove resort charges as long as you move up a couple rungs on the loyalty latter.
Always Check the Terms and Conditions
Many casinos go over their terms and conditions with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that they include every possible resort charge. But this doesn’t mean that they’re always perfect in the matter.
You can go over a resort’s terms and conditions to see if any relevant fees or legal language are missing. If so, you have grounds to get your resort costs reduced or even waived.
Even when these efforts don’t produce any fruit, you’ll at least have full understanding of what you’re being charged for.
Nobody enjoys paying resort fees on top of rooms that are usually already expensive. Unfortunately, these additional charges have become all too common in Sin City.
Casinos want to get paid more for the amenities that they provide. So, they tack on these extra charges onto your bill when you arrive.
Some might consider this to be an unscrupulous business practice, but casinos normally cover themselves through the terms and conditions.
Luckily, you can take steps to reduce or lower these fees. Always remember to check the fine print. You just might consider doing so now that Vegas resort fees are only going up.