Resort fees and Las Vegas – *Head… Wall… Thump…*

There are some things that you can’t avoid when travelling – especially in Las Vegas.

One of the things that is irking me is the joy of Resort fees and how much they actually jack up the price of a hotel.

The Las Vegas Strip from the air - Image GhettoIFE

These annoyances started creeping in 2009, and seem to be everywhere now. Vegas Chatter has an excellent list of fees and what benefits you get. But how do these numbers add up on a stay?

I’ve selected six properties, all with resort fees, on the same dates –  Arrive 17th September, Depart 18th September, Cheapest room selected.

Excalibur Las Vegas Pricing
Excalibur Las Vegas Pricing

MGM Grand Las Vegas Pricing

Luxor Las Vegas Pricing

The Quad Las Vegas Pricing

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 02.11.50 Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 02.13.22

So, six properties in the mid-range level of Vegas – not blow you bank properties, but reasonable enough properties. Here’s the prices tabulated for a bit of convenience – and how much that resort fee works into the price

Las Vegas Hotel Pricing - 17th Sept- 18th Sept, Aggravate Data.
Las Vegas Hotel Pricing – 17th Sept- 18th Sept, Aggravate Data. Pricing in US Dollars. Excludes Taxes.

Or in a pretty graph:

Resort Fee Chart

Whilst pricing in Vegas is pretty dynamic, there are some clear trends:

  • Expect to add $20 or so to your bill for Strip properties. VegasChatter notes (only The Stratosphere, Circus Circus, and Riviera have a fee under $20)
  • In cheaper properties, this can make up to a third of the total cost of a night in a hotel
  • Some booking engines won’t show you the resort fee straight away (Yes, I’m looking at you Harrah’s booking engine), so there is digging.
  • Hotel consolidator do mention the fees – but in very small letters, and buried down the page about the hotel…

Booking fees on Expedia UK -

What you can do:

  • Plan to spend more than the ticket on the room – The trend of “surcharges” seems to be alive and well in Vegas, nickel and diming you out of each charge.
  • If you’re an elite with Total Rewards with Platinum, Diamond or Seven Stars status, the fee can be waived
  • Marriott affiliated properties can reduce the fee to 50% for elite members
  • There are some hotels that have no resort fee. However, the location may not where you want to be. Check before booking
  • Grin and suffer. It’s Vegas after all.

I’ll be in Las Vegas in September with some of my fellow Boarding Area bloggers, so I’ll have many more real numbers to play with but biggest take-away is “Prepare to spend more than you planned”.

I guess what they mean by “What Happens in Vegas, Stays In Vegas” includes your resort fee too…


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Comments

  1. Jason says

    You can decline the resort fee at Palazzo/Venetian
    Just make sure you don’t connect to in-room internet.

  2. AnonChi says

    Also, at Treasure Island, they have a “TV Offer” at their site (just type /tv at the end) which waives Resort Fees.

  3. AlohaDaveKennedy says

    Why can’t the hotels just be honest about their prices like the airlines? These aren’t Resort Fees they are “Fuel Surcharges!”

  4. Ralfinho says

    Your table is not quite correct. You listed the room rate excluding tax and resort fee including tax (that’s at least the case for the MGM properties).
    But you are right about how those resort fees suck and make up a good portion of the total bill.

  5. says

    Remember, Las Vegas strip hotels also have a 12% transient occupancy tax (13% in downtown), so the hotels all charge 12% – 13% tax on top of the resort fee, despite the fact that it bundles certain services which might normally be subject to only regular sales tax (8.1%).

    When you get to Las Vegas, make sure that you get a Players’ Card for every casino you visit. (And conveniently, all of the Harrah’s properties use the same Total Rewards Card and all of the MGM/Mirage Properties use the mLife card). Use that card every time you spend even a nickel – whether at a table, a slot machine, or even a store. You will earn valuable points and credits.

    As you are getting ready to check out, call Casino VIP services. If you’ve given enough play, or have earned enough points, a VIP services representative can retroactively “comp” the resort fee, lower your room rate to “casino rate,” comp meals, and even comp your entire bill.

    The mLife program – the one I am most familiar with – actually gives you tier points not just on gaming (which is the norm in Vegas), but they also give you tier points for all of your expenditures at ANY MGM/Mirage properties, including hotel rooms, restaurants, shops, etc. I’ve managed to obtain Gold status (3rd of 5 tier elite) with MGM/Mirage primarily through non-gaming expenditures.