Did you know resort fees are among the most deceptive practices in Las Vegas? MGM Resorts is among the many Vegas destinations sued for such practices. The resort fees are not illegal in and of themselves but can be illegal depending on how the hotels charge their guests.
It has become a common practice among many travelers to look for ways of getting out of paying the resort fees; you will learn all about these clever tactics in detail in this article. However, it is important to remember that foregoing resort fees do not make hotel prices cheaper.
In most cases, staying in a hotel that doesn’t charge resort fees can be quite expensive. Read on to learn about Las Vegas’s resort fees, their legality, and how much the Las Vegas hotels charge per night.
What is the Resort Fee in Vegas?
Resort fees, also known as facility or amenity fees, are additional charges that a hotel guest must pay on top of the standard room fee, charged per night/day.
These additional fees are put in place to give guests access to hotel supplementary services. So, what do Las Vegas resort fees cover?
Most cover access to their high-speed internet to gym access, pool, hotel towels, shuttles, domestic & long-distance calls, discounts on the hotel dining destinations, and other ‘complimentary’ services (since you are technically paying for them through the resort fees).
Resort fees are illegal in many countries, the USA included. It is unlawful to add the extra costs on top of the regular room charges through deceptive means – like charging the resort fees at the end of your stay instead of the time of booking.
The fees are not deceptive if all the charges are disclosed at the time of booking, indicating what you are paying for. However, several Las Vegas resorts do not disclose the fees until after you have booked the room at the standard fee.
Another way the resort fee comes out as deceptive is because the initial advertisements & prices only showcase the room charges. Once you have found a suitable deal, you book at the standard rate only to be hit by another resort fee at the end of checkout.
An excellent example of this is Caesars Palace. They have many promotions and discounts that reduce costs but still add to the resort fees. In the case below, the room charge per night is $119, which is the price you are introduced to when looking at the hotel’s room prices.
However, once you have chosen your preferred price, the site takes you to the last checkout and shows you an additional resort fee of $45.95 per room per night. A fee that only grants you access to the internet for up to two devices, access to the fitness center for two, and all local calls.
It is a clever but somewhat deceptive tactic that attracts you with the initial room rate, only to later charge you extra at checkout. The only disclaimer is written in small print “Average per room per night. Excludes fees and taxes” under the standard fees.
Many guests are accustomed to these tactics and are likelier not to see them as a red flag when booking a room. However, the MGM Law Suit in 2021 by Travelers United showcased a rare scenario where the company did not disclose all the fees upfront.
Speaking for Travelers United, Counsel Lauren Wolfe noted, “all mandatory hotel fees must be included in the advertised price in order to be legal. MGM’s deceptive practice of hotel resort fees must end.”
For resort fees to be legal in Las Vegas, all fees must be included up-front in the advertised pricing on the hotel’s website and travel agencies like Hotels.com and Booking.com.
With that said, it is crucial to note that resort fees do not necessarily make the rooms expensive. A good example of this is the Marriot Grand Chateau (with no resort fees) which charges up to $100 per night per room, more than Caesars Palace (with resort fees).
Preceding resort fees is still a good way to save a buck on the expensive city. So, do you get resort fees back in Las Vegas? Can you refuse to pay resort fees, or can the hotel waive the resort fees in Vegas?
How to Avoid Las Vegas Resort Fees?
Resort fees in Vegas range from as low as $20 and can go up to $52, including taxes. To make matters worse, the resort fees can sometimes be higher than the actual room charges.
The corporations will still enact these charges regardless of the price since they work and earn good money. In recent years, the hotels have been increasing the resort fees, with records showing a 5% average increase.
Do you have to pay the resort fees in Las Vegas? Well, Yes.
Las Vegas resort fees are mandatory and cannot be waived unless it is at the discretion of the management. Moreover, an additional 13.38% tax is charged to all resort fees in Vegas.
You cannot legally refuse to pay the resort fees since the resorts break down where your money went during your stay. Most services are overpriced and aimed at getting more money out of you, but you know the bill always comes due.
So, how can you escape paying fees that add little to no value to the average consumer? Here are some ways you can use to get the resort fees waived:
Please Take Note of Resort Fee Services and Their Availability
The resorts fees grant you access to several amenities, most of which include:
- Internet access: mostly high-speed wi-fi with limited or unlimited access.
- Pool and fitness center access: most Vegas hotels have pools that do not charge guests for entry. Non-guests have to pay a daily fee to enter the pool or fitness centers, making the perks quite appealing to guests. Remember that access to fitness centers is usually limited to at least two guests per room and select hours. A few fitness centers have 24-hour access.
- Toll-free domestic long-distance calls: even though in-room calls aren’t a big deal these days, a few guests may find telephones more convenient than smartphones.
- Free airline boarding passes printing & free airport shuttle services: although rare, some hotels included these services to make your commute from and to the airport smoother.
- Other amenities and discounts: free coffees and deals on resort restaurants & cafes are also popular. Free bottled water is also included, and it is not uncommon to get complimentary self-parking included in the resort fees.
Most of these ‘free’ amenities aren’t truly free since they are included in the resort fees, defeating the purpose of advertising them as ‘complimentary’ – a common complaint among guests.
It is a good practice to take note of the services you use. If the pool was closed, you didn’t go to the fitness center, or you didn’t use any of the ‘free’ amenities, you can dispute that at the front desk when you check out.
Most managements are keen on ensuring the customers are happy, and you may pay zero or less than the standard resort fee.
Use the Resorts’ Award/Rewards/Club Programs
Caesars Rewards program is among the many club and award programs that grant you several perks in Las Vegas. Diamond and Seven Star club members do not pay resort fees in Caesars’ resorts.
This is similar to the Gold Club members at MGM resorts. Most of these top-tier memberships are given to elite members with long-standing spending on casinos and gambling dens.
You may be eligible for resort fee waivers if you have spent enough to be part of the top-tier memberships of Las Vegas resorts. Check-in with the staff when spending at the hotels to be aware of the fee waiver guidelines.
Use Reward Points
Every hotel in Las Vegas has a reward points system that grants you redeemable points when you spend at their facilities.
The highest points come from the casinos and gambling sections, but you can earn lots of points by dining and visiting some local attractions. Hilton is one of the companies known for waiving resort fees when you reserve your room using their reward points.
Moreover, the more you use your rewards card to make purchases, the more points you earn to compensate for your next stay.
Dispute the Resort Fees with Your Credit Card Provider
Another way, albeit more complex, to get your resort fee waived is to talk to your credit card provider. You must use your credit card for booking for this method to work.
It would be best if you had a good reason – services were unavailable during your stay, or the charges weren’t properly disclosed when you booked or left the resort. It is up to the card provider to contact the hotel as your advocate to see if the fees can be waivered.
It is crucial to note that this is not always successful compared to the other methods on our list.
Stay in Las Vegas Hotels without Resort Fees
The surest way to avoid paying resort fees is to stay in a condo or hotel that does not charge resort fees. There are only a handful of resorts in Las Vegas’ 90-plus resorts that do not charge deceptive fees.
More hotels are getting into the resort fees bandwagon to make more profits. Virgin Hotels is an example. The hotel started charging a $45 resort fee inclusive of tax in January 2022 despite being a resort fee-free zone for decades.
Stay in these hotels to avoid paying resort fees completely:
- Travelodge by Wyndham Center Strip
- Travelodge by Wyndham Las Vegas Airport
- Jockey Club
- Hilton Garden Inn on the Strip
- Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
- Hyatt Place at Silverton Village
- Casino Royale Best Western Plus
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Marriott Convention Center
- Four Queens Hotel & Casino
- Desert Rose Resort
- Red Roof Inn
- Residence Inn by Marriott
- Royal Resort
- Marriott Grand Chateau
- Holiday Inn Express Las Vegas South
- Lucky Club
- La Quinta INN & Suites
- Wyndham Grand Desert
- Wyndham Desert Blue
- WorldMark Las Vegas Boulevard
- Apache Hotel in Binion’s
- WorldMark Tropicana
- Bluegreen Vacations Club 36
Top 21 Las Vegas Hotels with Cheapest Resort Fees
As noted earlier, hotels with resort fees aren’t always cheaper. Hotels with resort fees tend to include more amenities and services that create a more serene and relaxing stay.
Please remember that on the Strip, resorts are generally more expensive regardless of resort fees. Hotels & casinos off the Strip have more favorable prices than those on the Strip.
If you want to book a room with the best amenities but still want to save a few bucks on resort fees, then these are the top options to look out for.
Note: Remember that the fees change from time to time and do not include the 13.38% tax; feel free to visit the linked websites for current prices.
Resort fees in Las Vegas can easily empty your vacation pockets if you do not look out for the hidden fees or check out the amenities it provides in advance.
Try going to hotels without resort fees to get great deals or keep the tips & tricks above to pay less when you checkout.