Calling Foul on Resort Fees By Ken Adams April 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm Some Las Vegas resorts charge a resort fee that is not clearly defined, differs from resort to resort and is sometimes even difficult to recognize on the bill. Those fees have resulted in a class action lawsuit. This is probably not the most important issue the gaming industry faces, but I think it is important enough to consider. Neither Las Vegas nor any other gaming destination needs any bad press about inflated prices or questions about the integrity of the operations. A class-action lawsuit filed in a California federal court alleges the Venetian and Palazzo resorts hid daily resort fees from travelers booking rooms at the Las Vegas Strip properties. The lawsuit filed earlier this month said Benjamin Brin of Studio City in Southern California booked a three-night stay at the Venetian last June but the nightly $209 room rate didn’t include the daily resort fee…The vast majority of Las Vegas hotel-casinos charge resort fees the properties say cover the use of Internet, a gym, pool or other amenities whether the customer uses them or not. The Venetian and the Palazzo charge a $29 daily fee. Kimberly Pierceall, Associated Press, 3-25-15 Las Vegas is becoming more famous for its extras than for its gambling. Over the last decade or so, the resorts have added dozens of new amenities, nightclubs, pools, spas, gyms, restaurants, retail outlets, erupting volcanoes, white tigers and dazzling displays of flowers. It costs money to build all of that and whenever possible the casinos charge admission. But, sometimes the guests cannot be lured to use those amenities. Servicing the costs of those amenities was an immense problem until, with a stroke of genius, some accountant thought up resort fees. Charge the guests for things they don’t use just because they are there. It is not surprising that some guests are not pleased; travelers are tired of being charged extra for everything. However, I suspect there are lawyers and news outlets that will be pleased to highlight the practice. In the wake of the disasters of 9-11-2001, travelers have had to get used to some very unpleasant changes in air travel. It takes twice as long to get anywhere and it costs more to do so. Not all of the costs are directly related to 9-11, but indirectly they seem to be; under the stress of the times, travelers were forced to submit to new conditions and charges. The added security measures came with costs for everyone, the airlines and the passengers. The airlines would like the travelers to bear all of the additional costs the airlines incurred; they want the fliers to pay extra for baggage, fuel and food. Airline travelers are a captive audience. They cannot pass any of the additional cost along to anyone, they simply have to grin and bear it. If I want to go to Buffalo, New York from Reno, flying is just about the only option. I have to follow the new rules, and submit to all of the delays and fees if I wish to fly on a commercial airline. However, when it comes to some destinations and accommodations, there are choices. And casinos are the ultimate in destinations of choice. There are always more casinos, if not in Las Vegas then down the road in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Reno, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri – well, you get the idea. If hotels in Las Vegas add fees to enhance their profitability, I don’t have to pay them, I can go someplace else. In a highly competitive world, it is a highly risky policy adding unjustified, hidden or unclear charges.