Artisan Hotel Invents Annoying “Utility Surcharge”

Artisan Hotel isn’t a casino resort, so we tend to not care about it too much, but if you hate nuisance fees, gird your loins.

Vegas Unfiltered was the first to share Artisan Hotel has started charging guests a “utility fee.”

Yep, it’s a $3.95 charge, presumably for things like, oh, electricity. In other words, it’s a “charge charge.”

Others think it, we say it.

On the bright side, the Artisan isn’t exactly known as a trendsetter in Las Vegas, so we don’t think this charge will catch on, but you never know.

Fun fact: At Artisan, you can buy out the entire hotel for $8,500. Although, that price may go up given all the publicity resulting from this inane utility fee.

The rates at the off-Strip Artisan are relatively low, but pretty much double once you add the resort fee ($19.95) and taxes.

In Las Vegas, you get what you pay for.

As far as we can see, there’s no mention of the “utility surcharge” on the Artisan Web site.

Third party sites (called OTA, or online travel agencies) are more forthright about the fee.

Here’s the information Expedia provides.

Sites like Expedia rejecting hotels with hidden fees would get their attention right quick.

What is the “utility surcharge” actually for? Good luck with that. They might as well call it a “unicorn boarding fee.”

One possible origin of the fee has been floated by those who say the Artisan is often used for porn shoots: Professional video lighting uses a lot of power. Just saying.

As with most nuisance fees, it’s not so much the actual cost, it’s more that it’s a shady practice, charges guests for nothing and contributes to the perception that Las Vegas is more about nickel-and-diming than value.

Bullshit fees have become increasingly common, including the most recent, a made-up RFF charge at Cafe Americano at Paris.

As mentioned, while we don’t anticipate other Las Vegas hotels following Artisan’s lead, it’s an example of a shady business practice based upon the belief guests are too stupid to notice  an irksome fee tacked onto their bill. They actually hope travelers never even realize the fees exist at all.

That’s why you have us. In case you wondered.

10 thoughts on “Artisan Hotel Invents Annoying “Utility Surcharge”

  1. Sameolepan

    Well all rubes beware! I think the system thinks you could probably add a monkey spank fee, and no-one would notice. If they did notice, the system would ask you if that experience was memorable and create a scenario in your mind that you got spanked. You would nod and said oh yeah, that was me! But for $3.95 no-one will notice, and say VEGAS BABY, let’s put it on Facebook.

    Reply
  2. Jesus V

    I think the reason why they do this is because they don’t own a casino and probably trying to find a way to make more money but doing this will actually scare people away from staying at this place. I really hope other vegas hotel don’t do this.

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  3. MrBuzzkill

    Utility surcharges are common in hotels where the management really has zero idea of how much electricity and water are going to cost from day to day. (Puerto Rico, I’m looking at you.) But that surcharge isn’t justified here in NV Energy territory where power costs are stable.

    It surprises me that MGM hasn’t attempted this because of the massive amounts of power it generates from solar. People will pay these fees to stay at a resort that is carbon neutral or relies solely on renewable energy. But I highly doubt this is the case at Artisan.

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  4. GregM

    The surcharge IS mentioned on their website. It’s hidden in the fine print at the bottom of thier main landing page.

    *Limited Time Only. Offer only available for direct bookings from http://www.artisanhotel.com. Artisan’s standard $19.95 resort fee & $3.95 daily energy surcharge applies. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate in this promotion and stay at the Artisan Boutique Hotel. 21+ to party at Artisan Afterhours. Based on availabilty. Blackout dates apply. Excludes holidays, convention periods, buyouts, groups and events. Not valid with any other offers or promotions.

    Reply
  5. Mary Huber

    Didn’t Las Vegas hotels charge something like this a long time ago? The courts ruled that they couldn’t charge a fee to recover electric costs, so it became a “resort fee.”

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    1. Andy A.

      Yes, I remember this from the late ’90’s or early 2000’s. I specifically remember an ad for Luxor stating “Luxor Las Vegas has no energy surcharge.”

      Reply
  6. John

    I’m not normally one to advocate for government involvement but it’s time. If “fees” are a non-negotiatable part of a a transaction companies should be required to include them in the price. Enough of these deceptive, misleading, anti-consumer practices.

    Reply

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