Slew of Vegas Resorts Dangle No Resort Fee Offers

It seems the tide is turning as several Las Vegas hotel-casinos have offered to waive resort fees, even if only for a limited time.

Cosmopolitan has joined the fray with a “resort fees on us” deal.

No resort fees Cosmopolitan

Cosmo is one of our favorite Las Vegas hotels, and no resort fees sweetens the pot.

Resort fees are a source of ongoing frustration for Las Vegas visitors, and many say the practice has contributed to changes in their perception of Sin City as a value destination. Ditto the frequency of their visits.

No resort fees Palms

Palms is doubling down on value, with no resort fees and always-free parking.

In recent months, Las Vegas visitation has dipped and casino stock prices have taken a tumble. Only now does it appear Las Vegas resorts are acknowledging nuisance charges like resort fees are doing more harm than good.

The two biggest casino companies, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts, recently sent customer surveys specifically addressing the issue of fees, presumably with the goal of assessing how much damage has been done by the implementation of these charges.

Here’s another offer for waived resort fees, this time from SLS Las Vegas. This is the kind of trend we can get behind.

No resort fees SLS

Parking is always free at SLS as well. That’s our kind of Vegas.

Resort fees are just one of the fees we hear about daily from Las Vegas visitors.

Wynn Resorts recently rolled back its paid parking policy so guests can park free when they spend $50 at the resort. It’s a step in the right direction.

There are still quite a few Strip and Strip-adjacent casinos offering free parking:

  • Tropicana
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Treasure Island
  • Venetian and Palazzo
  • Casino Royale
  • Circus Circus
  • SLS Las Vegas
  • Stratosphere
  • Westgate
  • Hooters
  • Hard Rock
  • Tuscany
  • Silver Sevens
  • Ellis Island
  • Palace Station
  • Gold Coast
  • Rio
  • Palms
  • Orleans
  • South Point
  • M Resort

No, that’s not an exhaustive list, we ran out of dots. Also, alphabetization is clearly not happening in our current state of inebriation. You’ll manage.

There’s no telling if moves like offering no resort fees or free parking are enough to stem the tide of discontent. It could be too little too late.

Some visitors point out it’s little consolation resorts are waiving fees as they’re the ones who instituted them in the first place.

We thought it might be fun to draft an ad to help reverse the changing perceptions of Las Vegas. This open letter is a bit of a pipe dream, but Las Vegas was built on dreams. And tax evasion. But mainly that first thing.

Please enjoy our fake ad.

Make Vegas a Value Again

It’s time to make Vegas a value again.

Click here for a larger version, because having your eyes pop out isn’t a great look for you.

To-date, Las Vegas casino companies haven’t really come to grips with how the perception of nickel-and-diming has hurt the image of Las Vegas. They prefer to describe it as a “blip.”

Time, and RevPAR, will tell.

No resort fees Hard Rock

Let’s hope some of these seasonal deals turn into permanent ones.

From the flurry of recent “no resort fees” offers, it’s clear the hotels are starting to listen, but it remains to be seen what steps they’ll take to address what they hear.

30 thoughts on “Slew of Vegas Resorts Dangle No Resort Fee Offers

  1. Andy

    I swear to God if one day I will happen again to stay at the Bellagio ( last time was 2008 ) I’m gonna park my car at PH and haul my heavy @ss luggages across the walkways. They won’t have my parking money, greedy ‘bastids !

    Reply
  2. David

    I used to spend a week on the Strip at least 5 or 6 times a year. I stopped when they implimented resort fees. I had always known they were going to take my money, but they at least let me have some fun with gambling and cheap food and entertainment. I now stay off strip once a year and rent a car to go out of town. I still fly Southwest because they don’t nickel and dime me, just not to Las Vegas unless it’s a stopover. I personally think it’s going to be a lot harder to win people back because they have allowed me to discover a lot of places who treat me well and appreciate my business. Too little, too late for my generation, try and treat the next one better and they might come back.

    Reply
  3. William Wingo

    David is right on. Many former Vegas regulars have become comfortable with alternate destinations like Laughlin or the Native American casinos, and it’s going to be hard to get that cadre back. The casino conglomerates have got to overcome all the bad feelings that they themselves generated.
    In the words of the great Florenz Ziegfeld [attributed]: “When people want to stay home, nothing will stop them.”

    Reply
  4. Joze

    It’s Holiday Gift Shoppe time at MGM properties. They screwed around with that promotion too. The points are devalued so you need twice as many points than was needed last year. This will be my last year paying more for my airfare than my points are worth. Corporate has found another way to take the fun out of losing money.

    Reply
  5. Bruce

    Resort fees don’t bother me that much unless I have to pay them on a comped room. The thing I hope they roll back is the 6/5 BJ. I’d be more inclined to play BJ on the strip if they did, but instead have to go downtown or off-strip to find a good variety of 3/2 tables.

    Reply
  6. Rob K.

    As a Canadian these resort fees are killing my pocket book in more ways than one. So I look on line for a decent hotel. Lets say it’s PH with an average room rate of $100 a night for 4 nights. Sounds good right. Then there is the resort fee of $37 a night and finally hotel taxes. So I get a bill of $400 (room) + $148 (resort) + $73.32 (tax) = $621.32. Now to to top it off the Canadian dollar is trading at $1 US = $1.33 CAN. So now my final amount is $621.32 X 1.33 = $826.36 CAN. So my nice $400 Vegas vacation is 2.07 times more expensive for me than advertised. This is why I don’t go to Vegas as often as I used to (once a year).

    Reply
  7. FYMYAWF

    I’m usually hands off on all these resort fee debates because there’s so much righteous vitriol about them, and I know what they are, which is part of the cost of the room. If they get rolled back, great, but then you will just see an increase in room rate. Period.

    What I AM happy about though and what I think will be of the greatest impact to the regular Vegas-goer, is the resorts seem to be loosening up the comped nights again, even for low-rollers (like me). High occupancy has meant pretty slim pickings the last couple years, but in the last 6 months or so it’s getting easier to book them. I’ll gladly pay a $30 “resort fee” for a comped room that goes for $175/night.

    Reply
    1. Mark

      Exactly! I never ever received free night offers from Strip properties. I am a low-roller grinder but MGM is now sending me offers for low hanging fruit like The Park after I played at one of their Mississippi properties. Just returned from a five night Las Vegas trip and all my gaming was off strip or downtown. I refuse to pay for parking or have them tell me it’s a huge favor that they comp me for it.

      Reply
    2. TheMultiplex

      Then you’re not getting a comped room. You’re getting a room for $30 a night instead of $175. You’re still paying for your room. Tax is one thing, but how can anyone think that’s actually a comp?

      “Here, enjoy this free dinner. There’s just the $20 food & service fee per person. Plus tax. Don’t forget to tip.”

      Reply
  8. VegasFanDiminished

    I hate resort fees. I consider them 80 to 90 percent deceptive. And any rollback of mandatory fees is worth highlighting.

    But I can’t help but think resort fees are being waived right now for three reasons:

    1) Vegas attendance is (and, worse: seems) really soft in 2018.
    2) The first couple weeks of December are one of the slowest parts of the year for tourism in general.
    3) Most pools have closed and it’s easier to waive the resort fees than deal with EVERY angry customer, since the most-“used” part of any resort fees are the pool, the WiFi and maybe the gym.

    I think 2) and 3) are more important than 1) to casinos right now. I think they think numbers will rebound next spring and summer. I’m not sure I agree.

    Reply
  9. Dave Kulas

    Haven’t been back to Vegas since resort fees &
    parking fees became standard policy. Phoenix
    casinos get all my business.

    Reply
  10. JT

    I love resort fees because they’ve saved me a ton of money. Instead of spending money in Las Vegas plus the airfare, plus rental car, plus resort parking fees I just spend it all at the local Indian casino. No resort fee, no dealing with the airport, no herds of thousands of people to walk past, no $30 hamburgers, same slots, same video poker, same table games, similar rewards programs.

    Reply
  11. Fran

    Dont expect this to change anything…someone told me hotels in Miami are starting to charge resort fees….if its proven successful in one city,others will follow..

    Reply
    1. LA WB

      These fees have been in the Palm Springs and Phoenix areas for some time, and now are in San Francisco and New York. They are variously disguised as destination or facility fees. I wonder if the fees are taxed differently, since hotel rooms have a group of specific taxes.

      Reply
  12. Housefunker

    As pointed out, it’s funny that this is touted as some sort of great benefit or deal, given we never use to pay a “resort fee.”

    I am waiting for a major casino to abolish parking fees and act as if they just did the world a huge favor.

    Reply
  13. Matt

    I earned points with my IHG credit card and used them for 3 nights at Palazzo last week. $50.18 per night with tax for resort fees. The resort fees devalues the points and has 0 value. I,m not going to use my points in Vegas next year. Next time I come to town I think going way off strip to a locals casino. Try something new.
    Side note. I had Robertos Taco Shop for the first time last week and holy moly that place is good.

    Reply
  14. Grish

    We stay at Caesars and get resort fees comped because of our status, but it is still a big shock to our friends that come with us when they get hit with $70 for nothing. We won’t stay at MGM properties though, because we don’t want to pay for what the resort fees “offer”. I also just received a mailer from Golden Nugget. $110 in free slot play, four complimentary room nights with NO RESORT FEES. Looks like they are getting in the game as well! I’ll be a believer when Caesars Properties or MGM get in the game. I like this trend! Come on Vegas!

    Reply
  15. Joe

    While I don’t enjoy being nickel and dimed, I also look at this issue from the perspective that I don’t want to subsidize other customers visits. For example, if I don’t drive to a casino, why should everyone that drives get a free ride based on the casino’s earnings from non-drivers to the casino? If I don’t use the parking garage, why should I “pay” for it in the revenue the casino makes off of me? If a casino charges enough money to break even in the long-term on parking garage construction, I’m fine with that. Now if they’d just break down resort fees into voluntary pay-for-use. Don’t use the pool or gym? You shouldn’t have to pay for it. Need wi-fi? Then you should pay a reasonable charge for it… Perhaps $3-$5 per day with a $10 minimum. I’m not happy paying resort fees for services and facilities I don’t use. If I use it, I am more than happy to pay for it.

    Reply
    1. FYMYAWF

      Interesting way of looking at it. I agree that the fees, if they stick around, should be pay for play. I don’t use spas or weight rooms and sure as shit don’t need a daily New York Times. I’m down with paying for Wi-Fi, but no way that costs the resort $30+/day per room.

      I guess the resorts figure it’d be too much trouble at check in for people to sit there and choose from an amenities menu rather than just charging everyone for the same thing. It definitely wouldn’t help the check in lines.

      Reply
      1. Kevin

        Resort fees should be charged by those who use the “Resort” stuff. Pool and Gym? Not why I come to Vegas. All the rest of the “resort amenities”? (Local Phone Calls, Internet, Daily newspaper, clean beer glasses, stale bar popcorn) Really? My phone that takes care of a majority of all that shit and I’m already paying T-Mobile.

        Pay for Parking? Should be waived for status holders (is waived currently at MGM properties).

        Vegas is for drinking, gambling, eating, people watching and occasional, Handy J’s.

        Reply
      2. TheMultiplex

        But resort fees aren’t there to pay for those extra things like the pool, gym, or wi-fi. That’s just the seemingly plausible excuse they tell upset guests.

        They exist so they can have their room rates look more attractive on online listings, and then pocket the fee directly instead of sharing it with 3rd party sites. I would wager most people don’t book directly through the property’s website, but instead through something like Expedia or wherever else they’re doing their comparison shopping while planning. They’d rather list $150 a night and hope you just eat the extra $30 or whatever, than have you see $180 and think it’s too much from the get go.

        We need some kind of regulation though as it’s out of hand and hurts the customer (which is keeping them away/from coming back and hurts the local economy as a while). Something along the lines of all additional fees must be avoidable, otherwise it must be in the base rate. If they must charge a resort fee, then customers should have a way of not paying it. If that means I can’t use the pool, park for free, make free local calls, etc then fine. This is what the airlines have been dealing with. Regulations said advertised rates must include all additional fees. So when you see “$220 round trip” it includes all the taxes and whatnot. And they’ve flooded us with additional, avoidable fees as a result. But they’re avoidable.

        These fees are the reason I stopped considering Vegas as a vacation option. I don’t feel like I’m being squeezed or screwed over, and that’s all the fees do. My last trip I stayed at the Aria, and they wanted something like $20+ to use the mini-fridge for my own things. Hell no.

        Of course now I live here, but the nonsense parking fees are why I and most locals avoid the strip when possible. And there’s plenty down there I’d love to do.

        Reply
  16. Red

    Do resort fees exist simply to dupe people comparing room rates on travel sites? Or do they also shield that money from being shared with the travel sites? Anyhow, it’s a move in the right direction. It’s easier for big corporatations to make mistakes than to reverse them.

    Now stop the rest of the nickel and diming. I know some of it’s taxes levied by the city, but they need to stop too. Las Vegas needs to be special for people to brave the trip. Unfortunately, most people have to fly and that’s a miserable experience which is out of their control. I’m sure visitors from the East and Midwest have declined more than visitors from the West. Casino operators have to ask what demographic they want, what gets them to take the first trip, and what keeps them coming back. Maybe they’re getting what they want, and it’s not me.

    Reply
  17. jackie

    Casino Royale gives you a little piece of paper to stick in your window to ensure you’re a guest for their free parking. Do the other places do the same? If not this is a pretty decent list for free parking.

    Reply
    1. Mark A.

      Wish I knew Andy. I tried to reserve a room and they told me $40 per night resort fee. So I guess I’m not staying at the Cosmopolitan.

      Reply
  18. Darrell V

    “I’m usually hands off on all these resort fee debates because there’s so much righteous vitriol about them, and I know what they are, which is part of the cost of the room. If they get rolled back, great, but then you will just see an increase in room rate. Period.”

    I think a lot of people, myself included, have suggested doing just that. I just booked a room last night and the resort fees for the stay were more expensive than the room itself. That’s not a good look.

    I’m a semi-regular to Vegas, I get out 3-4 times/year, so I’m prepared for the resort fees. But think of the sticker shock a first timer has when they thought they were paying an advertised $35/night room rate only to end up paying closer to $150/night because of the resort fee. It’s completely misleading and borderline false advertising. Personally, that is my biggest frustration with the resort fees, not knowing up front exactly how much you will be paying for the room. Make it part of the room rate, that way everyone knows up front what the cost of the room truly is.

    Ultimately, I think the best compromise would be to go to a Pay-for-Play scenario. If someone is going to use the services, they should pay for the services. But if you aren’t going to use the service, why should you be forced to pay for said services? Just my opinion though.

    Reply
    1. William Wingo

      The Gold Spike and the Golden Gate have resort fees? That’s got to take some kind of cake.

      I’ve been known to pay a resort fee occasionally, like when we wanted to stay at a specific place for a specific reason, and couldn’t get comped–but not very often.

      Reply

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