Resort Fees: The Hidden Fees of Las Vegas

If you have been to Las Vegas, you are all too familiar with resort fees that most places charge. If you’re like me, you’ve probably often wondered why they don’t just add it into the cost of the room and allow you to see it up front. For the seasoned Las Vegas visitor, we automatically do this anyway. The novice first-timers get surprised with it upon arrival, unless they actually read the small print on the website or email. Seriously though, who does that?

I did a little homework on resort fees in Vegas and saw a wide variety of costs and services. There are even some smaller hotels that don’t charge any at all. These are usually off-strip though. For the ones that charge resort fees, the cost was anywhere from $14.95 to $39 per night. At first, that doesn’t seem like a whole lot. For those that stay 5 or 6 nights, say, for March Madness, this can add up to an additional $234 to your stay. My advice is to read the small print so you can plan accordingly.

Some of the services that are included in the resort fee are nice to have. They can include free parking in the event that you drive to Vegas. I saw a few that offered free coffee and tea, or a newspaper. Some, like South Point, offer a free shuttle to the airport. They also offer a shuttle to the Strip for a small extra fee. These amenities take some of the pain away from the fee. However, other “advantages” that are listed are laughable, at best. It astounds me that here, in 2019, they are still listed as a bonus to your stay.

Free internet and WiFi!!! Cool, because it’s 2019. I can go to the local McDonald’s and get free WiFi with my McDouble. Adding this to your list of amenities doesn’t make you special. It makes you seem petty. It’s the equivalent of a restaurant offering free water or Kroger offering free bags to place your groceries in. WiFi has almost become a given, like oxygen, something we can take for granted most of the time.

You can visit their fitness center. I can’t count how many times I’ve been in Vegas and thought to myself “you know, I’d like to hit the ole elliptical for a few miles this morning”. Wait, yes I can; it’s zero. Zero times. I promise you that. Even if I wanted to, I’m the guy that hits the gym early in the morning or late at night, not that I’m a gym rat. The fitness centers in these hotels are only open for what are essentially bankers hours. To clarify, the gym is open when the games are on. You know, when no one wants to go to the gym. Yes, I’ve seen people using them, and then I said a silent prayer for them. You’re in Vegas bro, go eat a 2,183 calorie burger and wash it down with a craft beer or 5. Chill out.

The last one is the best. Are you guys ready? Are you sure? This may make you want to jet off to Vegas right away when I reveal this one…………

FREE LOCAL CALLS!!!!! You read that right, free local calls. My grandma used to go to Vegas once a year in the late 70s and early 80s. I bet she was tickled pink when she saw that. Most casinos/hotels actually still have this on their website. In 2019. I kid you not. There has to be at least 1 PR guy that advises them to take that part off. In the day of cell phones, which are really just computers we carry around in our pockets, I hardly think anyone has the need to use the room phone to call anyone. If so, I want to meet that person. Maybe enlighten them a bit.

Las Vegas is a great city and I’ve always had a great time. If you plan to go, please read the small print. Once you accept these resort fees as part of your stay, the sting goes away. Just be aware that sometimes those low room rates are practically doubled, or more, after you add these in. I still highly urge everyone to go, especially if you’ve never been. Wonderful city, wonderful people, and free local calls.

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