It’s time for Las Vegas to hear its guests. It’s time to end the hidden resort fees and paid parking. One of the things that has always drawn me to Vegas is the ability to create a trip that fit any kind of budget. If I wanted luxury, I could buy luxury. If I wanted cheap, I could go on a needle-thin budget.
My first experience with resort fees came a few years ago in 2012. I was staying at the Flamingo during a long cross-country road trip. The cost of the room was $12 per night with a $7 per night resort fee. I parked my car in the garage for free and was blown away by the quality of the hotel for $19 per night. While I was travelling I was staying at mid-level hotels. At that time I preferred Hyatt and enjoyed many of them along my route for $90-$120 per night, taxes and fees included.
Today, Caesars Entertainment is charging $29 per night for its resort fee at the Flamingo. At the cheapest times of the year, you can book the Flamingo for $20-$29 per night plus taxes and fees.
If you’re thinking I’m being ridiculous and that a complaint for $60 per night in the off-season is petty, you may be right. However, Caesars recently announced it would begin charging for parking every day of your visit. Add on another $10 per day to your $29 fee and room rate. The reason this is a problem in the long-term is that Las Vegas is beginning to price itself comparatively to other cities.
Why should I choose Las Vegas over San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Seattle, or Denver? There are plenty of things to do and ways to be entertained in those cities. If I want to gamble, I can visit a tribe’s casino within an hour of any direction of my house. So why would I go to Las Vegas?
The prices on The Strip continue to go up. It’s becoming very expensive to eat, drink, and be entertained. While there are signs of hope in downtown, staying on The Strip will be unreasonably expensive soon with rising hotel taxes to build a football stadium.
There is hope coming from Downtown as hotels are seeing an opportunity to invite guests to Las Vegas without resort fees. I commend these properties. While paying for parking is nothing new in Downtown Las Vegas, parking validation was available at most hotels.
So what do I want? I want transparency. Why do I need to pay $29/night for “high-speed” wi-fi for a limited amount of devices, a swimming pool, and the gym? If I’m staying at your resort, why do not I not get free parking? The greed of the Las Vegas properties is seeping out of the casinos and into these expensive fees.
I want resort fees to be included in the price. Similar to how Ticketmaster has to show the price of the ticket plus the price of the fees in the overall cost. I hate hearing about Las Vegas first-timers who were surprised by hundreds of dollars of fees. Why is it unreasonable to display the total cost?
Perhaps my dream is nostalgic and reminiscent of old Vegas. But if the hotels and resorts continue this trend, my trips to Vegas will begin dwindling in size and value. Let’s face it, all I am really asking for is that Vegas remembers who they are and where they came from.
Anyway, that’s the way I see it.