Hidden fees are the newest casino tricks to take more of your money than you intended to give them. Find out about them here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What can coupon providers do to help?

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They can make certain that resort fees are listed on every coupon advertising a hotel rate in their book.
They can make sure that when they report on hotel rates, they include the Resort Fees in what they write and in the conclusions they draw.

The funniest Resort Fee has to be the Gold Spike. This casino has the worst reputation and new owners were determined to change it so they renovated the entire casino. Well, they did not renovate the rooms yet.  That is still in the works.
But they have a $2 Resort Fee and nothing to put in the amenities section because all you get for the Resort Fee is an renovated  room in a place that is the farthest thing from a resort that you can imagine.
They just charge; they have absolutely nothing to list as a benefit.
The Gold Spike offers a $7.77 promotional coupon for a single weekday night in the 2010 American Casino Guide. Nothing on the coupon says anything about the $2 resort fee which adds 26% to that night's stay. They kept that information back from the American Casino Guide and you just know it is going to be something that will make people annoyed.
This kind of promotion works to unfairly reduce the credibility of well respected, frugal traveling tools like the American Casino Guide. It is a small amount, but it sets folks to wonder.
Editor Steve Bourie has made it clear that he thinks these fees are a "gimmick" to get more money out of the customer,  and that it is sad they have felt they needed to add these fees to the room charges.
Still promotional coupons to really work need to be redeemed smoothly so that the users are amazed they can get such a deal, and then are then drawn to return to buy that coupon book and also to return to the promoted casino.  The Gold Spike had a great idea with this $7.77 room coupon.  They should just charge that advertised amount.
It is a good bit of work to keep up with redeeming coupons.  If folks take the time to do the couponing work and then detect a catch, all the joy of the savings is replaced by a feeling of being caught again, even in this small way, by the disingenuous casinos.  And it is not like the feeling of going on a coupon to a casino and losing fifty bucks after staying to play beyond the one coupon bet or having the free buffet.
Gamblers joke all the time about how much a $5 coupon  or a free buffet may have "cost" them, but they take the blame for their decision to stay and play, usually making a joke of it.  That fifty lost in gaming is not begrudged the casino as much as that $2 they lost as a hidden in fine print resort fee.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog Dewey!

My funniest resort fee is Wild Wild West's $5.45 / night.

The most outrageous are Palace Station's $16.79 / night and TI's $22.40.

Viva Las Vegas