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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

When Did This All Happen??

$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$ 
 That is what one board poster exclaimed.  "I was just there two months ago and none of this was going on!"

Well, it may not have been going on two months ago in the casino you visited, but it has been around a good bit longer than that in Vegas and in other cities around the world.  Here is a post about Hawaii:

http://www.elliott.org/blog/time-to-say-aloha-to-the-resort-fee-capital-of-the-world/


The "when" of the resort fee farce can be any day of any week for any casino. That is why Viva Las Vegas took on the task of updating the list here (click), why some of the more savy discounters are getting the message that this is going to continue to be a frustrating hidden fee and they better get it communicated to their customers, and why I am trying to chase this thing into the ground on a daily basis and see if I can keep up with the rapid changes.

You can help by sending me information, anecdotes, things you have read.


For many, many customers the important "when" is the time in the room booking process when they learn that each of their nights might cost them another $25 and that all their comparison shopping did not mean much because, quite simply, they were quoted one price and will pay another.
Perhaps it is as they check in.
For some it won't be until check out.
And we will have to imagine that for many it won't be noticed  until they pay the Visa a month after they are home.

Perhaps as we communicate and update for each other, we can stop this virus from infecting the pleasure of a Vegas trip, but even here we are always working behind the "when" of the decision.

Unlike casino implosions, the imposition of resort fees will not be televised.

The major purpose of this practice is to get the hotel to look cheaper than the competition looks when someone tries to compare prices.  To compare accurately the consumer needs to do it twice, once with the hotel rate and again with the resort fee.
Of course, the entire business of the casino is to trick the customer into paying more than they intended,  but generally casinos have kept the tricks confined to the slots, extra zeros on roulette, and dealers reminding us to bet the hard ways. They have not tried to trick us in the booking process itself.
But they are hurting for cash. So, like many financially strapped folks, mugging sounded like a good solution.
Hey, if the bankers can do the fine print scam on house mortgages, why not do it on rented casino rooms?

Ask for total prices when you book.
Confirm those total prices when you confirm your room before heading out to Vegas.
Post what information you find so we can spread it around to other Vegas travelers.

And ask often.  Read this resort fee experience from at Green Valley Ranch Jean Scott
http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/blogs/jscott/index.cfm/2009/4/25/It-Does-Pay-to-Check



The better "when" is the day we see these fees go away or evolve into something optional.
Or the day when some Vegas casino begins to advertise that they have no resort fees as a way to promote their rooms the way Southwest promotes their airline travel with no baggage fees.
This too can be any day for any casino.
This has already happened at Circus Circus in Reno.  And on some discounter sites I am beginning to see a prominent note that exclaims "No Resort Fees" for some of the advertised hotels.

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