Wow! By the flurry of comments, it seems “resort fees” are dirty words to casino visitors!
I’m not surprised at the hubbub. People generally don’t like tack-on fees in any area. Airline pricing is one of the biggies, right up there with hotels. However, as much as customers seem to hate them, I don’t see resort fees ever going away. So, what can we do to minimize their impact on us?
First off, we need to look at a few facts about CZR resort fees. At this time they are only for Nevada properties (Laughlin and Reno excluded). And if you are Platinum, Diamond, or 7 Stars, you will not be charged the resort fee at all. Something else to consider is that almost all hotels have long been charging for many extra amenities, so sometimes the resort fee is a bargain rather than paying for many of the components individually.
The daily resort fee (before tax) varies from property to property. Here is the current list:
Caesars Palace, Lake Tahoe Harvey’s – $25
Paris, Planet Hollywood, Lake Tahoe Harrah’s – $20
Rio, Harrah’s, Flamingo – $18
Bally’s – $15
The Quad – $10
All right – with these facts under our belt, how do frugal minds start working?
First, look at the total picture, not just individual pieces of the puzzle. You have to add together the base room rate and resort fee (or individual charges for amenities you may want, like in-room Internet and fitness center access.) Find the total final price for each property in which you might be interested – and then look at your options. Might you take a gambling vacation in another city where you can find a lower total price of a room including all the amenities you want? Or, if you want to come to Vegas, can you find a room in another casino resort with a lower total cost, perhaps off-Strip or Downtown?
If you do decide to stay at a Caesars property – or, for that matter, any casino hotel with a resort fee – is there any way to get out of paying it? Here’s where the word “Ask,” said with a smile and an undemanding tone, might work. You could explain that you will not need or use any of the amenities that the resort fee covers. I’ve heard some reports of success with this tactic used when checking in at the front desk, especially if someone has asked nicely to speak with a supervisor about a waiver. And even more successful might be to talk to a host after you have put on a “good amount” of play. The definition of “good play” is, of course, very subjective and will depend on the luxury level of the property. However, after you have put in your usual play, it would not hurt to contact a host and politely inquire if your play is strong enough for the resort fee to be comped. You might be surprised how often the just-ask technique works!
One other thing you need to remember about dealing with an umbrella company like Caesars is that there is a great deal of autonomy within each individual property. I have found over the years that although the “mother” brings out all sorts of new systems and policies and touts them as “across the board,” the “children” are either given permission – or they take the liberty – to interpret them as they feel is best for their individual property. So don’t assume the “gospel truth” you hear at one casino will hold true in another one, even if it is just across the street.