Major airlines started the trend of tacking on added fees for certain services. It started with extra charges for checking bags. Extra costs were later expanded as a way to supplement the base ticket price. More recently, Las Vegas casino resorts got into the act with added fees for certain services they provide. The trend of adding hidden costs and extra fees appears to be here to stay as a way to boost company profits. Recently, the Las Vegas resort fees like The Rio. are driving up the price of vacation costs.
There was a recent post on the Las Vegas Review-Journal (www.reviewjournal.com) covering this very issue. Arne Sorenson is the CEO of Marriott International Inc. In a recent interview with LinkedIn editor-in-chief Daniel Roth, he made the case why resort fees are put in place.
See Why The Las Vegas Casino Resorts Are Driving Up Their Fees
In response to added fees for certain services, Marriott was part of a lawsuit filed by District of Columbia Attorney General Daniel Roth. The lawsuit claims that the hotel chain is using resort fees as a way to deceive customers. Lower rates are then inflated with the added fees. Marriott International is a local Maryland casino.
Most importantly, they quote Sorenson in the interview. Moreover, he says, “We’ll obviously fight it. We think it’s wrong. It’s well disclosed.”
Indeed, on July 9 in The DC’s Superior Court, they file a lawsuit. Furthermore, It was in response to an investigation by all 50 state attorneys general on the topic of resort fees. A few of the added costs were for services such as Wi-Fi and resort amenities such as the pool and exercise facilities. Resort Fees were being charged regardless of whether or not guests used them.
Is The Marriot Using Drip Pricing?
The suit also claims that Marriott uses ‘drip pricing’. This is an unlawful practice where a hotel hides a portion of the daily rate in advertisements. The suit is also seeking a court order to advertise any added fees up front. Sorenson admitted that customers do not like paying extra resort fees. However, he understands why hotels have turned to charge them. He added:
“I think a lot of folks look at that and say, ‘Philosophically, yeah, I understand it’. What we’ve tried to do is be very clear about our disclosure. It’s one of the frustrating things about this lawsuit.”Anthony Curtis is the founder of the Las Vegas Advisors. He disagrees with this rational. He argues that very few customers understand the reasoning for added resort fees. He commented as follows:
“I don’t think they’re here to stay. There has been too much backlash in too many Las Vegas casino resorts areas, this being the most recent. They’re certainly not staying if the courts rule against them.”
The Customers Disagree
Las Vegas casino executives and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority disagree. They insist that there is no evidence that added resort fees are turning customers away.
Sorenson admitted that resort fees are financially driven. However, they are used to disclose what the fees are going towards in terms of added amenities. He still believes they are not going away anytime soon. He also added that “you can do that is some markets and some hotels.”
That is one of the reasons why added resort fees have caught on with many of the top Las Vegas casino resorts.