Anyone familiar with the hotel and hospitality industry is probably familiar with added resort fees. It has been a hot topic lately, especially in Las Vegas with so many hotel and casino resorts. More and more hotel resort properties all across the US are tacking on resort fees as a way to increase profitability. Unfortunately for consumers, many of these fees are buried in the actual cost of a room.
The hotel will publish the room rate without mentioning the added per day cost for certain amenities. This can drive the total cost of a night’s stay up as much as $40 to $50 a night at the fanciest Las Vegas casino resorts.
While most industry insiders admit that Las Vegas resort fees are not going away, there is a strong push to make them transparent. Room rates should include any added fees or costs. However, right now that is not the case with many of the hotels that utilize an added resort fee.
That could be about to change if the federal government has its way. Indeed, it appears there is a proposed legislation that would change the current situation. Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska) recently introduced bipartisan legislation to Congress.
The proposed law would require all hotels and resorts across the country to advertise the full price of a room. This includes all nightly fees charges at the booking process. All government taxes would not be part of this advertised rate.
Rep. Fortenberry was quoted as saying:
“When travelers search for hotel options, they deserve to see straightforward prices. They should not get hit with hidden fees that are designed to confuse consumers and distort the actual price.”
The proposed bill is HR 4489, also known as the Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019. The total cost of added resort fees collected this year alone is estimated to be more than $3 billion.
Rep. Johnson added:
“Consumers should be able to enjoy their vacation without being ripped off and financially burdened. This bill would require that the prices advertised by hotels and online travel agencies must include all mandatory fees that will be charged a consumer.”
This legislation is not designed to ban added resort fees. It will require hotels and resorts to include all the costs of a night’s stay (before added taxes) in the advertised price.
Resort fees is blanket terminology for a number of added costs which include:
- Venue Fees
- Destination Fees
- Facilities Fee
- Amenities Fee
- Urban Resort Fee
Las Vegas casinos have singled out costs for free Wi-Fi, boarding pass printing, free local calling and access to the pool/fitness center. These are then lumped into one extra fee on a per night basis.
The following example was given:
A king room at Encore tonight has an advertised rate of $159. But with the $45/day resort fee, the true price of the occupancy is actually $204- a more than 28 percent markup. With taxes, the guest is paying $231.30.