Another Marriott, Another Shady Fee: Gaylord Rockies Appears To Be Stealing 2.5% From Customers

The Gaylord Rockies adds a 2.5% “public fee” to guest folios.

Please note – Daily resort fee USD 23 plus tax will be added to room rate-incl access to resort pools and fitness center, high speed Internet and more. 2.5 pct public fee also added to rate.

A ‘public fee’ certainly sounds like a tax. However the City of Aurora, Colordo doesn’t impose such a thing. And other Aurora hotels don’t appear to charge this either.

And if it’s a junk fee disguised as a tax, such as for use of ‘public’ facilities on property – why doesn’t the hotel’s $23++ resort fee cover that?

Gaylord Rockies, Credit: Marriott

Marriott doesn’t own very many hotels, and as a company they’ve seemed much more interested in avoiding angering property owners who pay them franchise and in some cases management fees. But they’re also a data machine. They should be knowledgeable about hotel taxes in the jurisdictions where they operate and should compare those to the fees properties they work with charge. Ultimately the value in Marriott is their brand and customers should be able to trust the bookings that they make through their platform. Marriott needs to audit the fees that its hotels charge.

To be sure Marriott isn’t alone in working with rogue properties. Both Marriott and Hilton had hotels flying their flags while hitting up guests with extra charges to cover their property taxes, and to make matters worse these taxes actually covered debt service on investments which lowered each hotel’s costs. Go figure.

However Marriott just entered a settlement promising to be more transparent about fees. It says they’re responsible for the information provided by franchisees. And they’ve agreed not to engage in deceptive or unfair practices with respect to advertising mandatory fees. They need to live up to this.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The whole company is basically Marriott lets its owners carry on however they wish
    I just canceled a Marriott booking in a city where the criminal bogus amenity fee is typically non existent
    No wonder why they were one of the the few hotels with rooms avail on a major holiday.
    Hope any hotel that forces guests into these bogus fees goes belly up

  2. Until and unless hotels are forced by regulation to display the grand total to the public, this practice will continue….

  3. The daily resort charges that stuff “and more” – that’s not living up to their transparency pledge on fees.

  4. Still waiting for the frontier/spirit airlines approach to hotels where room night is $9 and the optional and mandatory add ons are $200.

    These jerks make spirit look like saints as you can indeed fly for the very low advertised cost and all fees are optional.

  5. Colorado requires developers to fund utilities infrastructure expansion. They create public improvement districts which then charge a tax on properties and sales to fund the bonds issued that covered utility expansion. There are a lot of developments in the region that have these taxes. I regularly have to pay it when I go to Target

  6. I booked a room at a Statesboro, GA Holiday Inn and just before I hit the “Book” button noted that there was a $5.00 “Additional Charge” tacked on to the fees. When I called the hotel to inquire, no one seemed to know what I was talking about. I filed a consumer complaint with the State of Georgia and got a reply from IHG! The “additional charge” is actually a State mandated fee or “room tax”. I noted that other hotels show that fee as it is written and not “additional charge”. Now that I understand, OK but as of 5 months later, IHG still hasn’t reflected a change to that effect on the web site. C’mon IHG..get with it!

  7. Who cares? and the app show all-inclusive pricing now. A hotel can make the room rate $0.01 and charge an air conditioning fee, tap water fee, carpeted floor fee, mattress pad fee, disposable plastic cup fee, extra toilet paper roll fee, stained ironing board fee, used iron with standing water from god knows how long ago fee, polyester or god knows what stuck to the plate of the iron fee, dresser drawers that smell nasty because the previous guest put their skidmarked underwear right on the wood veneer fee, desktop computer used by the front desk agent fee, painted lines on the asphalt in the parking lot fee, and cardstock used to print your parking pass that you have to display on your dashboard because the hotel is greedy enough to charge you a parking fee even though they are located in the suburbs where every other business has free parking and the hotel will probably not even check overnight whether there are any unauthorized cars in the lot fee.

    As long as the final rate is the same or less than IHG, I’m in.

  8. I’d rather discuss why Gaylord is an appropriate name for a hotel chain. I am looking for venture capital to launch my own chain, Straight Chief. We will give it to you straight and charge no fees!

  9. “spirit airlines approach to hotels where room night is $9 and the optional and mandatory add ons are $200”

    CEASARS various hotels in Vegas already do this. You can book a room as cheap as $9 but then have to pay ~50 in resorts fees on top. Plus $15/day parking fee.

  10. “ Colorado requires developers to fund utilities infrastructure”

    Colorado Law also forbids the businesses from charging that fee to customers, because it isn’t a direct customer tax, and it’s illegal for businesses to claim (or pretend) it is a customer tax.

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