COVID Surcharges Have Started In Las Vegas

Just as the pandemic was heating up several Las Vegas hotels raised their resort fees. Now as Las Vegas re-opens several properties are running ‘specials’ where they waive resort fees and parking. In other words, with a whole lot of rooms to fill, they’re lowering the price.

Resort fees have been shown to drive people away from Las Vegas, especially travelers from nearby Southern California who take on increased importance with more people willing to drive than fly.

Last fall we started hearing about “venue fees” in Las Vegas, you were already paying a resort fee for the resort facilities, but spend money in one of those facilities and they’d tack on a fee for the venue.

Now though as properties re-open in Las Vegas it looks like there’s a new opportunity for a surprise ‘gotcha,’ a COVID-19 surcharge. When destinations around the world that have re-opened, or that are looking to, are practically paying you (COVID-19 rebate) to come, the Mon Ami in the Paris hotel is raising prices 4% but not listing the increase on the menu.

They clearly know it’s illegal to require you to pay a different price than what was listed on the menu, so they make it “optional” by telling you that you can have it removed. You shouldn’t have to ask.

Three weeks ago I wrote “Karl Marx said history repeats itself first as tragedy then as farce. Destination and venue fees were hotels repeating resort fees as tragedy, a COVID surcharge must be the farce?” Sadly that wasn’t wrong.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. What a miserable idea. I get that costs of production have increased, but identifying maintenance of hygenic premises as a line item cannot be a good marketing decision over the long term.

  2. This is ridiculous. Mon Ami Gabi is a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant. They are a huge company with restaurants all over the country. What a rip off.

  3. Hahaha… Murican business with murican tipping mentality…I’ve always said keep it simple: show the final mandatory price in the pricelist and I’ll decide to buy based on that final price.

    City & municipal local sales tax, GST, convenience fee, federal tax, extra surcharge, resort fee, highway access fee, COVID-fee, tipping fee, service fee, elevator fee, bellboy-is-sick fee, our-cleaning-lady-is-pregnant surcharges, and all these sh*th*l*s can be kept an internal accounting book.

    Here’s something that might help from Gal 6:7-9: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”.

  4. Yes, pay a “surcharge” for cleaning when restaurants are already supposed to be clean. Typical Vegas, they can’t help but try to kill the golden goose.

  5. Welcome to NEEEEvada where the slime lives on.
    I just had an oil change in Reno and they tacked on an additional $7 (undisclosed) fee because of “government imposed additional costs”.
    Trying to support local business by having our windows washed I gave the worker a $10 tip and he gives me the white nationalist salute.
    Some businesses deserve to fail and the sooner the better. Vote with your feet. We do.

  6. I don’t support the surcharge. But I don’t really think it is accurate to say this is a surprise “gotcha” or that they are raising prices 4% but not listing the increase on the menu since the menu in your link specifically says in bold at the bottom that they are adding the 4% surcharge and you can ask for it to be removed.

  7. This reminds me of the mandatory 15% tip on everything at the Cadillac Hotel, Autograph Collection in Miami Beach. It is hidden in fine print on the bill. Most people tip 15% or 20% not realizing a 15% tip was already included.

  8. 1) The receipt says if you want it removed you can ask the manager (Karens of the world rejoice!)
    2) At least it is specifically spelled out as a COVID charge, which makes it less defensible to keep it around after the pandemic has subsided, or normal business operations resume. I would share everyone’s fear that it somehow sticks and never goes away, but for a business, it is easier to program a surcharge rather than adjust every price, every menu, etc.
    3) Are “employee health benefit” surcharges still around or have those been baked into total pricing yet?

  9. Please please please give us your business, oh BTW here’s a surprise surcharge to express our gratitude.

  10. As others have stated Mon Ami Gabi is an independent restaurant not directly affiliated with or controlled by Paris (or by Caesars Entertainment). They are basically renting the space. In fact to show you how removed this restaurant is from the rest of the Paris dining establishments it is the only dining outlet listed on their website at which you can’t either earn or redeem (or both) Caesars Reward Credits. If you don’t believe me bring up the website for Paris to review dining options then compare that to the Caesars Rewards site regarding earning and redeeming Reward Credits (you can sort by location, casino and type of establishment).

    Basically this is a corporate move by the parent of this restaurant (as others have stated) and it is click bait and misleading to tie this into either Paris or Las Vegas in general.

    BTW – I feel such add on fees are ridiculous. I have no problem with restaurants (and other businesses) raising prices due to the increased cost of goods, capacity restrictions and additional staffing required for cleaning or oversight but just raise your damn prices!

  11. The pandemic was a global emergency!!! why should people have to pay for some thing they had no control over? We’re just starting to get back —-greed is disgusting I will not be visiting or staying at any hotel that charges a service fee or surcharge for a virus affecting everyone!!! people please speak up and stop this insanity!!! no surcharges at hotels, casinos or resorts reference to the virus – it may come up again in the fall – we don’t know but stop this craziness now!!!!!!!!!

  12. It will serve Vegas right when the city gets the COVID-19 Disease back in full force since they are not practicing the rules of social distancing or mask wearing! The town has always been known for it’s greed!

  13. Does the surcharge menu statement say if you are more or less likely to catch the virus if you pay the surcharge?
    I remember the days when these kind of chicago surcharges were taken care of in the back room and not paraded around out in the front of the house. I guess times change.

  14. In related news, a FT troll named “hotelboy” (who has claimed to own, varying, 25-50 Marriott properties), claimed that Marriott approved his $4.19 daily (up to 10 days) COVID surcharge. At least the Marriott Lurker called BS on it and it got shot down pretty quickly.

  15. Just another company trying to pork the consumer over. Even my Barber shop added a $1.00 Covid 19 Cleaning charge.

  16. Cancelling my reservation for next month. Not due to the heinous surcharge but rather it is clear from early reports and photos that social distancing is not enforced. I enjoy playing craps and hanging out at the pool but not willing to risk my life to do so.

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