In August the CEO of Caesars declared that resort fees could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Las Vegas lodging. Yet just two months later Caesars raised resort fees at Caesar’s Palace, Nobu and Rio.
Now with visitor arrivals to the U.S. under pressure from coronavirus – and the entire Chinese market large cut off from travel to Las Vegas – you’d expect prices to be reduced, not raised. Yet effective March 3 Caesars is raising resort fees at Harrah’s, Flamingo, Linq and Bally’s to $41.95 per night.
Bear in mind that if you match your hotel status to Wyndham and from there to Caesars, that Caesars Total Rewards Diamond members are exempt from paying these fees. For most people though? Resort fees have been shown to drive people away from Las Vegas, especially travelers from nearby Southern California who take on increased importance without visitors from China.
With 12,000 rooms coming online in Las Vegas over the next 5 years the hotel industry there faces a dilemma. Higher prices drive people away and make it harder to fill rooms especially at non-peak times. Resort fees serve as a price floor, preventing hotels from discounting enough to keep rooms full. Las Vegas is a city where ancillary revenue usually exceeds room rates, so keeping rooms full is crucial at almost any price.
Raising resort fees in Vegas at this time seems even worse than telling children their parents are getting divorced as a service included in the resort fee.
Marriott is currently being sued by DC over its resort fee practices. Hilton is being sued by Nebraska. And there’s a new Marriott class action lawsuit over resort fees. Yet in Las Vegas they’re even now stacking venue fees on top of resort fees.