MGM is Increasing Resort Fees to Over $50 a Night at 4 Hotels

Both Marriott and Hilton are being sued by governments over the deceptive practice of resort fees.

  • They show an artificially lower price than what consumers are going to pay when people search for rooms.

  • Then consumers are charged a higher price, disclosed in late stage booking. It’s not an optional fee, it’s required, which is why it’s part of the price of the room. However hotels hide the full price.

Marriott’s CEO deceptively claims resort fees are like checked baggage fees but the only similarity is that people don’t like paying either. He’d be more accurate comparing resort fees to taxes, since neither one is optional.

Las Vegas business has been hurting, and resort fees make discounting harder — they represent a pricing floor, and on the slowest nights can be even more than the room rate. As a result resort fees may be harming the hotel business there, where it’s desirable to fill rooms at most any price rather than leaving them empty, since there’s so much ancillary revenue to be had from guests.

So what are some Las Vegas hotels doing, now that they find themselves in the hole? Doubling down. MGM hotels is increasing resort fees at MGM, Aria, Bellagio, and Vdara in Las Vegas from $39 to $45. Including tax, that means a resort fee of $51.02 a night. That’s what Wynn, Venetian and Palazzo already charge.

By the way MGM M life Rewards announced a devaluation, too. The elite room discounts were quite generous, no longer. Fewer benefits, higher prices, is a questionable strategy for putting heads in beads.

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. I love the double down strategy. There is no risk to the casino as the Nevada court system is rigged to favor the house (and no fear of class actions from the Nevada AG as the state budget relies on gaming rev).

    Of course, as you note, many of us will avoid LV until the gouging ends (the ripoff 6:5 Payiut on BJ is not a draw either). But apparently there are enough clueless millennials to fill the rooms.

  2. Caesars is far worse than any MGM resort. I had some pretty aggravating experiences with that hotel. MGM rooms are at least clean and generally maintained. Caesar’s and rest of their hotels have poor upkeep and ignorant employees.

    This year, we will go to Vegas once. For only 3 nights. We used to do at least 2 trips with 4 nights each. Not any more. The experience versus cost is just not there.

  3. Whats hurting their business is the crap treatment/ recognition of Mlife guests over pricing or rooms and of course their outrageous resort nuisance fees

  4. I absolutely despise MGM with their lousy customer service and treatment of MLife guests. To me, the loyalty program is completely worthless because they only give benefits to people who gamble. I am Mlife Gold, but on my last stay they would not let me check out at 1PM because I didn’t gamble during my stay. Another hotel guest told me to go to the check-in counter and to ask them. The check-in lady allowed me to check out at 1PM that the Mlife rep did not allow me to do. No gambling = no benefits, regardless of your Mlife status. If that is the requirement, they need to disclose that upfront.

  5. Resort fees suck. Parking fees (unless waived due to MLife Status) suck. Actually, from about 12-15 years ago, it appeared Vegas hotel rates without resort fees were comparable to the rates with resort fees today with resort fees (inflation adjusted). MGM and other Vegas operators can’t help themselves, building so many more properties that result in a supply glut relative to demand. Hopefully some of the state Attorneys General (Nevada AG unlikely to act) will eventually sue Vegas operators for misleading resort fees, and win.
    Hospitality at MGM is nonexistent, as the hotels are basically casinos with rooms. Don’t expect any MLife status recognition at check-in, or any favors due to status.

  6. Vegas is a boom-or-bust town.

    I remember when the stratosphere was charging < $35/night (all in, prior to "resort fees") between Thanksgiving and New Years. It was awesome.

    That's a tome that thrives in the good times, and dies in the bad times. I'm just waiting for the next economic down turn, and the whole place will be on sale.

  7. Last time (and believe me—it will certainly be the last) I checked into the new Park MGM, the pool was closed. I asked simply, “this “resort fee” is supposed to pay for local calls, some other stuff I’ll never use and access to the pool. As I’m not able to use the pool—the primary reason I brought my family on this otherwise work — I should either not pay the fee, or pay a reduced rate.”

    They would absolutely not budge, and could not explain what the fee was to pay for…..we stayed one night of our four night reservation and then left.

    Used to be Vegas was a great way to spend a bit on a room, a lot on food and activities, and gamble the rest away. Today, it’s just an expensive hotel room, expensive meals and nothing left over to gamble or spend on events. I can do that anywhere….so why bother going to Vegas?

  8. Had to visit Vegas recently to accompany out-of-town family who desired to see it. Stayed at the Venetian, and after the exuberant paid rates, we had to pay resort fee ($45+tax) and parking fee ($45+tax). So, count an additional $103 per night on top of the paid rates. As a Spire Ambassador got nothing zilch in benefits. Rather, and this is not an exaggeration, the IHG FD was very unfriendly as if they hate guests. Room size was good but nothing really additional, no microwave oven, no coffee maker, fridge reserved for their overpriced drinks.

    @Ryan, get the Wyndham Diamond status (through match) and you will also get Caesars Rewards Diamond status which will waive Resort Fees for your room as part of your benefits.

    It works like this, the more demand for Vegas, the more rip off there will be. The instant we all boycott this hell hole, the sooner the Vegas mafia will get to its senses.

  9. IMHO if you like to gamble and do it enough to obtain any status focus on Caesars and get to Diamond status. Not the cheap Wyndham match but real status (which is at least 25,000 Tier Credits so you can get in the Laurel Lounges, not just basic Diamond status). I gamble a good bit and make maybe 20 trips a year to casinos (mainly LV, Atlantic City and my local Harrahs casino in NC). I have around 40,000 Tier Credits so am comfortably Diamond. It really isn’t that hard. If you are serious about gambling and give them at least $50,000 in action a year (action, not losses) you will likely hit Diamond. Also, with the 5x Tier Credits on hotels you can just book a suite at Caesars for 4-5 nights to spend at least $2000 and get 10,000 Tier Credits in addition to your gambling action, meals and other purchases. In my situation, I spend 50-75 nights a year in Caesars properties and the vast majority are either comped or greatly discounted. Then you add no Resort Fees (M Life charges them even for Noir unless your host takes them off), no parking fees, annual dinners, Laurel Lounge access, free shows and other benefits and I probably get around $10,000 a year in value. If you like to gamble it makes sense to focus on this program.

  10. @ Jacob
    Well said couldn’t agree more my family members are Globalist with Hyatt and they all say they have no incentive to return as Gold Mlife members since the price gouging and program recognition and have fallen in the toilet

  11. IHG Ambassadors and Royal Ambassadors get fair treatment at Venetian and Palazzo
    They have a great fitness center,2 PM check out and other benefits included with the resort fee
    like free newspapers etc
    Way better than Mlife

  12. I am going to the Indian Casinos in
    the Scottsdale area. Refuse to get
    Ripped Off with these crazy fees. I
    lived in Vegas from 1999-2002
    Enjoyed the shows, food and some
    gambling w/ easy drive trips late.
    If I want a short drive we’ll go to
    San Diego.

  13. Yes we just came from Vegas two weeks ago and did our grocery shopping at Costco business center and filled up gas.
    Usually we spend a night or two at a good rate hotel.
    But since resort fees and parking fees are outrageous,
    I don’t seams to mind going to Vegas and driving back home to Southern California the same day.
    It’s allot better going home to your own bed at night without getting suck with all those fees.

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