Most casinos throughout Las Vegas charge resort fees. These fees usually appear on your bill at the end of a stay.
Your booking cost may be $150 per night, but you could end up paying $200 per night when fees are added. You obviously won’t appreciate the extra $50 charge.
Unfortunately, resort fees have become a fact of life in Vegas. You can either blindly accept your fate or use the following tips to deal with them.
1 – Consider Amenities That You Don’t Use and Negotiate
Casinos don’t see themselves as gouging you with resort fees. Instead, they feel that they’re merely charging you for extra services.
Here are some common items and services that resorts provide during your stay:
- Breakfast (possibly free)
- Fitness center
- Free parking
- In-room coffee
- Meeting rooms
- Mini fridge (items not free)
- Pet rooms (separate cost)
- Swimming pool
You’re probably not going to use everything that’s bundled into resort fees. However, casinos may include all amenities regardless.
You can use this situation to lodge a complaint and get your resort fee reduced. Explain to the hotel clerk what you didn’t use or, if they can’t do anything, speak to a manager.
2 – Look for Services That Aren’t Working Properly
Las Vegas casinos see themselves as giving you a deal through resort fees. They bundle all of their amenities into one amount rather than charging you for each service separately.
Here are problems that you may run into with amenities during your stay:
- Breakfast closes early
- Cable TV is out
- All free parking spaces are taken
- Swimming pool is closed during open hours
- Wi-Fi doesn’t work very well
Nothing guarantees that the casino will seriously negotiate with you. However, these problems represent your best chance to get resort fees reduced or even eliminated.
During your stay, you should document any problems you experience along the way. You’ll then be able to quickly recall any non- or poorly-working amenities and possibly pay less as a result.
3 – Stay at Casino Resorts With Cheaper or Nonexistent Fees
The price that you pay for resort fees varies depending upon the casino hotel. The Bellagio is going to charge more than the Super 8, because they provide a more grand experience.
But you might not need access to a top-tier spa, the hottest nightclubs, or somebody handing you towels in the bathroom. Instead, you may simply be looking for a place to rest your head before heading to the casino.
In such cases, you should look for resorts or hotels that have cheaper fees. Most Las Vegas casinos charge some level of resort fee.
However, they each differ on how much they require in this department. Here are examples of resort charges at Vegas casinos and hotels at the time of writing:
- Aliante Casino and Hotel – $28
- ARIA Resort and Casino – $44
- Arizona Charlie’s Boulder – $17
- Bellagio – $44
- Caesars Palace – $44
- Cannery Hotel and Casino – $10
- Circus Circus – $36
- Desert Paradise Resort – $17
- El Cortez – $17
- Encore at Wynn – $39
- Fortune Hotel and Suites – $10
- Green Valley Ranch Resort and Casino – $44
- Luxor Hotel and Casino – $40
- Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino – $42
- Oasis at Gold Spike – $23
- Plaza Hotel and Casino – $22
- Santa Fe Station Hotel and Casino – $23
- Super 8 by Wyndham – $11
Ideally, you’ll even find a place to stay that doesn’t require resort fees at all. If you don’t see a hotel you prefer in this category, though, you can at least enjoy cheaper fees ranging from $1 to $5.
4 – Book Your Room With Rewards Points
You should always join the loyalty program at whatever casino you choose. The players club not only provides you access to exclusive promotions but also rewards points.
These points give you an opportunity to book your room without paying resort fees. As long as you have enough loyalty points to cover the booking cost, then you don’t need to worry about paying an extra 20% or more in fees.
Las Vegas casinos and hotels treat stays as loyalty rewards. They don’t want you to pay an extra dime because they’re rewarding you.
Therefore, hotels waive resort fees to ensure that you enjoy your room cost-free. The only things you need to worry about paying for include additional services and items that aren’t covered under resort charges, such as room service or spa treatment.
5 – Ask the Vegas Resort About Fees Ahead of Time
Casinos and hotels get your credit card information at booking time. This process allows them to charge you resort fees regardless of whether you’re okay with the idea or not.
That said, you shouldn’t always rely on being able to get the fees waived or reduced afterward. You want to take action beforehand.
A simple call to the casino hotel itself will reveal what type of fees you’re facing. At the very least, you’ll know how much you need to cover on top of the booking charge.
You may be used to reserving hotel rooms over third-party websites without needing to speak with anybody. But when you stay at a Vegas hotel for the first time, you should consider calling ahead to see the kind of resort fees you’re facing.
6 – Do Some Online Research
Assuming you don’t like the idea of calling and speaking with a hotel rep, you can always perform online research. The latter gives a strong indication of what kind of fees the resort requires.
You’ll pay between $35 and $45 when booking rooms on the Strip. Meanwhile, you’ll probably pay $25 or less in resort fees when staying downtown.
Of course, this situation is always subject to change. Just 10 to 20 minutes’ worth of research can make all the difference when finding the best deals.
7 – Look for Dishonest Ads
Las Vegas is a very competitive hospitality market. Casinos often try luring you in with advertisements for free Wi-Fi, free fitness center access, and/or more.
The word “free” indicates that you pay nothing extra for these services. However, some Vegas casinos may include the same amenities in the resort fee.
You shouldn’t be surprised at this when considering that very few things are free in Vegas. On the other hand, you also don’t need to let hotels get away with this dishonesty.
You can point out the very ad you saw where a certain service was labeled as free. In turn, they may deduct a few dollars or more from your final bill.
8 – Call Your Credit Card Company
Assuming you have a legitimate gripe with a Vegas Casino charging resort fees, you could always contact your credit card company. They can remove the resort fee so that you don’t have to pay for it.
The credit card company may ask for additional details. Assuming you experience anything like what’s mentioned in Tip #7, you have strong grounds to get the resort fee blocked.
When you don’t have anything concrete, though, there’s no guarantee that the credit card provider will block the charge.
Remember, casinos are often diligent about including resort fees in their terms and conditions, even if they’re not upfront about the matter. The fine print could damn you if you don’t have a real reason for not paying the additional costs.
9 – Always Budget for Resort Fees Just in Case
The sole reason why casinos don’t just include resort fees in the booking cost is because they want to make rooms appear cheaper. Their intentions are just as bad as they seem.
But they get your credit card information upfront and plan on charging you the full price for fees. You won’t always be able to get out of the full charges when checking out.
First off, the hotel clerk might not have the clearance to change the fees. You may not feel like waiting around for the manager when this is the case.
Hopefully, you can get these charges reduced. If you can’t, though, then be sure to budget for another 20% to 50% on top of the nightly booking cost.
The history of Vegas resort fees certainly didn’t come from a good place. Casinos fully realize that they’re disguising extra costs on top of booking fees.
Therefore, you shouldn’t feel bad about doing your best to get out of paying them. What’s more, you may have some very good reasons for not covering the full amount.
You can use one or more of the tips discussed here to boost your chances of avoiding resort fees. Even if you don’t get the entire amount waived, you could at least pay less than the sticker price.