Has Reno Hopped Aboard the Casino Resort Fees Trend?

Front Desk Clerk Handing Over a Bill With a Reno Background

Many casino destinations charge resort fees in an effort to increase their revenue. This practice is quite common in major gambling hubs, such as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and Monte Carlo.

But what about the mid-sized casino hotspots, such as Reno? Is the world’s Biggest Little City also tacking resort fees onto your bill?

You can find the answer by continuing to read about resort fees, how they’re spreading, and if Reno is also charging them.

How Do Resort Fees Work?

When booking a hotel room, you typically do so under the assumption that you’re paying the listed price. If you get a room at Peppermill Reno Resort & Casino for $150, for example, you expect to pay $150.

Resort fees have thrown logic out of whack, though. Casinos add these fees to your bill when you check out—not beforehand.

Assuming you haven’t stayed in a casino resort in a while, you may be shocked to see an extra $20 or $30 added to your bill.

Pool Area of Peppermill Reno

You may immediately feel like the casino is ripping you off and even stealing your money. Gambling resorts, however, see the matter differently.

They don’t feel like they’re adding these charges to gouge you. Instead, they treat resort fees as an additional charge for the amenities they provide.

Here are some extras that casinos feature besides the hotel room:

  • Cable TV
  • Concierge
  • Conference rooms
  • Heating/cooling
  • Fitness center
  • Swimming pool
  • Shuttle buses
  • Toiletries
  • Wi-Fi

You may think that these aspects should already be included in the bill. Again, though, casinos feel that amenities go beyond just the simple cost of your hotel stay.

Many Gambling Hotspots Have Adopted Resort Fees

Resort fees are nothing new in the hospitality world. In fact, hotels have been adding these additional charges since 1997.

They began tacking resort fees onto final bills as a means of disguising the true costs of rooms. Therefore, these fees are just as underhanded as you’d think.

Unfortunately, prime gambling hubs have adopted this practice to the fullest extent. You can’t find a casino on the Vegas Strip that doesn’t demand resort charges.

Everywhere from Macau to Atlantic City has jumped aboard this trend as well. They all try increasing bookings while still getting the most revenue out of their rooms through amenity fees.

Are Reno Casinos Charging Resort Fees?

As covered above, many well-travelled casino jurisdictions use resort fees to pump up their profits. Then again, such internationally known gambling spots draw people regardless of adding another 20% to 50% to the final bill.

While the city certainly brings in its fair share of visitors each year, but Reno is hardly as well known as Vegas or Macau. It attracts five million tourists annually, which is 8x less than what Sin City draws.

Furthermore, it doesn’t present the same glitz and glamour as Las Vegas. Reno is charming for the fact that it’s not as bustling as Sin City.

Here’s why the question exists on if the Biggest Little City charges resort fees. It doesn’t have the same pizazz as Vegas, so it shouldn’t level the same outrageous hotel fees. Ideally, this would be true. The reality, though, is that most Reno casinos require these extra charges.

Reno may not be as flashy or glamorous as Vegas, Macau, or Monte Carlo. However, it does have some posh hotels with quality amenities.

The western Nevada city doesn’t sell itself short by foregoing the opportunity to collect resort fees. Instead, many of the resorts here have joined the trend by requiring these charges.

Does Reno Charge As High of Fees As Las Vegas?

You won’t catch a break in Reno when it comes to paying resort fees. The good news, though, is that you at least don’t need to pay as much in this department when compared to Vegas casinos.

The latter’s fees vary depending upon which part of the city you stay in. Assuming you stay on the world-famous Vegas Strip, you’ll shell out $40 in resort costs on average.

Rooms in Downtown Vegas, on the Boulder Strip, and in Henderson typically charge $20 to $25 in resort fees. Some casinos in these same parts of town don’t even require additional costs.

Reno is more along the lines of these areas of Vegas in terms of resort fees. The average Reno casino requires between $15 and $25 on top of the booking cost.

Here are examples of Reno resort fees when looking across the city:

  • Atlantis – $27 resort fee
  • Boomtown – $12
  • Grand Sierra – $30
  • Circus Circus – $17
  • Eldorado – $23
  • Harrah’s $14
  • Nugget – $23
  • Peppermill – $25
  • Sands – $10
  • Silver Legacy – $23

What Can You Do to Lower Reno Resort Fees?

You don’t always have to settle for whatever resort fees Reno casinos throw at you. Here are some tips for getting these costs reduced on your final bill.

Stay at a Reno Casino That Features Lower Fees

The easiest way to limit these charges is by choosing casinos that have the lowest fees. This way, the additional costs barely affect your bank balance.

As covered above, Boomtown, Harrah’s, and Sands also feature relatively low resort fees. You’ll only pay between $10 and $14 in addition to the booking amount.

Street View of Boomtown Casino in Reno

I’m not aware of any Reno casinos that don’t charge a resort fee. However, you might get lucky and find one by doing online research or calling hotels directly.

Negotiate for Lower Fees

Generally, casinos expect you to pay the full room and resort costs. But you may be able to get the resort fees reduced by speaking with a clerk or even manager beforehand.

You should start off such negotiations by explaining that you won’t use certain amenities. Assuming you don’t swim or work out much, then you want to begin the discussion here.

The casino isn’t going to waive all of the fees. They might, however, reduce the fees that you do pay (e.g. $25 lowered to $15).

Complain About Amenities After the Fact

I don’t recommend that you make up lies about your stay just to avoid resort fees. If there’s something you don’t like, though, you should definitely speak up.

Here are some sample problems that you could run into:

  • The fitness room barely has any equipment.
  • Breakfast shuts down half an hour early.
  • The heat in your room doesn’t work.
  • The swimming pool is closed when it’s supposed to be open.
  • Wi-Fi keeps cutting in and out.
  • No TV stations come in.
  • The shower doesn’t have any soap.

You may experience a different set of problems. The point, though, is that you can get vocal about your disappointments and possibly enjoy reduced fees as a result.

Call Your Credit Card Company and Dispute the Charges

Many resorts bill you for the room and amenities separately. That said, you can call your credit card company and dispute the resort fees following the stay.

Your credit card provider might ask for evidence that you’ve been duped. You can look for small loopholes, such as showing the hotel’s ad for free swimming next to the swimming pool being included in resort fees.

I’m ethically opposed to lying just to get out of paying these costs. But if you have a legitimate gripe, then you should contact your card company.

Use Loyalty Points When Booking Next Time

You may be furious after seeing resort fees on your bill for the first time. However, you don’t have to forsake the Reno casino in question.

Assuming you like the resort and casino, then you should join their loyalty program. After all, you can use casino comps to book a room and avoid fees.

Casinos in Reno—as well as elsewhere—classify such stays as rewards. They typically drop resort fees to ensure that the room is completely free.

Conclusion

Resort fees are an unpleasant addition to any gambling trip. Unfortunately, you won’t avoid these costs in Reno either.

Casinos here tack on resort charges ranging from $10 to $30. They see these fees as payment for all the amenities that they provide.

The truth, though, is that they should just add such charges to the bill rather than masking the final cost. As a result, you shouldn’t feel bad about negotiating or disputing resort fees.

If you don’t like something about the amenities and/or don’t use them, then speak up and try getting your final bill lowered. You may not ultimately be successful, but you can at least try in a polite manner.