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Be warned Strip casinos are becoming more expensive.

And you can thank rising resort fees for adding between $41.95 and $55 a night to the price of a room.

The latest resort fee increase comes from Caesars Entertainment, where its CEO warned about a potential backlash from rising resort fees.

Tony Rodio told investors in a conference call – over time, at some point, there’s going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Rodio added he thinks there is still room to go before the industry reaches that crucial point.

“I don’t think we’re there yet, but I want us to be very judicious and cautious about taking those rates any further.”

In July 2019, attorneys general in the District of Columbia and Nebraska filed lawsuits against two of the country’s largest hotel brands - Marriott International and Hilton - over their use of resort fees.

Rodio admitted resort fees were “a revenue stream that’s hard to walk away from and it’s been accepted at this point, but we’re getting pretty high.”

For a lot of observers of the industry, it is not about the high prices but the fact that many resorts do not disclose the fees right away, and when they do, it is in the fine print.

“Consumers aren’t being informed upfront what they’re actually going to pay,” said Dennis Schaal, executive editor of Skift, a travel industry website

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Schaal said when you ask hotels what the fees pay for the answers vary from amenities like the pool and gym to parking and wifi. Some hotels will explain to you when you check-in that the fee is there and what it includes, but not all of them do.

It is the lack of transparency that frustrates Anna Laitin. She is the director of financial policy for Consumer Reports. 

She believes the fees should be banned because they are deceptive.

"If they were banned, the hotels would find a way," Laitin said, "They could include these fees into the base price. If you can't get out of the fee - at all - then it should be part of the base price."

Laitin said the fees haven't hurt Nevada's tourism industry because people like coming here and they're willing to pay but she said additional fees could damage the city's image.

"In quite a few hotels, you can get a room that is far less expensive than the resort fee," she said, "The resort fee will more than double the price of your room and you may not know that until you're checking out and that will leave a bitter taste in travelers' mouths."

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor, a website and newsletter specializing in Las Vegas and the best deals on everything from shows to hotel rooms. He agreed that people hate the fees but they still pay.

"You're not going to see the resort fees go away because people are going ahead," he said, "They gripe about it but they go ahead and pay it."

Curtis said that not enough people are staying away for resorts to change their fee policies.  

If you're looking for a place to stay in Las Vegas with a resort fee, Curtis said neither the Four Queens nor Binions, which recently opened a hotel, charge resort fees.


Anthony Curtis, publisher, Las Vegas Advisor; Dennis Schaal, executive editor, Skift; Anna Laitin, director of financial policy, Consumer Reports

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