By now, most Americans are aware of the “resort fees” that numerous greedy hotels add to their bills, even though the hotel in question is by no means a “resort.” Most of us simply groan in exasperation at this bit of white-collar trickery—and then we pay the padded bill.
But would you believe that in Las Vegas nowadays, numerous hotels, restaurants and nightspots are now routinely adding six or seven variations of the “resort fee” to their published rates? As Frommer's reported in April, these wholly unexpected charges have made a stay in America’s Sin City $100 or $200 more expensive than you thought.
The innocent visitor gets hit by these unforeseen charges, which are almost impossible to avoid.
To begin with, the size of hotel “resort fees” in Vegas has grown to what some visitors would regard as intolerable levels. A deluxe hotel like The Venetian now adds $45 per night in resort fees to their room rates, charging the guest, in many cases, for facilities they never used. Some hotels of lesser quality charge almost as much.
Parking your car at most Vegas hotels results in fees that are often $24 a day. If you felt that you would save money by bringing a car for your stay, you will be dismayed by this extra fee. And, of course, similar fees are charged everywhere in the city.
Not to be outdone, “Commission and Franchise Fees” of 3% to 5% of the total bill are now charged by a growing number of Las Vegas restaurants.
Of what are these “Commission and Franchise Fees” composed? No one knows. But a growing number of Vegas restaurants (including Hexx Kitchen and Bar at the Paris, pictured above) are simply adding a 5% amount of this mysterious “CNF” expense. Ask the maître d’ what the abbreviation stands for, and you’ll receive a head-shake in response.
A “Venue Fee” of various amounts is added to the bill at numerous Las Vegas nightspots. And although the Venue Fee can amount to a considerable sum, no one seems able to explain what it is for. It simply serves to raise the cost of attendance to far above the published rates.
The practice of soaking the visitor with unexpected fees gets more and more frequent. At most Las Vegas nightspots, the entertainment is provided by live performers. So you would expect the cost of attendance to include those entertainers. Not so. Numerous Las Vegas clubs are currently adding a whopping 9% “Live Entertainment Tax,” which you learn about only when the final bill is presented to your table.
Now no one ever expected the moguls of Las Vegas to conduct their businesses for charitable purposes. But the extra fee practice has certainly gone too far.
Visitors should assume that a stay in Vegas will cost a great deal more than expected, partly because of these deceptive charges.