The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Raising Resort Fee After Offering Guests Free Parking
The backlash against Las Vegas Strip casinos for sneaky charges written in fine print has reached a breaking point, at least for one resort. Effective January 1, The Cosmopolitan will include parking among the services covered under its resort fee — a move that will increase the property’s resort fee from $35 to $39.
Guests who aren’t physically active or attempting to communicate with others using archaic methods of yesteryear don’t benefit from the daily $35 resort fee that the resort currently charges.
According to The Cosmopolitan’s website, guests are charged the resort fee in exchange for access to “everyday essentials.” Those essentials are listed as access to the fitness center and tennis courts on the property as well as the privilege to make “unlimited local, toll-free and domestic long distance phone calls,” from the room.
The $4 increase to $39 that will take effect on January 1 will increase the costs of parking, which currently costs guests up to an additional $18 daily on top of the resort fee.
It’s a small gesture – one that will still leave plenty of patrons wondering why they paid $39 every night of their stay for services they never intended to use – but a sign nonetheless that Strip casinos are listening to public complaints that Las Vegas is pricing visitors out with petty charges attached to every bill.
Enough Is Enough
Guests especially began taking note of the rising resort fees this year. In May, Anthony Curtis of Las Vegas Advisor told the Los Angeles Times that “these fees are starting to cause people to second-think a trip here.”
In the same interview, Curtis chided casinos for taking away even the most basic services, such as allowing to park for free at the hotel they’re paying to stay at.
“Everyone hates resort fees, but the parking fee is even worse…the most basic comp is free parking. That was the one comp that everyone got,” Curtis said.
The most recent data released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) shows that hotel occupancy is down 1.3 percent along the Las Vegas Strip compared to last year. During that time, the average daily room rate along the Strip has remained relatively the same ($139.86 in 2017 compared to $140.07 currently).
Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil
If rising resort fees are legitimately scaring away customers, don't expect any Strip suits to acknowledge it…at least not publicly or to anyone who pays their salary.
In September, outgoing Caesars CEO Mark Frissora told investors that parking fees have “no impact” on tourism numbers. Caesars increased its resort fee from $35 to $39 per day in February.
Around the same time, MGM Resorts and Las Vegas Sands followed suit, increasing resort fees at their property to align with the rate at Caesars. Currently, the highest resort fee on the Las Vegas Strip can be found at Sands properties the Venetian and Palazzo for $45 per day.
An example of the hidden charges that analysts and visitors have complained about is MGM’s addition of a mandatory 20 percent service charge for guests who use a spa at any of the company’s properties.
The reason for the added service charge, the company said, is to “improve facilities and service, streamline interactions and allow guests to focus even more on the experience they choose to receive.”
As part of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” holiday shopping deals this year, SLS Las Vegas and the Palms temporarily waived the resort fees for bookings made in a certain window for travel through next August.
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