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Most Las Vegas resorts on the Strip charge a $30-$45 dollar per night resort fee, payable when checking out. Especially among visitors unfamiliar with Las Vegas, the resort fee bill can be a rude awakening.
Resort fees are essentially part of the room rate billed in addition to the advertised room rate. By charging this separate fee, Las Vegas resorts are able to make their properties look less expensive on online travel agency websites (OTA’s) and avoid paying them a commission on that part of the rate as they bill it directly to the customer.
Are guests required to pay resort fees in Vegas? Is there any way to avoid paying resort fees?
Although there are a couple of ways to avoid paying resort fees, the vast majority of us will end up paying them. Although there is a lot of misinformation out there on the internet about the legality of the fee, Las Vegas resorts, and OTA’s have recently done a much better job of communicating the fee that will be charged when checking out.
It is difficult to make the argument that resort fees are a “deceptive” fee at this point, because they’re not.
Here are some of the ways guests have been able to avoid paying resort fees in Vegas:
Book at a hotel without resort fees: There are a few notable resorts in Las Vegas that do not require you to pay a resort fee. Casino Royale on the Strip, as well as 4 Queens and Binion’s downtown don’t charge a fee. Treasure Island allows you to avoid paying resort fee if you book through their TV Ad Special specifically – More on that deal here.
Spend up in the Casino: Upper echelon tier status in some loyalty programs, like being Diamond with Caesars Rewards, can mean resort fees are waived automatically.
Most resorts don’t offer a blanket tier status policy, however. If your specific loyalty program doesn’t spell out how to avoid paying resort fees, talk to your casino host at the end of your stay to gauge if your play is adequate to have them waived.
Refuse to Pay: If you feel like going “full Karen” as the kids are saying nowadays, you could simply refuse to pay resort fees when checking out. I haven’t tried it, nor will I. As mentioned, resorts do a good job nowadays of communicating the fee’s existence at the time of booking. To me, refusing to pay resort fees is akin to arguing about the cost of a broom to the cashier at Wal-Mart. You’re going to lose. There are people that have claimed this worked for them in the past, however. Like my Dad always said, “The worst thing that can happen is they say no”. Be ready to tuck your tail and hand your card over though.
Ultimately, the answer for most guests to the question “Do you have to pay resort fees in Vegas?” is yes. The only real ways to avoid them is to book at one of the few properties that don’t charge them, or be a big spender in the casino and either earning waived fees through tier status or talking to your host. While we don’t recommend arguing the fee, because we think you will lose, it remains an option.