Expert: Resort fees possible blame for dip in tourism

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Patrons who receive free rooms from hotels across the Las Vegas valley are learning more and more that the so-called ‘free’ room, is anything but free.

Why? Because of resort fees.  In fact, some critics even say tey’re to blame for a dip in tourism.

“I thought the resort fee was only going to be $140 and it ended up being like $187,” said Davinna Williams-Lomax, a tourist.  “It’s like, ‘oh ok, so I’ve already spent more money just coming and checking into the room than actually going to the casinos and having a good time.'”

“There’s been about 10 months I believe straight with lower visitation,” said Anthony Curtis with the Las Vegas Advisor.

Curtis says fewer people are coming to Las Vegas because of high resort fees and new parking costs.

8News NOW took a look at the cost of a room at Caesars Palace for Saturday; here’s how it breaks down:

The room is $209 dollars for one night, but with a $39 resort fee plus $33 in taxes, the cost of the room shot up to $281.  But, wait! That price does not include the $12 a day for parking.

“Vegas has always been that trip that they could take, maybe more than once a year because they could budget, and they didn’t have all these additional fees on them,” Curtis said. 
“When that’s taken away, and everything gets too expensive, they’re going to look elsewhere.”

“I think that’s really speculation at this point,” said Kevin Bagger.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority admits tourism numbers are slightly down, but it’s not due to resort and parking fees.

Data shows visitors for each of the first three months this year were lower compared to 2017.

“Much of that is tied to a temporary reduction in rooms because we’ve had a lot of room renovations going on over the past year, and we have the near-term impact of 1 October, the two or three months after that,” Bagger said.

It’s important to note, many California resorts have similar resort fees, but parking fees are higher.  In Hawaii, resort fees and parking fees are higher.

There are still some properties in Las Vegas that have free parking, and others that have resort fees as low as $10.  Go here to get the list.
 

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