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FTC takes another look at resort fees

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by mescalita, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. mescalita

    mescalita Low-Roller

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  2. mescalita

    mescalita Low-Roller

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    oops - FCC doesn't have anything to do with resort fees. Supposed to be FTC in thread title. Sucks getting old.....
     
  3. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I fixed the title for you.

    It was an interesting article. It still makes me roll my eyes to hear about how the consumer wants these fees. I think I should send them some links to VMB. ;)
     
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  4. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    Yes, over and over it pointed (the article) to quotes by industry people as to the acceptance of the fees by our customers and preference to the bundling so all the amenities could be offered instead of priced separately. Wow. Obviously to reject accept the bundle was NOT an option. And one more, 8 of 10 thought it acceptable to charge the fees IF the amenities offered proved to be valuable or worth the fee. Strange how 2 of 10 thought it still unacceptable even though it was perceived to be worth the fee. Haters....anyway at least some attention is still being paid to the issue by those that can actually impact it. Thanks for the post.
     
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  5. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    It's about {f-bomb}ing time! :(
     
  6. woodsie

    woodsie Low-Roller

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    You have to look at it from a different perspective to understand it. What consumers say they want and what they actually respond to are often two different things. Caesars tried the whole "no resort fee" thing and even made it a part of their marketing and it failed. Consumers decided that they'd rather pay a lower room rate plus a resort fee than a higher room rate with no resort fee. In that sense, the person who says that "consumers want resort fees" is correct. Whether that preference was conscious or subconscious is another matter all together.

    However, I agree that this is a reasonable issue for the FTC to get involved in because the whole practice of resort fees is intentionally deceiving and counterproductive to a transparent and competitive market.

    I don't think that rooms will get necessarily cheaper though if resort fees go away. We've always paid those costs before they were known as "resort fees" and we will continue to pay them when they are gone. The upside to the consumer of eliminating them is that there will be more transparency in pricing which should force the resorts to focus on other hopefully more productive ways of differentiating themselves.
     
  7. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I don't think rooms will get cheaper either. What bothers me most about Resort Fees is that the total amount isn't disclosed in their advertising. They advertise a $70 room rate and then in the tiny print add that there is a $30 fee per night. I'd rather they just advertise the room is $100/night up front.

    I didn't balk too much when the resort fees started. I need to be online pretty much every day so I was already paying the $15-20/night for internet access. That was basically the same as the resort fee at the time, so it was a wash. Now the fees are higher and properties that I wouldn't even remotely consider a "resort" (ie, Super8/Ellis Island) are charging the fee for these "amenities", it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
     
  8. Aces and Eights

    Aces and Eights VIP Whale

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    Where did they interview consumers who said they would rather pay a lower room rate plus a resort fee over a higher room rate with no resort fee? I was going to mention a certain area, but thought better of it. Maybe they thought the resort fees would be an optional fee based on the amenities you may want to use. I like to know what my total cost is up-front instead of having to add all the different costs together. I love how Southwest Airlines does this. They give you the total cost including all fees and taxes for each way of the trip.
     
  9. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    The part I really hate about resort fees in Vegas are when you get a comped room offer - except there's a $30-some dollar resort fee on top. And then 12% tax on top of that for the fee.

    Maybe I wouldn't get as many comp room offers, but that would be fine - at least I would feel like they'd pulled the bait and switch on me.
     
  10. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    That is not wholly accurate. Consumers did not decide they would rather pay a lower rate and a fee. And Caesars did not switch because of an occupancy problem.

    What Caesars found is that you if you could rope in a guest for a $50 rate with no fee, you could also get them to go for a $40 rate with a $20-30 fee, and the the angry customers that they would lose would be made up for by the revenue gains from others.

    That is not the market demanding fees. It is simply the market's price sensitivity being different for fees than rates because they are less visible.

    Rooms by and large would not get cheaper, but as I noted above, there would be a little more downward price pressure because people could quickly compare apples to apples and seek the best true deal.

    But the impact on those of us getting low level comps (but paying fees) would be interesting too. I would expect that half or more of my calendar comp nights would disappear. But I'd happily take it to have a comp be a comp.
     
  11. mescalita

    mescalita Low-Roller

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    Thanks, Sonya. Just seems to me that having transparent room rates would make for much happier customers in the long run. Obviously rates would go up across the board, but as a consumer I'd rather see the total price up front. I really believe people would love to see the hotels advertising free WIFI, free fitness centers, free pools, free parking, and free coffee (so Flusher doesn't have to beg for lost and found coffee pots at the Luxor.....)

    :peace:
     
  12. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    OK - which one of you rascally degenerate VMB'ers asked for these resort fees???

    "Sara Rayme, a spokeswoman for the American Gaming Association (AGA), which represents casino hotels, says their guests asked for resort fees because they didn’t want to pay separately for extras such as Wi-Fi, pool usage, gym and spa access, and bottles of water. “Resort fees simply bundle together such amenities, up front, for the consumer,” she says. “As a result, resort fees have provided a much more transparent experience for the customer.”

    Rayme said that the AGA is not pursuing any resort fee legislation “at this time.”

    Note: above excerpt was copied and pasted from the original article referenced.
     
  13. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    It is a shell game they are playing, saying people prefer the fees to a la carte amenities.

    But people don't really like either option. Paying a nightly wi-fi fee or a safe fee or a fitness center fee is silly.

    The price should be the price. And you should either be a budget hotel light on amenities not even pretending, or all amenities should be included.
     
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  14. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    When I look at rates on websites of LV resorts and hit the "Book Room" button at least it shows the total with all the taxes and resort fees added in. This is fine with me. I don't know how it works on third party sites because I always book my hotel directly with the hotel. As long as the hotel's website shows what the total will be with everything included in the total I can deal with the whole resort fee thing. :peace::beer:
     
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  15. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I call BS on this claim. If you put it to a vote I bet more people don't like these fees and would rather they just show the true cost of your stay, including all taxes and fees. That way we all know the true price for your stay. Who really uses the pool during the winter? Then why don't they drop fees during the winter? No, this is all a scam by the hotels to get more money from you.

    Updated: People don't like the ala carte fees but then we also don't want to pay fees for services that many of us will never use. Why must we also pay fees if we are never going to use the pool, spa or gym (or wifi for that matter). I don't think many of us want to pay extra for things we won't use. They reasoning to bundle all fees together is bogus and insults our intelligence. Just come out and say that you want to make more money and so rather charge resort fees instead of raising nightly rates.

    I disagree with Woodsie also. A number of people say that the reason for the resort fee was because they didn't have to pay third party marketers as much because they don't get a cut out of the resort fee. CP also tried the no fee thing but found that they couldn't compete because people booked with hotels with lower rates because they didn't really know the true cost of their stay so CP naturally had to do the same to keep up with the rest.

    The Boyd hotels downtown don't charge resort fees and they are still able to compete with the other hotels that do charge fees. Same for the 4 queens. Most people do homework and price check and will stay at the hotel with the lowest total rates but it would be better if all hotels just list the total price for your stay instead of adding these resort fees.

    I don't expect hotel rates to go down if they require all fees to be listed upfront. But at least I will know exactly how much my stay will cost when I do web searches.


    They set up the rule for the airlines, before the airlines also had these "hidden" fees which included airport landing fees, etc. but the fed gov't forced them to list the entire price when searching for flights. I can't see why they don't do the same for hotel rates. But then because of the buddy system I don't expect the government to force hotels to do the same although I wish it would happen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
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  16. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Tripping over all the outright lies here. There was a small segment of the gaming hotel customer base that did not want to pay separately for gym and WiFi. But hospitality industry knows damn well that most hotel customers believe WiFi should be included in the base price for free and that it pisses people off when it's not. And more BS - most casino resort have yet to claim pool access is a part of their fees. They just want to make people believe that it covers the pool so the people who don't read the fine print not only do not claim their actual benefits, they think they are getting a great value add. I can't conceive of a way that a hotel could make the pool part of the resort fee without customers demanding that the pool be more exclusive to hotel guests and not sold for private parties or for the party pool experiences. And Sara, where is all this expensive water at because I haven't gotten it!
     
  17. M0rtyC

    M0rtyC Low-Roller

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    My $50 rate for Saturday Dec 10 and 3 additional comp nights ends up being $186 @ the Rio? Wonder why I quit Caesars. .... Thanks Boyd downtown.
     
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  18. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Why, then, did the "total cost of ownership" of the CET rooms increase when they joined the bandwagon for resort fees? Unless I'm totally on drugs, in no way did they reduce the room charge to make up for the resort fee. They may have reduced it a token amount, but waaaaayyyyy less than the whammo added on by the resort fee!
     
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  19. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I don't think that's how it played out at all. On the low end, many consumers thought they were booking the cheapest deal. In searches, Excalibur and Palace Station were undercutting Imperial Palace all the time but actually cost more after fees. It was the same for many of the other low end hotels. I don't know who MGM books into those hotels but they either weren't aware they didn't get the best deal, didn't do much research on the internet or at least didn't research in places where I have lurked over the years This was even before they made a serious effort to include WiFi. Starting at midrange and at the high end, people who were aware of fees noticed that they were getting a better deal on WiFi and/or gym access being bundled in a fee compared to hotels that sold them ala carte. CET made a mess of offering better rates for daily users and because of internet searches, I don't think they were capable of cleverly adding WiFi and gym to their base cost at a competitive price against hotels that did sold them in fees. At the end of the day, people didn't want fees. They wanted WiFi and some wanted the gym. At the time the fees spread, I think most would have preferred to see all their amenities just offered in one price. Based on fee backlash, most people still do.

    And no one believes rooms will get cheaper when fees go away (knock on wood). They have depressed some room rates but I am sure if anyone did a historical check, the room rates for hotels are most likely averaging a higher rate. The dirty end of the fees is that when the market won't support a room rate increase, they raise fees instead. The fees are a way to undercut consumers because they make make you pay more for rooms than the market forces would naturally allow. For a hotel like the Flamingo, they are basically doubling their lowest room rate and have done little to justify it. I think people have a right to get annoyed at that type of increase when they don't feel they are getting a better experience for the extra money.
     
  20. vegasqc

    vegasqc VIP Whale

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    Its funny when i go to any Sheraton, Marriott, Hilton,Omni, Intercontinental......... in any big city i can use the spa/pool/gym without paying a dime in resort fees. Why do we have to pay for those things in vegas ?