Navigating the complex world of Las Vegas resort fees

At Slots of Vegas, we like to think of ourselves as pretty much the same as any other Las Vegas casino. We offer a lot of the same games in our 160-game suite. You can play for real money and win big jackpots. We even have a live dealer casino when you download our full software, so it’ll feel just like being there (our mobile version doesn’t offer live dealer, but you just can’t beat playing on the go anyway).

In fact, many of our players sign up to play at Slots of Vegas because they’re diehard Las Vegas vacationers who hit Sin City once or twice a year, if not more (though now that they’ve found Slots of Vegas, they’re not heading there as frequent since we do a good job of filling the void).

innervacation06072015We often joke that Slots of Vegas offers everything a Las Vegas Casino does, except for the guy outside dressed like Elvis or complimentary free drinks (or all you can eat buffets…you’re on your own for eating and drinking).

But there’s one other thing we don’t have that so many Las Vegas casinos do. We’re talking about resort fees.

Ah yes, the dreaded resort fees. Those two words make vacationers cringe whenever they head to Las Vegas, particularly first-time vacationers. Here’s why.

Let’s say you head to New York City. Or San Francisco. Or Paris. Wherever. You pay for a hotel. The room costs $300 (for argument’s sake). You get the bill, and with tax and perhaps valet parking fee, you could easily be at $375, depending on where you’re staying. But that’s just the way it is and you accept it.

But Las Vegas is different. Tacked onto your bill is the dreaded resort fee, a charge that averages around $35 per night but can vary from hotel to hotel. So all of the sudden for a 4-night stay, you’re paying an extra $140, before taxes and anything else.

For what, you ask? For the luxury of using a pool, pretty much. And if you don’t use the pool, guess what? You pay the resort fee anyway. Yup, you’re paying an extra fee so that the casino can have a pool and entertain guests, even if you choose not to be one of those guests.

Most other hotels with pools don’t charge you a resort fee to use their pool. Vegas casinos argue that their pools are elaborate, with countless parties being throw, comfortable cabanas, and loads of entertainment to enjoy.

inner2vacation06072015But here’s the thing. Even with the resort fee, you’re paying for everything on top anyway. A recent receipt uncovered by the Detroit Free Press revealed an itemized receipt from a popular Las Vegas hotel. A bottle of Grey Good Vodka was $695 (about $25 in the store). Corona and Heineken were $12 per bottle. Frozen daiquiris ran $19 a piece. And a bottle of Ciroc Berry vodka was $675, which you can buy in the store for about $30).

Those are just prices of consumables. Don’t get us started on the price to rent a cabana by the pool for the day.

So not only are the Vegas hotels charging you $30 to not use their facilities, but they’re charging people who use the facilities 20x to 25x the retail price of beverages. Surely those funds could cover the posh design and luxurious service they claim to offer.

As painful as resort fees are, here’s a little secret. When you check in to a casino hotel, you can tell the front desk you have no interest in paying the resort fee. If they tell you paying is not an option, tell them you don’t plan on using any of the amenities. If they claim the fee is automatic and they can’t take it off, ask to speak to a manager. They will remove it, plain and simple.

And if they still give you an argument, open up your laptop or fire up your mobile. Tell them you’ll pay the resort fee, but when it comes time to gambling, they shouldn’t expect to see you on the casino floor. Then show them your screen and tell them you’ll be placing your bets at Slots of Vegas instead.

See also: “These prop bets will blow your mind

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