Monday, December 03, 2012

FTC Cracking Down on Resort Fees?

For experienced Las Vegas travelers, resort fees have become way of life. Most large hotels in Vegas have them - with the notable exception of the Caesars Entertainment properties. (UPDATE - Caesars Entertainment started charging resort fees on Las Vegas rooms booked after March 1, 2013.)

While resort fees are certainly annoying, they are at least tolerable if they are fully disclosed before booking the room. Unfortunately that's not always the case, as visitors failing to read the fine print can be greeted with a trip-dampening surprise at check-in. Combine that with airline baggage fees and cab driver long-hauling, a trip to Vegas could potentially contain hundreds of dollars in hidden fees.

CNN is reporting that the Federal Trade Commission has taken note of resort fees, sending a letter to 22 operators with fees that may be considered deceptive. The FTC believes that resort fees should be listed upfront in the total price quoted for a hotel. Hard to argue with that, especially if the fee is mandatory (it almost always is).

I never thought resort fees were a great idea for hotels. Yes, they boost revenue in the short term, but I feel like they just make people angry and less likely to return to that hotel in the future. They probably aren't going away anytime soon, but hopefully the FTC will make resort fees a little more transparent when booking a hotel in Las Vegas.