Vegas resort fees draw ire of visitors 

By Charlotte Lee Updated
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A trip to a Las Vegas casino is becoming more and more experience, with fees now applied on drinks to Strip resort properties.

A recent guest at Park MGM questioned why his two drinks at the Mam Rabbit Mezcal and Tequila Bar came with a service charge.

The bill, totalling $38, increased to $43.04 after sales tax and an ambiguous $1.90 service charge.

Another guest noticed he incurred such random charges at Park MGM and reached out to MGM for an explanation.

“This charge you’re seeing is a venue fee,” the casino operator explained. 

“It’s not only applied for table service, but for bar service as well, and is being applied to every check in the venue.”

“This fee is applied to all things that keep the venue operationally running, like the gaming maintenance for all bar top games, Wi-Fi, lounge maintenance,” MGM added.

Las Vegas is becoming the fee capital of the world.

Casinos began eliminating free parking in recent years, a perk that had been afforded of all tier levels for decades.

Resort fees continue to climb, with Park MGM currently applying a $37 a day charge.

According to the Park MGM website, the resort fee covers “property-wide high speed internet access (public space and in-room), unlimited local and toll free calls, airline boarding pass printing, and fitness centre access 

MGM isn’t alone in upping its fees.

Sahara Las Vegas, which returned to the strip last week, is also charging a service fee at its bars.

A receipt from The Foundry shared to Twitter showed a $14 cocktail ballooning to $16.80 after a mandatory 15 per cent gratuity and five per cent service charge.

Daily resort fees are now as high as $45 a day at luxury properties, including the Bellagio, Aria, Vdara, Venetian, Palazzo, Wynn and Encore.

Fees subject to lawsuit 

The charges are the subject to two lawsuits filed by the attorney general for the District of Columbia and Nebraska.

The complaints allege resort fees are a form of “drip pricing” where online retailers advertise one price and then incrementally increase the cost through mandatory surcharges.

Following the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, the city pleaded with visitors to continue supporting the gaming mecca.

MGM chief executive Jim Murren said: “Without you, the casino and hotel staff don’t have a job. You are coming here supporting this destination and helping those families take care of themselves.”

But then many Las Vegas Strip casinos eliminated free parking and jacked up resort fees.

Wynn Resorts buffet reopening canned

The ambitious return of Wynn Resorts’ buffet at its Las Vegas hotel and casino has backfired, after it has been forced to close the eatery. 

Star Advertiser reported in September that Wynn said they closed the buffet based on negative feedback from patrons regarding the buffet experience.

Wynn tried to implement a “serviced” format, by which food was ordered from a menu and delivered to the table.

It was the same high-quality food the buffet is famous for, but it was no longer a buffet in customers’ eyes.

Wynn says it will rework he format and reopen on a date that hasn’t been determined.

The move leaves just two open buffets in Las Vegas, at the Cosmopolitan and South Point.

The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace was supposed to open in September, but that’s been postponed indefinitely.

In other Vegas news, a major remodel at the Treasure Island’s new sportsbook has meant it has relocated and been expanded.

The old book was small and sedate, tucked away in a corner of the casino, with the new book five times the size and centrally located.

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