Las Vegas Resort Fees

Many visitors to Las Vegas are surprised by an annoying fee that gets added to their hotel room rate, called a Resort Fee. This Resort Fee is an extra fee that hotels charge. Its not optional. The reasons why hotels charge Resort Fees is related to the rise of price comparison travel booking websites such as Expedia and Priceline. These sites list the headline room rate for many different hotels, allowing consumers to price compare. This competition encourages hotels to compete on price, thereby encouraging them to lower their price in order to attract bookings. The nature of the price comparison site also means the hotels must pay the booking site in order to be listed, and the fee is based on the value of the bookings. So if a hotel lowers the rate they list their rooms for on a booking site they will get better search results, and since the fee paid by the hotel to the booking site is related to the headline room rate, the hotels have an incentive to charge additional fees to the guest once on site, in order to bypass the booking fee. With this system, there is an incentive for the hotel to bypass the booking site as much as possible, hence the rise of Resort Fees.

I think Resort Fees are a type of bait and switch. Most hotel guests don’t read the fine print when they book their room, and I think its disingenuous for hotels to bury hidden fees in the fine print. This is especially true because the Resort Fee at many Las Vegas hotels is quite large, in some cases the Resort Fee is even more than the posted room rate itself.

As a frequent visitor to Las Vegas, I surveyed the current resort fee rates for future reference. The table below is up to date at the date of writing, but will change, so double check before you book.

Some notes, on the table below. I can’t find the Resort Fees for the Boyd properties downtown (California, Fremont, Main Street). I assume they charge resort fees though. Cannery hotels just started charging resort fees, and so did Arizona Charlies. The Cannery rates are still a good deal in my opinion (if you don’t mind the neighborhoods). The Downtowner now charges a resort fee (that must cause literal fist fights). Some of the resort fees are ridiculous, such as Excalibur, where the resort fee is sometimes higher than the room rate itself.

Hotel Fee
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas $44.22
ARIA Resort & Casino $44.22
The Venetian Las Vegas $44.22
The Palazzo Las Vegas $44.22
Bellagio $44.22
Vdara Hotel & Spa $44.22
The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas $39.69
Mandalay Bay Resort And Casino $39.68
Nobu Hotel $39.68
The Cromwell $39.68
Caesars Palace – Resort & Casino $39.68
The Signature at MGM Grand $39.68
Paris Las Vegas Resort & Casino $39.68
Mirage Resort & Casino $39.68
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino $39.68
Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino $39.68
Treasure Island Hotel and Casino $39.68
New York-New York Hotel & Casino $39.68
Monte Carlo Resort and Casino $39.68
Wynn Las Vegas $39.00
Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa $36.15
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino $35.15
W Las Vegas $35.00
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino $34.01
The LINQ Hotel & Casino $34.01
Bally’s Las Vegas – Hotel & Casino $34.01
Flamingo Las Vegas $34.01
Luxor Hotel and Casino $34.01
Excalibur Hotel Casino $34.01
Harrah’s Hotel and Casino $34.01
Tropicana Las Vegas $33.00
The Westin Las Vegas Hotel, Casino & Spa $32.88
Trump International Hotel Las Vegas $32.63
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas $32.00
SLS Las Vegas a Tribute Portfolio Resort $32.00
Lucky Dragon Las Vegas $31.75
Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel & Casino $31.08
Circus Circus Hotel, Casino $30.61
Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino $29.95
Hooters Casino Hotel $29.48
Hilton Grand Vacations at The Flamingo $28.35
Polo Towers by Diamond Resorts $28.35
Stratosphere Hotel $28.33
Cancun Resort by Diamond Resorts $28.25
Tuscany Suites & Casino $27.21
Platinum Hotel $26.07
Downtown Grand Las Vegas $25.99
The Berkley Las Vegas $25.00
Grandview at Las Vegas $25.00
Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel $23.80
Sunset Station Hotel & Casino $22.79
Oasis at Gold Spike $22.60
JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa $22.59
the D Las Vegas $22.50
Golden Gate Hotel and Casino $22.50
South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa $21.00
Silver Sevens Hotel & Casino $20.99
Gold Coast Hotel and Casino $20.40
Super 8 Las Vegas at Ellis Island Casino $20.40
Plaza Hotel and Casino $20.34
Suncoast Hotel and Casino $20.33
The Orleans Hotel & Casino $20.33
The M Resort Spa Casino $19.99
Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino $19.20
Texas Station Gambling Hall $19.20
Boulder Station Hotel and Casino $19.20
Tahiti Village Resort & Spa $19.04
Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall $18.07
Serene, A Vegas Resort $17.89
Palace Station Hotel and Casino $17.00
Westgate Flamingo Bay Resort $16.99
Silverton Casino Hotel $16.99
Desert Paradise Resort by Diamond Resorts $16.95
El Cortez Hotel and Casino $16.89
Fiesta Henderson Hotel and Casino $15.95
Fiesta Rancho Hotel & Casino $14.68
Tahiti All-Suite Resort $14.56
Days Inn Las Vegas At Wild Wild West $12.99
Club De Soleil All-Suite Resort $12.32
Arizona Charlie’s Decatur $8.48
Arizona Charlie’s Boulder $8.48
Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel $7.90
Longhorn Casino & Hotel $6.77
The Downtowner $5.65
Cannery Hotel & Casino $5.64
Mardi Gras Hotel & Casino $5.60

MGM buys half of Borgata from Boyds

It was announced yesterday that MGM Resorts International will buy the remaining 50 percent stake in Borgata that it didn’t already own from Boyd Gaming.  This announcement had been anticipated ever since MGM regained a license to operate in Atlantic City. I think this is good news for Boyd because it will give them more financial flexibility to reduce debt and plow resources into updating their current properties and systems, especially after recently announced Las Vegas acquisitions. The real estate of Borgata will also be sold to MGM Growth Properties.  Shares of MGM were flat on the open today, but shares of BYD were up more than 3% and MGP were up 2%.

Boyd Gaming sells its 50 percent stake in Borgata to MGM Resorts

ATLANTIC CITY – Boyd Gaming said Tuesday it is selling its 50 percent stake in Atlantic City’s top casino to MGM Resorts International, the company that owns the other half. It will get $900 million, plus half of any future tax settlement MGM reaches with Atlantic City.

Palms Las Vegas sold to Stations/RRR

Palms Las Vegas has been sold to Station Casinos.  This marks the latest move by Las Vegas locals casinos to consolidate their competitive positions. There are fewer unlimited gaming licenses held by independent operators in Las Vegas compared to a few weeks ago since Boyd Gaming purchased the Cannery/Eastside Cannery as well as Aliante.  Now that Stations has purchased the Palms, the two local powerhouses are going head to head in all local neighborhoods. There are a couple of locals properties still operating independently such as Rampart which is next door to Suncoast (Boyds), South Point which is out on its own on the south part of Las Vegas Blvd, and the two Arizona Charlie’s properties (one on Decatur & one on Boulder) which are owned by Ichan’s American Casinos.

The Palms purchase is particularly interesting because of its proximity to the strip and strategic location. The Palms has historically marketed to a mix of locals and tourists. Its also right across the street from Gold Coast (Boyds). Stations still owns a large lot that is zoned for a casino resort on Tropicana where a Days Inn now operates and a casino is run by Stations. Investors should wonder if the development of this site is now less likely?  With room rates and visitation to Las Vegas at all time highs, the additional rooms at the Palms (over 700) should provide some firepower against in a fight against the Orleans (Boyds) and Gold Coast (Boyds) nearby.  The Palms, which sits on Flamingo west of the strip might also be complementary to Palace Station (Stations) which is on Sahara to the north. Boyds doesn’t have a property on Sahara either. Maybe Stations has a competitive advantage from a room availability standpoint (leaving Boyds vulnerable to discounting) and also from a marketing perspective (by consolidating marketing planning between the three properties immediately west of the strip (Wild Wild West, Palms, Palace Station).

The Palms purchase is another example of a bullish bet on Las Vegas room rates and visitation. Las Vegas watchers should also be wondering whether Stations will re-position the Palms down-market by targeting value guests like those that are otherwise staying at the Gold Coast. I think the sale of the Palms is also a missed opportunity by Caesars, which is distracted by bankruptcy negotiations.  It certainly would have made sense of the Rio to be sold to an operator who could re-position it towards the locals market.

With a market cap of just over $2 billion, Red Rock Resorts (Stations) is about the same size as Boyd Gaming, but the more than $300 million price tag for the Palms is going to be a large meal for them to swallow. Hopefully rates stay low and valuations stay high for their sake.

Station Casinos parent company buys Palms for $312.5 million

Station Casinos parent company Red Rocks Resort Inc. has escalated the battle for Las Vegas locals casino dominance by acquiring the Palms for $312.5 million. Company officials didn’t take questions after the announcement, but will discuss the deal in detail during its earnings conference call Wednesday.

After IPO, Red Rock Resorts to buy Palms Casino Resort

Red Rock Resorts Inc., the newly public company formerly known as Station Casinos, is enhancing its prominent Las Vegas presence with a $312.5 million deal to buy the Palms Casino Resort.

Station Casinos picks up Palms, near Strip, for $312.5 million

Station Casinos said Tuesday that it is buying the off-Strip Palms resort for $312.5 million, yet another recent example of locals-oriented casino operator expanding in the valley.

Boyd Gaming Consolidating Presence in Las Vegas

Boyd Gaming has announced it is purchasing the Aliante Hotel in North Las Vegas for $380 million.  Rumours are also circulating online that Boyd is close to announcing the purchase of Cannary Resorts for about $240 million. These two acquisitions would give Boyd more market share in the Las Vegas locals market and allow the company to add the newly acquired properties to its existing systems.

With the prospective purchase of Cannary Resorts, Boyd would gain a foothold in the north part of the city, while also adding a property next door to its Sam’s Town property.  The situation with Sam’s Town and Eastside Cannery would be similar to Texas Station and Fiesta Rancho, which are also next door to each other while both being owned by Station Casinos.

Boyd Gaming strikes $380M deal to purchase Aliante Hotel

Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corp. on Thursday announced it has a deal to acquire the holding company for Aliante Hotel in North Las Vegas. The acquisition of the holding company, ALST Casino Holdco LLC, is for $380 million cash, according to a statement. The hotel had been rumored to be on the market for several weeks.

Boyd Gaming to Boost ‘Locals’ Business With Aliante Deal

Boyd Gaming Corp. will get its first North Las Vegas casino and enhance its “locals” business with the purchase of Aliante Casino Hotel and Spa. Boyd agreed to buy Aliante’s holding company, ALST Casino Holdco LLC, for $380 million. Aliante, which cost more than $660 million and opened in 2008, is located in the Aliante planned community….

Boyd Gaming nears deal to buy Cannery Casino Resorts: sources

Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp is close to an agreement to buy Cannery Casino Resorts LLC, in a deal that will value the privately held U.S. company at between $225 million and $240 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Owners of The D Las Vegas plan major downtown redevelopment

It was good news when Derek Stevens and his team purchased the Las Vegas Club, and Vegas watchers were generally excited about how his group would improve the property. It is great news that they have now announced the acquisition of another parcel of land on Fremont, one that covers and extends to the current site of Mermaids. With this additional land, Stevens has announced a new casino/hotel will be built on the site.  This is very positive new for downtown Las Vegas redevelopment.

D Las Vegas owners plan new hotel-casino on Fremont Street

The owners of the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate properties in downtown Las Vegas say they’ll build a third hotel-casino after acquiring a building adjacent to the Las Vegas Club from the Granite Gaming Group.

Red Rock Resorts closer to IPO

Station Casinos’ corporate name will be Red Rock Resorts after IPO

Nevada gaming regulators signed off Thursday on plans for Station Casinos to become a public company under a new name – Red Rock Resorts – which will be traded on the Nasdaq. Company officials told the Gaming Control Board in a special hearing in Las Vegas that Red Rock Resorts would be a holding company.

Regulators approve Station Casinos’ proposed initial public offering

Nevada regulators today approved Station Casinos’ plan for an initial public offering, allowing the locals gaming giant to move forward with its transition back into a public company. Station, which was taken private in 2007, intends to be publicly traded under the new name Red Rock Resorts Inc.

Fertitta brothers file paperwork to take casino company public, earn $225 million

Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta are ready to take Red Rock Resorts public in an unusual way. Paul Gift has the details. It’s good to be a Fertitta. Not only is the UFC believed to be coming off a record year in terms of revenue, but co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta are about to take their other majority-owned enterprise public.