MGM Raises Resort Fees at Its Las Vegas Properties
MGM Resorts International has implemented an increase in the resort fees charged to guests at its Nevada casinos in Las Vegas.
The change took effect on Tuesday, January 16. It introduces a varied fee structure across different properties.
The increase in fees range from $2 to $6, depending on the property. The changes cover all MGM’s Las Vegas Strip casino resorts, including MGM Grand, Bellagio, ParkMGM, and The Cosmopolitan.
Resort fees are commonplace in Las Vegas, added to room charges to cover additional services and amenities. These fees are usually tacked onto a guest’s bill at the end of their stay.
However, it is widely known that they were mainly introduced as a way to promote cheaper prices on third-party booking sites, where hotel rooms can easily be sorted by price. This also means operators pay lower fees to those booking agents, as their commission is based of the flat room price without the fee.
Over the years, many have argued — including in Congress — that these hidden costs were unfair to customers. As a result, most Las Vegas resort operators, including MGM, now show the added fees upfront as part of the booking process.
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With more visitors hitting Sin City per year than ever, the operator clearly now sees enough demand to be confident price increases won’t affect customers.
As for the specific increases, Luxor and Excalibur are now charging $37 per night, New York-New York, NoMad Las Vegas, Park MGM, and The Signature at MGM Grand have increased to $42 per night, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, and the Delano are up to $45, and Aria, Vdara, Bellagio, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas have reached the $50 mark per night.
For MGM, the amenities covered under these fees include a range of features, from useful to outdated.
Things the charge ostensibly covers includes unlimited local, domestic long-distance, and toll-free calls using in-room telephones, digital newspaper and magazine downloads through PressReader, in-room wireless internet access, fitness center access for guests 18 and older, boarding pass printing, and access to various in-room television packages.
Justified or Junk
Resort fees are now standard across most Las Vegas casino hotels. However, they remain a topic of controversy and debate.
Critics argue that these fees are often perceived as hidden charges that unexpectedly increase the cost of a stay, while not including anything that shouldn’t be covered upfront.
That has recently included a Federal Trade Commission proposition late in 2023, which, while not specifically aimed at casino resorts, aims to make it federal law that all fees for any service must be displayed upfront.
Proponents for Las Vegas’ resort fees maintain that they are necessary for covering the costs of various amenities and services provided by the resorts.
They probably wouldn’t publicly say that it also substantially reduces their third-party commission fees.
Either that, or it’s simply a coincidence that resort fees were introduced in 1997, just one year after online travel agencies first became popular.
Current Prices and Other Changes
Alongside the increase in resort fees, MGM has revised its cancellation policy, extending the period from 48 to 72 hours before arrival.
The operator also recently raised its self-parking rates. The new parking charges are $18 on midweek days and $23 on weekends, following the industry trend of increased parking charges in Sin City.
On the other hand, room rates at some of the resorts that have seen price increases are currently — on weekdays, at least — lower than you might think.
Despite the $245 per night average price among MGM properties as of this writing, many rooms are substantially cheaper than that.
A room at the Luxor and Excalibur on a Tuesday night this January, for example, would set you back in the region of $25 for the room and then a $37 resort fee, for a total of $62.