Caesars Entertainment on March 1 will raise resort fees at Las
Vegas hotels, saying that the increase will bring those charges in line with
competitors Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts.
Daily resort fees at Caesars Palace (which includes the Nobu
Hotel), The Cromwell, Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood will rise by $3, to
$35. The resort fee at Bally's, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah's, the Linq and Rio will
rise by $1, to $30. In addition, the resort fee is subject to Las Vegas' hotel
Caesars says resort fees allow for the inclusion of two daily
passes for the fitness center, in-room WiFi for two devices and local calls.
"We are implementing resort fee increases at our Las
Vegas resorts, having added premium WiFi service to covered amenities, bringing
those fees in line with competition," Caesars said in a statement.
At $35 a night, Caesars Entertainment's hotels with the
highest resort fees are in line with fees charged at the Bellagio and the Wynn
Las Vegas, and less than the $39 charged by the Venetian.
Consumer advocates have argued that resort fees are hidden
charges for guests unaware of them, and that guests who are aware of the
charges must take an extra step to calculate true room rates.
In January, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a
report estimating that U.S. resort fees surged 35% in 2015 to about $2 billion.
Last year, an NYU School of Professional Studies report pegged 2015 U.S. resort
fees at a record $2.55 billion, an 82% surge from a decade earlier.
With that in mind, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) last
March proposed a bill mandating that hotels include resort fees and all other
mandatory charges in the publication of their room rates. She said at the time
that the FTC should have authority to enforce full publication of charges or
take civil action to hotel operators that fail to do so.
Last year, Caesars Entertainment's room revenue rose 5.1%,
to $923 million. Las Vegas in 2016 set a city record for the second straight
year, drawing 42.9 million visitors, according to the Las Vegas Convention and
Visitors Authority. Hotel occupancy on the Las Vegas Strip advanced 1.1
percentage points to 90.1%, while Strip room rates rose 4.5% to almost $136 a