Las Vegas resort fees are helping casino hotels collect record high nightly rates for their rooms.
Statistics from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) show that the average daily rate (ADR) January through September 2019 was $132.87. That’s an increase of 3.6 percent, and if it sustains, will become a new record for the city.
Rooms on the Strip are at $143.35 – a 3.7 percent year-over-year gain. Citywide occupancy stands at 89.2 percent, and 95.1 percent on the weekends.
Las Vegas’ all-time highest ADR for a year came in 2007, when rates averaged $132.09. Kevin Bagger, vice president of the LVCVA’s research department, says the 2019 nightly rates are actually much higher than advertised due to the ever-increasing resort fees.
Hotel rooms are staying occupied due to an increase in visitor volume fueled by convention attendance. Through September, more than 5.16 million people have arrived in town for a convention – a 3.3 percent premium.
Trust Room Cost
Casinos are also benefiting from the influx of convention attendance. Gross gaming revenue in Clark County is up three percent over the last 12 months, and 2.35 percent on the Strip.
Last month marked Nevada’s all-time best September, GGR coming in at $1.059 billion. Clark County casinos won $913.5 million – an 8.3 percent gain, and Strip gaming floors kept $584.2 million – up seven percent.
And when guests decide to check in, the casino operators are making even more cash on their customers. Resort fees – now as high as $45 per day – are greatly escalating that $143.35 nightly average rate on the Strip.
A standard suite at The Venetian for next Monday (11/11) through Thursday (11/14) shows advertised room charges of $882.72, plus $118.11 in room taxes, for a total of $1,000.83. But with resort fees, the grand total is actually $1,153.89 – a more than 15 percent markup for amenities such as fitness facility access, unlimited local and toll-free calling, in-suite Wi-Fi, and access to an app that provides newspapers and magazines.
So, the average daily rate The Venetian reports to the LVCVA is actually $51.02 higher. That’s for the $45 resort fee plus applicable tax.
Resort Fee Increases
There’s been plenty of backlash to Las Vegas casinos continuing to elevate their resort fees. The practice is the subject of two lawsuits filed by the attorneys general in Nebraska and DC, both of whom claim hotels should be required to advertise the true cost of a nightly room inclusive of all unavoidable fees to consumers during the booking process.
Casino Resort Fee 2003 vs. 2019
Venetian/Palazzo $17 to $45
MGM Grand $20 to $37
Wynn/Encore $20 to $45
Bellagio $20 to $45
Stratosphere $7.50 to $35
Caesars Palace $0 to $45
Rio $0 to $35
Monte Carlo $15 to $37 (now Park MGM)
Resort fees – many Casino.org readers say – will or could alter their Las Vegas visiting habits. However, the LVCVA data shows Sin City remains alive and well.