Sahara Las Vegas Temporarily Drops Resort Fees, Will Others Follow?
Posted on: June 3, 2020, 11:19h.
Last updated on: June 3, 2020, 11:52h.
Sahara Las Vegas has made an announcement that many Sin City visitors hope is the beginning of a new trend: no resort fees.
The property, located on the Strip’s northern end, announced this week that no resort fees will be tacked on to bookings made through the end of the month. The offer is good for all stays through May 31, 2021.
“Las Vegas is America’s playground,” said Sahara VP and General Manager Paul Hobson. “We know how much everyone has missed traveling, and we’ve missed entertaining guests. Removing the resort fee for our first promotion is our way of welcoming guests back to the city and thanking them for their patronage.”
Sahara typically charges a nightly resort fee of $37.95 plus tax. The resort says the charge is for in-room internet access, local and toll-free phone calls, pool and fitness center access, concierge services, and valet and self-parking.
While valet service remains suspended, self-parking remains free, regardless of whether one is staying at the resort.
Sahara Unlikely Deserted
Many Nevada casinos are reopening Thursday following more than two and a half months of being closed on orders from Gov. Steve Sisolak (D). Casinos across the state will battle for what’s expected to be a reduced volume of visitors in the early days and weeks of the industry’s gradual restart.
Lauren Wolfe, founder of Kill Resort Fees and counsel at Travelers United, says Sahara Las Vegas doing away with resort fees should attract travelers.
The Sahara is making a smart pro-consumer move to bring in business. They know customers hate resort fees, and they’ve taken steps to get rid of them at this time in an attempt to bring back business,” Wolfe told Casino.org.
Resort fees are as high as $45 a day along the Strip, including at Bellagio, Venetian and Palazzo, and Wynn and Encore. And though they’re heavily criticized on social media, casino operators have been reluctant to react or change the fees, which are typically added on at the end of the booking process.
“If others were smart, they would follow the Sahara’s lead,” Wolfe opined.
MGM Resorts, the Strip’s largest operator, has announced one concession to returning guests: free self-parking. The company said the decision was part of its marketing plans “to welcome back guests.”
No Resort Fee is Ultimate Perk
With demand low, Las Vegas casinos are offering substantially discounted rates on their hotel rooms.
Wynn is offering up to 35 percent off, MGM 20 percent, and Caesars 25 percent. Most deals require guests to sign up with the casino’s free loyalty reward program.
But for now, Sahara is offering the biggest discount by stripping its resort fee. For a two-night stay next weekend, June 12-14, the total room price is $212. With the required 13.38 percent lodging tax, the total price comes to $240.36.
By comparison, the same two nights at Flamingo shows a promotional rate of $90 per night ($180 total). With taxes, the price comes to $213.99. When the daily $37 resort fee is finally tacked on, the total price comes to $287.99.
According to Sahara, 259 people have booked stays over the last 48 hours.
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