MGM Resorts to extend resort fees to all wholly-owned Vegas properties

LAS VEGAS Despite a highly publicized counter-marketing campaign by rival Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International is moving ahead with plans to roll out resort fees across all of its wholly-owned properties in Las Vegas.

That includes its high-end resort Bellagio, which will be among the MGM properties adding a resort fee come January 1. It joins luxury rivals like Wynn Las Vegas and Venetian, along with several other corporate siblings that already charge the fee, in requiring guests to pay extra for amenities like spa, gym and Internet access—regardless of whether the guests actually use them.

MGM Resorts generated about US$20 million from resort fees in the third quarter, according to CEO Jim Murren.

Las Vegas resort fees range to as high as US$25 per night, which in some cases can increase the cost of a night’s stay by about 50%. Fees are rarely disclosed in the initial prices quoted to consumers.

For Las Vegas properties without resort fees, the absence of the fees has become a marketing pitch in and of itself. Seeing an opportunity to differentiate itself from its Strip rival, Caesars Entertainment scuttled resort fees across its Vegas portfolio this summer, making it a central theme of its summer marketing campaign. The newly renovated and repositioned Tropicana Las Vegas is likewise touting itself as being resort fee-free.