This was a rather interesting week in Las Vegas. There wasn’t as much major news as last week but there is a lot to know. The analysis will be minimal this week because there’s just so much fun and interesting news to share from Las Vegas. That said, we’ll start with your favorite topic. There’s another fee to be on the lookout for.
20% Spa Fee At All MGM Resorts Properties
This week we learned that MGM Resorts International will implement a 20% service charge at all spas and salons that don’t already charge the fee. Fox 5 says that The Mirage, MGM Grand, and three other properties have been charging this fee for a couple of years. Aria, Bellagio, Delano, Mandalay Bay, and Vdara will now start charging this additional service fee.
Brian Ahern from MGM Resorts International told Fox 5 “Our policies are based on industry standards and focus on providing superior service and an unforgettable guest experience,” and “The Spa and Salon policy will help improve facilities and service, streamline interactions, and allow guests to focus even more on the experience they choose to receive.”
That sounds a lot like the justification for the parking fees even though they say this fee will essentially replace tipping. Much like room service fees, there will guests that will tip in addition to the service fee despite what MGM Resorts says. Not everyone will tip but there are enough that will tip out of habit unless there’s a big NO TIPPING sign at the door. I’m sure we won’t see that.
MGM Resorts is the only company charging this fee for spa and salon treatments. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reached out to other companies and learned that Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment and were told have no plans to add this fee. They both said the same thing about parking, so you never know. Las Vegas Sands doesn’t operate Canyon Ranch, so they don’t control the fee structure for the spa at The Venetian and The Palazzo.
MGM Resorts is hell bent on pushing fees to the limit to see how much money they can generate from their guests. Overall earnings for MGM Resorts in the second quarter may have been bad but fees are not keeping people away in droves. According to their earnings report, occupancy in Las Vegas only fell 1% from the same period last year (94% to 93%) while RevPAR (Revenue per available room) increased $4. Until both of these numbers fall off a cliff for a few quarters in a row, they likely won’t stop searching for new ways to find revenue and cut expenses. See last Quick Hit for more.
Las Vegas Resort Fees Up 9.7% From 2017
Elliott.org shared some resort fee information from a useful website resortfeechecker.com. While we think of Las Vegas as the home of resort fees there are plenty of other cities around the country that charge resort fees.
Here’s an overview of Las Vegas resort fees:
Average resort fee: $29 a night
Change from last year: + 9.7%
Number of hotels with a mandatory resort fee: 107
Highest fee: Mandarin Oriental ($51)
Sin City has the highest average resort fee but at $29 but New York City is a close second with an average $28 resort fee per night. The fees in New York are rising at a much higher rate than Las Vegas. You can see resort fees in other cities here.
Elliott Advocacy is a very useful organization for anyone that travels. The nonprofit group “empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t.” They can be helpful if you run into travel problems where you need some additional assistance or if you just want to share with someone that cares. They also share stories as a way of warning about companies that might have shady business operations.
Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas To Keep Tea Service
Since we learned that Mandarin Oriental was sold, I’ve been asked about the English Afternoon Tea Service more than ever. Good news, the Tea Lounge will remain after the hotel becomes the Waldorf Astoria. Eater Vegas says the Mandarin Bar will become SkyBar and MOZen Bistro will become Zen Kitchen. (Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas Dining) Mandarin Oriental becomes the Waldorf Vegas at the end of the month.
We’re going to light up Quick Hits in ways we can only dream the slot machine would light up when there’s money in the machine.
Did you see the new gateway to downtown Las Vegas?
- The Linq zipline is progressing nicely. The first line has been installed. Completion can’t be too far away. Read and see more here.
- Hey, there’s a pot museum. There’s something about Hunter S. Thompson here.
- Royal Britannia Gastropub is now open at The Venetian. Read more here.
- Get ready for some kind of Aerosmith 50th anniversary residency happening in Las Vegas next year. Read more here.
- Boyd Gaming will have a new players club in a couple of weeks. Read more here.
- The West Coast Conference Championship will take place at the Orleans Arena March from 7-12. It’s not football season yet but it might be time to start planning your March Madness trip.
- Hattie B’s Hot Chicken (and five other restaurants) will open at the Cosmopolitan at the end of the month. Read more here.
- The most profitable restaurant in the country is in Las Vegas. Read here to find out more.
- Speaking of making money, Britney Spears made a lot of it in Las Vegas. Read more here.
- The co-founder of Broadcom had a bit too much fun in Las Vegas. Read more here.
- Defcon was in Las Vegas and they revealed a very useful hack of the thermostats. Read more here and see this tweet.
– While holding down “display”
– Press “off”
– Press “Up” arrow
– Release “display” button
Disables room occupancy sensor and lowers min temp setting.
- One of my favorite comedians, Anthony Jeselnik, will be at The Mirage in October. Read more here.
- Diablo’s Cantina is reopening at Luxor in December. Read more here.
- Plaza is renovating 100 hotel rooms. Read and see more here.
- The Lady Gaga residency at the Park Theater starts on December 28. Tickets are on sale tomorrow. Read more here.
- Useful bookmark for football fans. The Las Vegas Review-Journal updated their list of NFL team bars. Read the list here.
- MGM Resorts is excited about chatbots. This will improve customer experience by eliminating human contact. In time it will save the corporation money. Consider this an AI fee. Read more here.