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Las Vegas – taking a chance on resort fees

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When we go on vacation, we like to get the most from our dollar. Checking multiple sites online, using coupons, querying travel agents…whatever it takes to get the best deal. What you don’t want is a budget busting surprise after you’ve already arrived.

I’ve ranted before about the hidden fees airlines were instituting, and those all seem to be pretty much out in the open now. A few search engines will even add them in as you check flight costs.

The latest though that still is hidden for the most part is hotel resort fees. And I’m not just talking about the legitimate resorts on the beach, I’m taking about run of the mill hotels in Las Vegas. Seems they’ve just about all gleaned onto the concept whether they have any “resort” amenities to offer or not.

Many are using it to hide the cost of the Internet they say is available. NOTE FOLKS!!! “Internet available in all rooms” does not equate to FREE Internet. You’ll probably be paying for it in the resort fee or not getting it at all. Second NOTE FOLKS - just because you are paying for it, doesn't mean it’s worth having. Many hotels refer to a 384kb connection as “high-speed”. Choke. Some are even rigged to prevent downloading videos.

Vegas Chatter has done a wonderful summary of all the hotels in Vegas and what they add to your bill each night for “resort fees.” Not only the charge, they also list what you get for your dollar. Some of the benefits are amazing.

Here’s just a sample.

· At the Golden Nugget, your $5/night resort fee entitles you to a free autographed photo of Rick Dale when you visit Rick's Restoration. Oh, whoopee.

· At the Mirage, your $28/night fee includes free notary service. That’s good, because I always take the deed to my house when I visit Vegas.

· For $15/night at the Riviera, you get to use your in-room safe. Comforting.

· For $14.50/night at Circus Circus, you get two K-cups for your in-room coffee maker. Holy coffee bean.

Check out the whole list at www.vegaschatter.com. It’s quite entertaining, if not disgusting.

Props to Hilton Grand Vacations and a handful of others who don’t charge any resort fee at all.

Doug Bardwell, based in Cleveland, OH, writes about travel destinations, photography and tech topics across the country and around the world at DougBardwell.com. Feel free to drop him a line at travel.dougbardwell@gmail.com with suggestions for future stories. To get his stories delivered to your inbox, click the RSS feed or the "Subscribe" button above or follow him on Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. To read Doug’s disclosure notice, click here. For travel ideas in Cleveland and around the world, check his Calendar of Events. To see his travel photo collection, see BardwellPhotography.com.

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