Margaret, where's my wallet? The two primary Vegas Strip resort conglomerates are now charging $10 fees for over-the-phone room reservations. All MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment properties now charge for providing what was once a standard, no-fee element of more personalized customer service in Las Vegas. Both groups encourage online bookings, urging potential guests to avoid the charges by making reservations via the almighty internet. Their claims are that there is a charge for this so-called increased convenience for future guests. No worries...it's only ten bucks.
These phone reservation services were obviously once provided free of charge by both groups. Caesars Entertainment properties have had these fees in place since 2013, while the MGM Resorts properties began implementation in March of this year.
Las Vegas resort fee escalation and charges during the last 3 - 4 years apparently failed to generate enough revenue to suit major resort management goals. Now they've decided to saddle potential guests with yet another fee for services that were free up until recently.
There are no specific hotel reservation website clarifications for special circumstances regarding phone reservation charges from either conglomerate. What if online booking sites are down ( it certainly happens) when reservations are to be made? Will the $10 fees be refunded when guests are forced to cancel reservations for numerous reasons? Will these fees be charged if legitimate discount promo codes fail to work online? Will players club members ( and at what tier of play) be able to avoid the charges? What about potential guests with eyesight disabilities?
According to the most recently available Vegas Visitor profile study (2013 data - linked article below) from LVCVA, 59% of random visitors booked Vegas accommodations online. The remaining 41% are now being herded like livestock into a crowding alley and forced to pay yet another fee if they desire to book a room over the phone.
More and more, Vegas hotels resemble the airline industry and their ancillary fee practices. Airline revenues from baggage fee charges, reservation changes, select seating and the like have often made the difference between profit and loss at fiscal year's end for many air carriers. Revenues from these sources are astronomical for the airlines.
Management at Vegas hotels has adopted this extra-fee approach. The add-ons are the current reality, and will only escalate. Most visitors will initially complain and still pay baggage fees, resort fees, phone fees, concession fees, entertainment fees, ugly shirt fees, need-a-shower-badly fees, plus tax...because most won't cancel their Vegas trips due to these annoyances. The hotels are obviously convinced of that fact.