Those fees hotels tack on? Starting July 1, add Las Vegas' Golden Nugget to the list of accommodations that do that.
The good news is that the Golden Nugget's fee is lower than many others on the Strip.
The Golden Nugget, the only downtown property to consistently get a four-diamond rating from AAA, is calling its extra charge a “Fremont Street Experience Fee.” Except for New Year’s Eve, the Fremont Street Experience is a free attraction.
“It isn’t free to us,” said Amy Chasey, the Golden Nugget’s vice president of marketing. "We pay close to a million dollars a year in upkeep and maintenance for the Fremont Street Experience."If the Nugget has an occupancy rate of 80%, its $5-a-night fee will generate $3.4 million a year.
Chasey said that, even with the added fee, the Golden Nugget continues to be a better value than most hotels along the Strip.
“We haven’t raised our rates in several years and it was time that we needed to raise our rates,” she said. “All of our competitors would look so much lower than us if we just chose to raise our rate so we had to implement a fee to keep up with the Joneses -- all of our competitors that have fees.”
The Golden Nugget’s $5 add-on is less than that charged along the Strip. Resorts including the Flamingo and Luxor charge $18 a night. The fee is $25 at places such as Bellagio and Caesars Palace and typically covers such things as in-room Internet access and local phone calls.
Chasey said she “wouldn’t be surprised” if other downtown hotels follow the Golden Nugget’s lead.
Customer reaction to the new fee is divided, Chasey said.
“If you look at our Facebook page, it’s about 50-50. I’m getting equal amounts of comments [pro and con],” she said.
“I still think Vegas is the best deal around, even with resort fees.”