Virgin’s new hotel in Las Vegas will turn the tide in Nevada city by not charging controversial “resort fees” when it opens on March 25.
Richard Bosworth, Managing Director of JC Hospitality, owner of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, said, “We are very proud to be one of the first major Las Vegas resorts with no resort fees.
The hotel, which is located off the main drag at 4455 Paradise Road, occupies the former location of the Hard Rock Hotel. It underwent a $ 200million (£ 145million) ‘reconceptualization’.
The three night minimum stay for opening is currently priced at $ 930 (£ 673), which represents a cost per night of £ 224 including tax.
The rate also includes parking, for which most Las Vegas hotels charge an additional fee.
The premium suite of the new property is known as ‘Richard’s Flat’, named after Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson.
Living expenses are extremely prevalent in Las Vegas, with many properties in New York City, California and Florida adding fees as well. They are also referred to as “destination fees” and “amenity fees”.
Hotels use a stay charge, which typically adds £ 30-40 to the room rate per night, to mask the true cost of a stay. When the 13% Nevada sales tax is added to the room rate and resort fees, the cost can sometimes double from the “base” quote.
By keeping base rates low, hotels appear more attractive on price comparison sites, and also reduce the amount of commissions paid to intermediaries.
A year ago, some properties in Las Vegas increased their resort fees by several dollars in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The properties justify the fee by saying they cover a valuable range of extras, including ‘premium wifi’, access to the fitness center, and local phone calls.
The United States Federal Trade Commission estimates that one in 14 American hotels now has a resort tax, earning them around £ 2 billion a year.
Attorneys general in many states – as well as in Washington DC – say the practice is illegal. Some have recommended that customers seek to recoup resort fees.
The District of Columbia attorney general called the living expenses a “simple price deception” in a case against Marriott.
A UK property in Donald Trump’s portfolio, the Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire, briefly added a £ 20 per night stay fee in March 2018, until The independent pointed out that it was in breach of UK pricing rules.