President Biden pledges to eliminate resort fees charged by most Las Vegas Strip hotels

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 11:49 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - With less than two weeks until the midterm elections, President Joe Biden is pledging to fight rising costs for families by eliminating what he called “junk fees” including resorts fees, something charged by most large hotels in Las Vegas.

“Each year these junk fees… that companies charge cost Americans tens of billions of dollars, weighing down family budgets and making it harder for people to pay their bills. So, my administration is taking action on to eliminate those fees,” Biden announced Wednesday.

The White House points to hidden charges and added fees on airline tickets, cable bills, bank account overdrafts and hotel stays.

“We just find it unfair and deceptive for them to advertise one rate and charge another one,” said Charlie Leocha, President of Travelers United about resort fees.

Travelers United is an advocacy organization working to make travel better.

“We are responsible for the increase in denied boarding compensation, we are responsible for the increase in lost luggage, damaged luggage section and we have also worked very hard on other issues such as resort fees,” shared Leocha.

Leocha explained they’ve long been going after resort fees for more than a decade.

“We have been working on this now for several months with the Biden Administration,” Leocha revealed.

Travelers United wants resort fees eliminated saying the total cost of a hotel stay should be clear upfront.

“The advertising says the room costs $100 and when you get to the checkout, it is actually $130 because they throw on a $30 resort fee, that is the average resort fee,” Leocha explained.

Attorneys General in several states filed suits against the largest hotel chains to remove resort fees. Travelers United sued MGM Resorts alleging they did not advertise their resort fees and added them to room rates.

“We have something like 70 percent of the hotels in Vegas which are now charging resort fees and the other 30 percent are not. That 30 percent that are not are the smaller lesser-known hotels,” Leocha contended.

The advocacy group said their problem isn’t with the resort fee itself for people using all resort properties have to offer, the problem is that many travelers don’t know about it until check out.

“It comes down to basic truth in advertising,” Leocha argued.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association is firing back and said, “93 percent of hotels do not charge resort fees.”

The trade group said when resort fees are applied, they are visible on the hotel’s websites before a person is done booking. It added it plans to work with the Biden Administration to make sure all online lodging ads are transparent.