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February 2nd, 2010 at 4:50:41 PM permalink
This is the first I have heard of any upgrade or comp given for a complaint against a casino's use of resort fees. Here are the letters:

This is the first person I know of writing a letter of compliant who managed in the reply to earn an upgrade, well actually two upgrades as explained by the complainer:
"Hey dewey, when I emailed TI, I sent it to a couple different people, casino manager, hotel manager etc. this morning I got another response that included a much better upgrade to a tower suite."
I guess a complaint in the right direction even if it does not change resort fee policy may get you a bit of a"gesture of good will."
Hey, that sounds more like the old casino rhetoric before the resort fee gesture of bad will invaded the formula.

Here are the letters:
Dear Sir or Madame,

Las Vegas is in my thoughts daily. I dream of my next moment at the craps table, my next encounter with a livid poker player and my next gluttonous meal. I have stayed around the Strip primarily staying at MGM properties including TI before and after the MGM/Mirage sold it off. It has been a pleasant experience, but I fear I now will never return.

My most recent stay was in April of ’09 with a good friend, whom the room was under, and we had a marvelous time. I have never spent so much time at my home casino. TI was different. I spent countless hours in your Sports book, enjoying placing only around 100 dollars in bets daily but being made to feel like a high roller with fantastic drink service and courteous employees. The poker room is not my favorite in Vegas, but more because of clientele than things the casino controls. I enjoyed meals at the Buffet, Canter’s Deli and Kahunaville. We also took in Mystere. In general, I came home happy, relaxed and gleefully depleted of money, most of which went to your property.

I am an active member on a number of Vegas forums and have glowed about TI for six months since my first visit after the sale to Phil Ruffin and have heard many other similar stories. I also keep abreast of economic and other news in the town I love. I understand that Las Vegas, MGM Mirage, Boyd Gaming Steve Wynn, Harrah’s et al are feeling the crunch of the recession. My favorite city has bled a lot of cash and I worry for its future. However, I will return again this April during my spring break from teaching in Virginia. Unfortunately, I have already booked five nights downtown at The Golden Nugget for one reason: Resort Fees. A quick glance around or and you will find I am not alone. In fact there are lists compiled specifically to tell members which casinos do not charge outrageous fees.

Being a history teacher I understand simple economics and believe that Phil Ruffin was very smart to purchase the TI for nearly 500 million less than he sold the New Frontier property. I also understand the millions that can be made a year by implementing Resort Fees. Charging only 5 dollars a day, MGM Grand could make an extra nine million a year, TI with 2200 rooms could make about 4 million, of course assuming maximum occupancy, which seldom occurs in this economy.

The rates that I have been emailed from TI and have seen online are enticing, booking 90 days in advance we could get into TI for about 70 dollars a night once again. Unfortunately, the TI is charging amongst the highest hidden fees in town. Your outrageous resort fee of 22.40 raises that price to the point where it is no longer a great deal and for what? Access to your business center? Internet? I’m not printing boarding passes nor am I surfing facebook while I am in Vegas. I am drinking, gambling and spending my money in casinos. That’s why I am there. 22.40 is almost a third of the nightly rate, which is simply outrageous. I have no qualms about spending 100 a night for a quality hotel. I do however have huge issues with being quoted one price, only to find that over the course of our six night stay, that I will be spending enough extra in borderline hidden, bogus fees that I could stay an extra night at Aria, or Vdara, or Wynn. For that matter, 134 dollars for resort fees over six nights is well over half my flight cost

I am not a high roller, and TI will not miss my business. I do not get free room offers; there are no private jets, no Maybach to pick me up from the airport. I have a bankroll of only a few grand while in Las Vegas and see whales lose that much on a single roll of the dice. However, it is unlikely that I will step in the TI again. I understand that half the strip is charging these fees, only Harrahs is pretty much entirely immune to them. I used to think Harrah’s was the evil empire, but perhaps they will enjoy my business.

I hope for only the best for Sin City, and look forward to my return and am just irate that my principals of etiquette and what is fair will prevent me from staying at my favorite property. I realize this letter is long and will likely be skimmed over by some intern with nothing better to do. But what TI, and countless other properties, are doing is wrong and clearly the days of Vegas being the service capital of the world are numbered.

************************************************** ******************************
First answer:
Thank you for your correspondence regarding your past visits to Treasure Island and your thoughts regarding our Resort fee. Unfortunately the Resort fee is mandatory and includes the amenities you stated. We do have new venues, restaurants, and a new world-class Spa and salon for you to enjoy and hope you do return.

As a gesture of goodwill we would like to offer you a complimentary upgrade to a Petite Suite during your next visit to Treasure should you give the opportunity to serve you again. You can contact me at 702-894-7121 and I will be happy to make reservations for you. This offer is based on availability, is non transferable, and expires on January 30, 2011.

Kind regards,

Cecilia Jacques │Guest Relations & Hotel Training Manager
Treasure Island Hotel & Casino 702.894.7121 office 702.894.7411 fax
3300 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

"The most exciting, distinctive, and friendly resort destination in Las Vegas"

Another answer:

I wanted to first and foremost thank you for providing us with your comments regarding our property. It is our goal to provide a consistent standard of excellence throughout our facility and we are disappointed to learn that we did not meet your expectations. I want to apologize for the inconveniences involving the resort fee.This has been addressed with our Guest Relations Manager, Cecilia Jacques.
As a gesture of goodwill, I would like to offer you a complimentary upgrade to a tower suite on your next visit to Treasure Island. This applies when you book a deluxe room and we will upgrade the reservation to a tower suite. This offer is subject to availability, is not valid with any other offer and is non-transferable. This offer will expire one year from the date from which this email was sent. In order to ensure your reservation is handled properly please get in contact with either myself or any other fellow Hotel Manager, and we will be more than happy to assist you with your future arrangements.

If you have any further questions or need assistance with any future bookings please do not hesitate to contact me.

Again, thank you; your patronage is very important to us, and we look forward to welcoming you in the future.

Ryan Gross

Assistant Hotel Manager
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February 2nd, 2010 at 4:53:34 PM permalink
I have collected other resort fee information on my personal blog:

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February 2nd, 2010 at 5:27:35 PM permalink
Well at least my $12ish a night at the Luxor I will be paying at the end of this month will go towards internet and two small bottles of water! I wish I had been old enough to see what the Luxor was like when they were Egyptian themed,
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February 2nd, 2010 at 5:39:58 PM permalink
I can't tell if the author of those letters is happy about the response or not.

Personally, I think it's a whole bunch of "Too little, too late."

Both of those responses seemed, at least partially, like form letters.

They're giving you a free upgrade? Hmmm. Based upon availability. How generous.

So basically, if they have nicer rooms that are unoccupied, they'll let you upgrade for no extra charge. A solution that costs them nothing, and they'll still charge you the hidden fees?

What really gets me is, you obviously spent a lot of time composing that letter. Couldn't they at least acknowledge it? Sure, you're a low roller. But so is the majority of their clientele. When one speaks, they should at the very least, listen.
I invented a few casino games. Info: 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
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February 4th, 2010 at 1:24:40 PM permalink
With the free upgrade you can pay the resort fees again
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August 15th, 2018 at 4:16:23 AM permalink
I actually think TI remains a pretty good bargain. Great location, free parking, good room rates.

Recently they advertised OPTIONAL resort fees. Anyone know what that might involve, I'm not sober enough to go check it out right now.
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August 15th, 2018 at 8:33:28 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

...and they'll still charge you the hidden fees?

'hidden?' They're annoying and deceptive, but not hidden.
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August 15th, 2018 at 9:14:20 AM permalink
What many people don't realize is that most businesses care about their clients, if only to keep their business. They are generally open to doing what it takes to satisfy reasonable requests.
Drop a note to a business about legitimate,or even an illegitimate complaint and chances are you will get a positive response.
Customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
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August 15th, 2018 at 2:05:26 PM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

I actually think TI remains a pretty good bargain. Great location, free parking, good room rates.

Recently they advertised OPTIONAL resort fees. Anyone know what that might involve, I'm not sober enough to go check it out right now.

One of the hotels on my side of Minneapolis is testing optional resort fees. The idea seems to be that they can offer competitively advantaged rates if they strip out the costs of the gym, pool, breakfast, etc. from the price of the room. But, you then can't buy back those services ala carte and must instead pay the resort fee to access the "resort" parts of the hotel.
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
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