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About Those Resort Fees…

Author: Mark Pilarski

Dear Mark: I would like to take exception to your previous column with regard to resort fees. I am the manager of the pool at a Las Vegas casino, and I want to tell you that today’s pools are not your Motel 6, nor a casino hotel as little as 15 years ago. You need to take into consideration that the costs of the building and maintenance of the world-class amenities do not go away just because a certain player does not use any of our facilities.

If you decide to publish my comments, could you please not mention my name or the name of the casino I work for? Thank you.

Let me first say, as to keeping both you and your hotel/casino anonymous, I’m down with that. For sure, upstairs management does not want just any employee representing the public relations department.

As for me needing “to take into consideration that the costs of the building and maintenance of the world-class amenities do not go away just because a certain player does not use any of our facilities,” believe me, I do.

I personally live on a golf course, and pay a bundle to do so. Yet, I do NOT golf, or use any of the course amenities, at all. The occasional lost ball I come across while taking an evening stroll – And I understand the Titleist Pro V1x are worth a pretty penny – doesn’t come close to covering any of my homeowners association fees.

Furthermore, let me share some poolside pricing from a receipt one reader sent me from the Encore Beach Club. Let’s start with a bottle of Grey Goose vodka at $695.00, follow that with a Mag of Grey Goose for $1295.00. Add in multiple bottles of Corona and Heineken at $12.00 a pop; a pitcher of John Daly for $297.00; Frozen daiquiris at $19 each, and one bottle of Ciroc Berry vodka for $675. Admittedly it seems they waived the price of the cabana ($0.00). With a bit of luck, not likely, what yppened in this Vegas cabana, stayed in Vegas.

Granted, this receipt was not from the same casino/resort where you work, but with mark-up pricing at 25X what I pay off the shelf at my local party store, I continue to have a problem with a casino that wants to charge me $30 nightly for NOT using their swimming hole. Just sayin.’

Dear Mark: I, for one, am glad Reno is still giving away some freebies. I visited Reno this past May and was comped three nights free at the Peppermill. The Peppermill is a beautiful casino, great pool and eateries.

I am not what casinos call a 'whale,' and I visit Reno, at most, twice a year. I usually 'make a donation' and have not gotten a royal flush on video poker in 11 years.

At the Reno casino bars, I was NOT charged for drinks while I was playing video poker. I did have a 'hold' put on my credit card for the resort fee, but, when I checked the bank after a few days at home the fee was NOT deducted from my account. Gerry P.

Reno has always been a competitive market, and that certainly does benefit the low-roller. True, those $0.99 breakfast specials at the Club Cal Neva are long gone, as well as many other ultra-low-priced food deals from yesteryear, but I still can’t imagine a Reno casino charging for a drink while you are playing video poker at the casino bar.

As you and I both know, Gerry, Reno, besides now having three In-N-Out Burger locations, still has plenty to offer the bargain player, and I would recommend to those players choosing between Reno/Tahoe and Las Vegas, to give Northern Nevada a second look.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: “Comps are the Marxist dialectic of casino play. The haves lord it over the have-nots, and the have-nots want what the haves have.” – Frank Scoblete