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El Cortez Adds Amenities Fee And More Bizarro Overcharges

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 19th February 2014 2:25pm
  » filed under Las Vegas tagged: el cortez   resort fee   math for beginners    comments: 6

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El Cortez has jumped into the resort fee game, adding an "Amenities Fee" of $8.95 per night to all reservations starting Feb 1. The "Amenities Fee" includes access to the fitness center and "limited" internet access, whatever that means.

But that isn't all. They've also added some mystical charge called "Amenities Fee Tax" a layer of thoroughly baffling math - and probably illegal charges - to their room booking matrix. Check this out:

Resort Fee Math

Night one: $40 room rate + $5.20 tax + $8.95 amenities fee + $6.36 amenities tax = $60.51. Tax + fees ($20.15) is 50% of the room total!

Night two: $48 room rate + $6.24 tax + $8.95 amenities fee + $7.40 amenities tax = $62.59. Again, tax + fees ($22.59) is 50% of the room total!

Night three: $119 room rate + $15.47 tax + $8.95 amenities fee + $16.63 amenities tax = $160.06. Now, taxes and fees ($41.05) are 30% of the room total.

$41 dollars in taxes and fees for one night in an El Cortez hotel room. I sincerely hope that this is a technical glitch, but if it isn't and El Cortez has instituted a sliding percentage based resort fee model, it raises Las Vegas Innkeeping to a brand new level of lameness.

Big thanks to VT reader @travelingace for the tweet tip.






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Comments & Discussion:

I never understood why they can charge a tax on a fee. I suppose that no one has challenge the legality of the fee tax?

Backed out the math on this. I believe it to be an error. Basically the website is pulling a room rate and charging the tax on the room alone, then pulling room rate PLUS amenities fee and charging tax on that combo (rather than tax on the amenity fee alone as is commonly done) So the quote in this case includes the base room rate being taxed twice.

e.g.
Night 1:
(A) room rate $40
(B) Amenities fee $8.95
PRE-TAX room rate + fee = A + B = $48.95 ($40 + $8.95)
room tax @ 13% = $5.20 [(A) x 13%]
tax on combined room rate + fee @ 13% = $6.3635 [(A+B) x 13%]
total taxes so far = $5.20 + $6.3635 = $11.56
Add the base resort fee itself of $8.95 to this = $5.20 + $6.3635 + $8.95 = $20.51, which is what they quote as the taxes

Night 2:
(C) room rate $48
(D) Amenities fee $8.95
PRE-TAX room rate + fee = C + D = $56.95 ($48 + $8.95)
room tax @ 13% = $6.24 [(C) x 13%]
tax on combined room rate + fee @ 13% = $7.4035 [(C+D) x 13%]
total taxes so far = $6.24 + 7.4035 = $13.6435
Add the base resort fee itself of $8.95 to this = $6.24 + $7.4035+ $8.95 = $22.59, which is what they quote as the taxes

Night 3:
(E) room rate $119
(F) Amenities fee $8.95
PRE-TAX room rate + fee = E + F = $56.95 ($119 + $8.95)
room tax @ 13% = $15.47 [(E) x 13%]
tax on combined room rate + fee @ 13% = $16.6335 [(E+F) x 13%]
total taxes so far = $15.47 + 16.6335 = $32.1035
Add the base resort fee itself of $8.95 to this = $15.47 + $16.6335+ $8.95 = $41.05, which is what they quote as the taxes

Something stinks about this, especially since at other properties that charge a resort fee, the tax on said fee is less than this. For example, a $25/day resort fee is $28 with tax (This is what I paid last May per day at Vdara.). Plaza charges $10/day for their resort fee and the tax on the resort fee is $1.30.

I think the hotels are collecting the tax to keep the government off their case on resort fees. The government gets their beak wet, which is something the airline industry isn't doing with their various fees.

The resort fee is a tax on us isn't it? I do not like this at all.

jimmybond nailed it. The system is just double taxing the room. Nice job.

I believe tax is 13% downtown and 12% on the strip (for both room rate and resort fee).

I loved my stay in an El Cortez Cabana Suites room a couple years ago.

But now I have to decide whether maintaining my personal boycott on paying resort fees is worth me staying only at Main Street Station or Casino Royale on my next Vegas trip.

At this rate, I'm just going to rent a car and sleep in that.

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