After Las Vegas casinos reopened on June 4 after months of viral lockdown, some Strip eateries have decided it would be a good idea to tack on an extra 4% ‘COVID-19 fee’ to the bill.
Casino Fees Galore
While it’s understandable that Vegas businesses need to think of creative ways to recoup losses after a 3-month closure, padding the bill may just backfire. Many tourists and pundits alike are fed up with all the extra fees added at Vegas casinos. These extras include resort fees, cocktail fees, service fees, and venue fees.
“Typically, I’d go into rant mode,” Roeben explained. “Because part of my stock and trade is helping people avoid these annoying fees. But as I thought about it more, I’m like, ‘Yeah, I do support these places. And I tip more now to support the servers.’ So, this is like a tip for the restaurant itself,” Roeben added.
Some of the Vegas eateries charging fees include Joe’s Seafood, Mon Ami Gabi, and El Segundo Sol. Since entrees at these place run between $14 to $80 each, the added 4% might be a bit much for some visitors.
But the restaurants in question have a disclaimer which states that the COVID-19 fee is voluntary, and guests can have them removed from the bill if they request it. However, in order to take special steps to request a bill be altered before a meal makes the fee seem more like any other hidden casino fee.
A bill for a typical meal at Joe’s Seafood totals around $77, so the extra fee might just sting as much as the high price tag. The overall food quality has gone up since the bygone days of the cheap Vegas buffets, and top notch restaurants rule the roost in Vegas.
Roeben added that he doesn’t mind supporting his favorite eateries in times of need, as long as the fee is temporary. The only other option is for the restaurants to raise prices across the board.
“But you know how that is. Once you go up, they don’t often go back. So I’d rather have this tacked on temporarily,” Roeben said.