Up-to-date as of 10/23/17.
If you’ve booked a room in Atlantic City, you are well aware that the price you see advertised is not the price you pay. Sometimes it’s not even close. Whether it’s a “comped” night that ends up costing $32 or an already-expensive $300 Friday-through-Sunday stay that balloons to more than $390, the fees and taxes are a frustrating element of booking rooms at casino hotels.
In Atlantic City, the hotel tax rate is a whopping 13.875%, and New Jersey tacks on another $5 in fees. (For comparison’s sake, Las Vegas has a hotel tax rate of 12% and no occupancy fee.) All of that is before you get hit with the resort fee, which is the hotel’s way of
giving you a bundle of amenities at one low price keeping the advertised price low while increasing their Average Daily Rate.
To make matters more confusing, some AC properties include the $5 of New Jersey fees in the resort fee while others keep them separate. Plus the resort fee is subject to the 13.875% tax while the $3 occupancy fee is not, and hotels differ on whether or not the tax is included in the listed resort fee, and some casinos add tax on the $2 tourism promotion fee while others don’t. Digesting all of that?
In the interest of clearing this up, below is a list of resort fees at Atlantic City casino hotels. The “Effective Fee” is a combination of the resort fee, taxes on that fee, the $3 state occupancy fee, and the $2 state tourism promotion fee (and any taxes on that fee):
|Hotel||Resort Fee||$5 NJ Fee Included?||Tax Included?||Effective Fee|
10/23/17 Update: The tax on the $2 tourism fee seems to be just about universal. Darryl McEwen of Seven Stars Insider emailed to let us know that Tropicana is now $22.36 just like Borgata. Based on Resorts’ online booking system, it seems that their fee remains $22.08.
8/22/17 Update: Borgata no longer includes state tax in their $15 resort fee, and now also charges tax on the $2 tourism promotion fee (which we’ve always lumped in with the occupancy fee for simplicity … not so simple now). This brings the effective fee at Borgata to $22.36 and also explains why Caesars’ effective fees are $32.28 and not $32.
7/5/17 Update: Tropicana no longer includes the state tax or $5 occupancy in their $15 resort fee, which brings the total to $22.08, matching Resorts.
5/9/17 Update: Resorts has increased their resort fee again from $13.67 to $17.08. Caesars has increased their fee to $23.71. With the $5 occupancy fee and new tax rate of 13.875%
this should work out to $32 even but for some reason it shows up on online booking as $32.28, along with tax on the $2 tourism promotion fee, the total effective fee is now $32.28. The table below is updated, and also reflects the new tax rate of 13.875% (down from 14%).
1/4/17 Update: Resorts has increased their resort fee from $10 to $13.67, but it includes the tax now so the increased cost to you is $2.27. The table below is updated.
11/11/16 Update: Borgata has increased their fee $5, so it is now $15 not including the $5 occupancy fee.
9/20/16 Update: Caesars Entertainment has increased the resort fees from $20 to $23.68 at its three properties (Caesars, Harrah’s, and Bally’s), meaning you will now pay $32.00 for a “comp” room. Also, Golden Nugget’s $10 resort fee no longer includes the $5 occupancy fee, and Tropicana has increased their fee from $12 to $15.
It’s important to note that these fees are waived for elite status players club members at many properties. Darryl McEwen, creator of Seven Stars Insider, provided the following info:
- Caesars, Bally’s and Harrah’s: Resort fee waived for Total Rewards Diamond and Seven Stars cardholders. Note: You will sometimes be charged the $5 NJ occupancy/toursim fee. It seems it is more likely to be waived if you book through a host.
- Borgata: Resort fee waived for My Borgata Rewards Titanium cardholders. Also, you can use comp dollars to pay the resort fee and the $5 occupancy/tourism fee.
- Resorts: Resort fee and taxes waived for Star Card Red Carpet cardholders. It’s unclear if this includes the $5 occupancy/tourism fee. You can use comp dollars to pay the resort fee but not the occupancy/tourism fee.
- Tropicana: Resort fee waived for Trop Advantage Black cardholders. It’s unclear if the $5 occupancy/tourism fee is also waived. You can use comp dollars to pay the resort fee and the occupancy/tourism fee.
So this is all worth keeping in mind next time you go to book an AC hotel (unless you have premium status in a player’s club that waives your resort fees, in which case you can ignore all of this). And it could be worse — Caesars just raised resort fees at many of their Las Vegas properties to $32 per night, which matches the fees at Wynn, Encore, Bellagio, Aria, Vdara, Venetian, and Palazzo.
TROPICANA TRAVEL SITE UPDATE: When we checked on 5/9/17, Tropicana was no longer charging hidden extra fees on third party booking sites. A $99.99 room through Expedia or Hotels.com totaled $128.87, which is the standard 13.875% tax plus their $15 resort fee. Yay!