The Final Check-Out: Bidding Farewell to Undisclosed Mandatory Resort Fees
By Mark S. Adams Partner , Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP | December 2023
In October this year, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law (effective July 1, 2024) a sweeping ban on pricing goods and services without including all mandatory fees or charges.
Presently pending in the U.S. Senate is a bipartisan-supported bill that would do the same.
These bills join state governments, federal authorities, state attorneys general, and consumer advocacy groups in intensified scrutiny of undisclosed mandatory resort fees included in hotel rates. Additionally, several state attorney generals and consumer groups are targeting hotels that charge undisclosed resort fees.
In response to this developing trend, it is imperative for hotel owners to quickly implement full transparency, revealing the total cost of mandatory resort fees upfront. Failure to do so may result in significant financial penalties, expensive litigation, and reputational damage among consumers, who often do not view these fees favorably.
What are Resort Fees?
Resort fees are extra charges imposed by hotels and resorts, ostensibly for providing certain amenities. This additional cost is typically calculated daily and added to the basic room rate. Resort fees are sometimes relabeled as a facility fee, destination fee, amenity fee, urban fee, or resort charge. In the end, they are all the same thing; and even if a guest does not actually use the amenities associated with the resort fees, they are still required to pay for them.