There is some legal trouble surrounding the way some hotel owners advertise resort fees. Places like Nebraska and Washington D.C. are starting to file lawsuits against common resort fee practices, and it’s likely to continue throughout the United States. 

There is a current Hilton lawsuit that was brought up by the Nebraska attorney general. Along with this lawsuit, the D.C. attorney general is suing Marriott over resort fees. It’s imperative that hotel owners pay attention to these lawsuits. Due to these events, it seems that more states are likely to follow suit. The argument that these lawsuits are centered around is “Why is there a resort fee and why isn’t it built into the room rate?” The government is saying that the resort fees should be a part of the room rate, or it needs to be disclosed along with the room rate. 

Looking at this from a competitive perspective, if you have two properties, one of them being more of an actual resort and it is advertising the same rate as a hotel that does not have resort fees. The hotel without the resort fees is at a competitive disadvantage if the customer is expecting the resort fee to be included in the other room rate. This presents a marketing opportunity for hotels that do not charge resort fees. They can advertise that they do not charge resort fees although many other lodging locations in the area do charge them. 

We will need to keep an eye on what is happening from a resort fee perspective. Now would be a good time to start bragging about not charging a resort fee, especially if your largest competitors are charging one. 

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