51°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Marriott sued by District of Columbia because of resort fees

The attorney general for the District of Columbia is suing Marriott for its use of resort fees, pointing to the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel as an example of how the company is allegedly deceiving customers by hiding a portion of its daily rates.

The lawsuit against Marriott was filed Tuesday in District of Columbia’s Superior Court after an investigation conducted by all 50 state attorneys general.

Jessica Adair, spokeswoman for the Nevada Attorney General’s office, said the office is still deciding on what steps to take following the investigation. The office is not currently involved in a resort fees lawsuit.

“We’re still looking at the complaint from the D.C. AG’s office and evaluating the facts in order to make the best decision for Nevada,” she said.

In the lawsuit, the office of the District of Columbia attorney general says the case is about “straight-forward price deception.”

Marriott says it doesn’t comment on pending litigation but is continuing its discussions with other state attorneys general.

The lawsuit accuses Maryland-based Marriott of using drip pricing, an unlawful practice in which companies hide a portion of a hotel room’s daily rate in advertisements, using terms like “resort fees,” “amenity fees,” or “destination fees.”

A resort fee is a mandatory fee that an overnight guest must pay for additional services such as Wi-Fi, pool and gym access, regardless of whether the guest actually uses them.

“Consumers shopping for a hotel room on either Marriott’s website, or a travel agency site … are misled into believing a Marriott hotel room is cheaper than it actually is,” the lawsuit reads. “Marriott’s motive in continuing this deceptive practice is pure profit.”

According to the lawsuit, this practice has earned Marriott hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade, with at least 189 properties charging resort fees ranging from $9 to $95 a day. Marriott has 28 hotels in the Las Vegas Valley, according to its website.

The lawsuit is seeking a court order that requires Marriott to advertise the fees up front.

Casino executives and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority have said they don’t have evidence resort fees are turning away customers.

Images included in the lawsuit show screenshots of booking rates listed at $219 last month. But the quoted room rate does not include, or mention, the mandatory resort fee.

Eventually, customers are allowed to click a “Summary of Charges” button to find they are being charged an additional $30 in destination amenity fees and $33.32 for additional “estimated government taxes and fees” for a total of $282.32.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Binion's debuts a spinning bar overlooking Fremont Street Experience
Binion's debuted its spinning bar inside the Whiskey Licker Up Saloon. The Rotating bar only goes at one full rotation per 15 minutes overlooking the Fremont Street Experience. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Southern Nevada could set a new resale-price record in coming months.
The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes – the bulk of the market – was $310,000 in September. Before the economy crashed last decade, prices peaked in June 2006 at $315,000, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.(Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Walmart container park in Henderson - VIDEO
Henderson could be home to a container park associated with a Walmart Inc. initiative. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recession lessons could help Las Vegas face next slump - VIDEO
While the last economic downturn had a dramatic impact on local casinos, most experts expect the industry will be better able to weather the storm during the next recession. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM and victims of Oct. 1 reach settlement agreement - VIDEO
MGM Resorts International and lawyers representing potentially thousands of victims of the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip have reached a tentative settlement of between $735 million and $800 million. (Mat Luschek /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Live music and EDM dominate the night on day 2 of A’Le’Innstock
After sunset bands rocked the crowds at A’Le’Innstock in Rachel, Nevada on the second night of the event.
iPhone 11 Release
Local Las Vegas long time Apple product consumer shares her excitement for the new iPhone 11 release Downtown Summerlin. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lihi Levin talks about a mobil app Dropit - VIDEO
Lihi Levin, regional manager at Dropit Shopping, talks about a mobil app Dropit. The app lets customers leave their shopping bags at a store then have them delivered the same day to their home or hotel so they can shop without carrying multiple bags all day. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
North Las Vegas company prepares for Mars - VIDEO
Robert Bigelow and his Bigelow Aerospace manufacturing facility played host to eight NASA astronauts and 60 engineers this week getting to know the company’s B330 autonomous, expandable space station. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas developer talks about a new apartment complex called “the yoU”
Frank Marretti lll, founder of G2 Capital Development, talks about his new apartment complex called “the yoU” near UNLV. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Steel cables will hoist roof at Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
Stainless steel cables are being put into place at Allegiant Stadium to begin the process of putting the roof on the 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. Stadium Chief Operating Officer Don Webb explains how the cables will be used to get the roof put on the future home of the Raiders and UNLV football. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The last remaining Sigma Derby game in Las Vegas
Derek Stevens, owner of the D Las Vegas, talks about the last remaining Sigma Derby horse racing game in Las Vegas inside his casino floor. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich Review
Janine Blake of Las Vegas gives her review of the new Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich at the restaurant’s location on west Bonanza Road on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019,
SuperZoo 2019 takes over Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
SuperZoo 2019 show for pet retailers brought pet products of all description to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MSG Sphere at The Venetian to cost $1.2B plus
Scheduled to open in 2021, it is expected to be busier than Madison Square Garden in New York. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Favorite products from SuperZoo 2019
Some of the fun and interesting pet products on display at the SuperZoo in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Convention Day 3
The fashion trade show MAGIC, held Monday through Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Las Vegas - Day One
The biannual MAGIC convention show opened Monday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant celebrates naming deal with tailgate party
Allegiant Air employees celebrate with a tailgate party after the company’s naming deal with the Raiders for the new Las Vegas stadium.
Nevada's sportsbook operators welcome competition
Sportsbook operators from near and far are looking to get into in the established Nevada market, experts say. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
THE LATEST