An online survey conducted by M&C in
December shows a distinct majority of planners (82 percent) used
resort properties in 2004. The average number of resort meetings
held per planner came in at just under four.
Six in 10 of the 395 planners who used resort hotels said most
or all of the properties charged a resort fee. While 55 percent
said the number of properties levying the fees has not changed
since 2003, 41 percent said the number has increased since 2003,
and 4 percent said the practice has decreased.
Most planners are prepared to confront resort fees,
as only 13 percent said the charges are not apparent before going
to contract. Eighty-three percent of those polled said skillful
negotiation makes those fees disappear at least some of the time. A
plurality (44 percent) said they generally do not ask for the fees
to be rolled into the overall room rate.
The average resort fee planners are encountering is just over
$12, which includes in-room amenities and business services such as
newspaper delivery (83 percent) and local phone service (78
percent). The fees also include resort services such as the use of
fitness centers (88 percent) and recreation facilities like tennis
courts or pools (73 percent).
Not surprisingly, the distinct majority of those
polled (89 percent) felt these fees should be eliminated.
By Art Pfenning, director, M&C Research; firstname.lastname@example.org