Las Vegas is becoming more synonymous with fees than it is gambling (or your favorite vice of choice).
In addition to resort fees, there’s another surcharge you should know about: the “CNF” fee.
So if you’re headed to Sin City this weekend or any time soon (maybe for one of the mileage runs involving LAS), watch out for this bogus fee — and know you can fight it.
Even if your travel plans don’t include Las Vegas, it might be something worth keeping in mind during future travels. Other destinations might think, “Oooh, we can do that and make more money!?”
What is the CNF Fee?
CNF stands for “Concession and Franchise.” They’re charges some restaurants and bars add because, well, they can.
But they’re not official taxes. They’re little “Gocha!”s these businesses add — and hope you won’t notice. Or if you do, you may just assume it’s a legitimate, mandated tax — and pay extra charges you can avoid.
CNF fees “can amount to as much as 5% of the total bill,” writes the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiller. “And state and local sales taxes are applied to those extra fees as well.”
“With resort fees, you ostensibly receive something in return, no matter how dubious,” says Las Vegas Advisor’s Anthony Curtis. “With CNFs, you don’t get anything. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. The CNF is supposedly related to fees that the casinos collect from the restaurant concessions, a surcharge for a restaurant’s prime location.”
Commercial real estate broker Frank Volk told the Times, “I’ve never heard of these fees in a lease, and there’d be no requirement in a lease to pass these fees on to customers. These are made-up fees, pure profit. They charge it because they think no one will question it, so they can get away with it.”
It sort of sounds like the infamous Ticketmaster fees — but for drinks and food.
Which Las Vegas Bars and Restaurants Charge a CNF Fee?
Vital Vegas — a fantastic blog I’ve found extremely helpful for Vegas tips — maintains a list of establishments charging the CNF fee.
Can You Fight the Dreaded CNF Surcharge?
Kindly asking your server to remove the charge has done the trick for a few people whose experiences I read about.
“Should a guest be uncomfortable with the surcharge, our policy is to explain it and, if appropriate, remove it,” Kelli Maruca, of Las Vegas’ Hexx told Mr. Hiller.
I love Las Vegas. I visit there for business and fun several times each year. The locals are incredibly nice, I enjoy the atmosphere, and there’s plenty to do.
But Sin City’s escalating prices are becoming a deterrent for many people I know. (In fact, one of my clients has cut their Vegas travel budget.) And these bogus surcharges certainly don’t help its reputation.
Featured image: ©iStock.com/pashyksv
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