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Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced today that the Oregon Department of Justice has reached a settlement with Choice Hotels International, Inc. regarding the disclosure of what they call “resort fees.” Choice Hotels is one of the largest hotel chains in the world. It operates many recognizable hotel chains, including over 90 locations across Oregon, operating brands like Clarion Hotels, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, and Rodeway Inn.
Over the years, travelers have been reportedly misled by the published rates offered by hotels for a night’s stay only to later learn of “resort fees” through the hotel industry’s practice of “drip pricing,” where the rate initially advertised does not include additional mandatory fees. When this happens, customers don’t learn the total price of their booking, room rate plus resort fee, until the last page in the online booking process, or sometimes even until they check in at the hotel.
“Figuring out how much a hotel room is actually going to cost should not be so hard! Price comparisons need to be truthful, quick and easy— not sneaky and deceptive,“ said AG Rosenblum. “This settlement holds Choice Hotels to the standards of conduct consumers should expect. They are committing to ending their deceptive marketing practices and their hidden fees — and setting the tone for other hotel chains to follow suit.”
With these settlements, Choice Hotels has committed to putting a policy in place to be upfront and transparent in the disclosure of mandatory fees, including resort fees, as part of the total price of a hotel stay– allowing consumers to be able to compare total price costs for hotels and find the one that is the best fit and price for them.
Choice Hotels has committed to prominently disclose the total price of a hotel stay, including room rate, “resort fee,” and all other mandatory fees, on the first page of its booking website as part of the total room rate. The company has committed to implementing these changes by the end of the year.
Source: Oregon Attorney General's Office