Hotel Internet Evolution & A Shocking Surprise in Atlantic City

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no free internet atlantic city
Atlantic City Boardwalk

No Free Internet in Hotels

For a traveler, especially one who works on the road like me, the struggle for good internet is real. A decade ago the internet situation was sort of counter-intuitive. When I stayed in hostels and less fancy types of accommodation then the internet was free and generally fast. If I stepped up to a nicer hotel it was costly and often slow.

Of course every country and situation is different. In the U.S. we have always had fairly generous amounts of bandwidth. I remember traveling to Australia’s Gold Coast in 2008 where I chose a quaint Inn because they advertised free internet which was rare. I had a lot of catching up on the blog that I needed to do and began uploading and working.

After about an hour or so the internet was shut off. When I asked the Inn Keeper as to why, he started screaming at me about how I was using all of his bandwidth and how it was going to cost him a fortune. We went back and forth for a few minutes before he agreed to let me back on the internet as long as I didn’t upload anything. Sigh.

These days of course internet is generally pretty good and free. Almost all of the major hotel chains have made internet free for members and I generally have some sort of elite status to help fill in the gaps. In other words, I cannot for the life of me remember when I didn’t have free WiFi at a hotel. Well that is until the other night.

Atlantic City = No Free Internet

I am in Atlantic City on a quick bridge trip between my family time in New York City and Reselling DO near Baltimore. Instead of flying all the way back home to Vegas, I decided to stay back East. Atlantic City has always interested me, so I was glad to finally get to visit. I was also glad to have a comped room at Caesar’s thanks to my Total Rewards Diamond status obtained through Founderscard.

After arriving in Atlantic City, I checked into the hotel and headed upstairs to get some work done. Thankfully the WiFi signal was strong and I noticed two options. The premium option was $21.99. I didn’t need that, I thought, so I just selected the basic “free” option. Except that it wasn’t free. It was $13.99 per day! Not even my Diamond status could get me out of that charge.

no free internet atlantic city

In Vegas of course the internet at all properties is now “free” or to be more honest is included in the resort fee. Here they don’t have a resort fee, so it really isn’t fair for me to be too mad, but I was shocked that they actually wanted me to pay for internet. What is next, charging for use of the shower? 😉

In the end I tethered to my phone’s 4G connection and didn’t give Caesar’s the benefit of getting my money. Last night I stayed in the Borgata, a hotel that is sensible enough to actually let customers have WiFi for free. (Not really they charge a Vegas style resort fee.)

Conclusion

While free internet in hotels is an idea that is becoming the widely accepted norm, there are still some holdouts apparently. This past year or so we have seen almost all of the major brands move towards free internet and that will push the smaller players to offer it to. The days of paying for internet in hotels are almost over, but we aren’t quite there yet.

When was the last time you paid for internet in a hotel? I honestly can’t tell you when it was for me.


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21 COMMENTS

  1. I have read the diamond lounges charge there too…I think $20 in comps to get in but I guess they have legit buffets in them instead of just finger foods like in Vegas.

    How are you liking the boardwalk etc? I have not been since I was a kid but have been wanting to get out there.

  2. Shawn, curious if you could confirm Mark’s comment that the Diamond lounge offered “meal”-level food, as I have heard the same about Caesar’s AC. Also would like to hear what you thought about the room.

  3. Diamond club is available in all 3 properties in AC. Ballots has a great ocean view. All three are buffet style and really quite nice. Not finger foods.

  4. You do realize AC is literally bankrupt right? The casinos need to squeeze every buck from you to stay in business. AC is and has been crumbling for years.

    • Yes the city is bankrupt. Some areas are not doing well. The Marina area with the Borgata, Golden Nugget and Harrah’s was packed. I suspect AC will be around as a destination for awhile. Definitely not what it was though.

      • Can you say “competition”? For many years they were the only game (pardon the pun) in town. With Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut joining the fun, there are now numerous options for the gambling dollar. AC did not prepare. They thought themselves a little Vegas. The problem is its not

  5. I have about given up on staying in Hotels unless I have points for it. Have not poaid for internet for years and simply will not. It ought to the same as having light bulbs and water in your room! Airbnb has treated me SO well both hosting and as a guest. Plus more personable and easy-peasy as well. Screw resort fees, etc.

  6. So far I have never paid for internet at a hotel. Sometimes it is weak and slow as molasses, but then I usually
    find that moving to a different part of the hotel helps, the lobby being my first choice.

  7. Most hotels do have resort fees (whatever they might call them) and still have the audacity of charging for the internet. Some hotels don’t charge, like already mentioned Borgata and also Resorts and Showboat (not a casino anymore). The worst part is they have no incentive of investing into their equipment so the connection sucks, and outages are frequent. Tethering is the way to go in AC, unfortunately.

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