Las Vegas Strip Free Parking Change
Las Vegas used to be known as a “bang for your buck” destination. Gone are the days of the true cheap Vegas experience though thanks in part to an effort towards attracting more affluent clientele, the improving economy and the popularity of Vegas itself.
Following the Great Recession in 2008, many hotels began charging resort fees. These fees started out small and helped the properties avoid hefty commissions to travel agents. Over time room rates have risen though and so have the fees. This has resulted in angry customers and high costs.
Then, a couple of years ago many Strip casinos decided to charge for parking. While this is the norm in many cities, the Las Vegas Strip had always been a free parking mecca with ample garage parking everywhere. While it’s true that Downtown Las Vegas has charged for parking forever, there was one huge difference.
When paid parking was implemented on the Strip, there was no way for the common man to avoid having to pay. In Downtown Las Vegas, just about everywhere you park can be free with validation. On the Strip, you either need some sort of casino elite status or you have to pay. It doesn’t matter how much you spend.
Wynn Las Vegas New Parking Policy
Thankfully, two hotels are backtracking. Wynn Resorts announced a big change to their parking policy (for Wynn & Encore) effective July 1, 2018. Under the new policy:
- Hotel guests will receive free parking. More specifically parking will be included in the $39 resort fee they pay.
- Guests who spend $50 or more on property will receive free parking. This will include money spent on gaming, food, dining and shopping.
This is perhaps the first admission that the fees had gone too far. Wynn is also located in an area where free parking still exists. Properties like TI, Venetian, Palazzo and even the Fashion Show Mall across the street all have free parking. One could imagine that Wynn was losing business to their neighbors by having this policy.
Will Others Follow?
I think the abundance of fees has soured many on the Vegas experience. Anecdotally less people are visiting for leisure but only time will tell if that is a long term trend. MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment have a lock on much of the South and Center Strip and thus have an easier time charging, since there are less neighbors to give parking away.
With that said, I think we will see adjustments to parking policies that allow paying customers to park for free. Either way, let’s chalk this one up as a win. What do you think? Is this a good move and will other casinos follow? Let us know your thoughts in a comment.