If you have never been to Las Vegas you might not know this, but at most casinos lining the strip parking has been offered free of charge for guests for the longest of times. At many of these casinos, however, all of that is going to change once we turn our calendars to 2017. Only a few days ago, Caesars Entertainment delivered an announcement which stated, simply, that it was going to begin charging for self-parking at most of the casinos they owned beginning this upcoming January. According to KTNV.com, by December 19th of this year many of these same casinos will begin charging for valet services as well.
If you have ever been to Las Vegas, you realize quickly that, aside from valet parking and those parking lots that exist at casinos, there are not many places where you can safely park your car. The move to paid parking is something that is concerning not only to prospective visitors, but also to citizens who have, for years, relied on these free parking lots. Naturally, now that MGM and Caesars have both begun to move to paid parking, there is a very real fear that every other casino will make the same move. There is little evidence to support this as of yet, but we imagine that once the parking revenue figures are released by MGM and Caesars, the move will be irresistible to other casinos.
A Change from the Old Norm
If you read what Caesars’ website has to say about the shift, they are defending their actions and decisions by saying that the move to paid parking is something that would be consistent with their operations in other cities both in the US and around the world. If you can recall, MGM made a similar decision a little over a year ago, and it did not go over very well with residents and visitors. In fact, the move infuriated people to such a large degree that at least one online petition was started.
Though MGM announced they would delay the institution of paid parking, it is now being rolled out at their Las Vegas properties. Though the finer details of Caesars’ plans to charge for parking, such as how much people will be charged, have not yet been laid out, we can look to MGM for what can best be described as precedent. At these properties, a day of self-parking will cost anywhere from $8-$10 while valet will cost anywhere from $13-$18. Currently, license-holding Nevada residents are able to park for free at MGM properties, however this will end by the end of December.
Certain local residents and Total Rewards members who have reached at least a platinum level will be exempt from paid parking, but everyone else will not be.
The first two Caesars properties who will be charging for parking are The LINQ and Harrah’s, but the other 6 will follow shortly thereafter. While paying for parking may not be the best news in the world, patrons at some of the Caesars properties will at least have something to show for the money that was spent. Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Flamingo, Bally’s, and Paris Las Vegas will all be equipped with special systems that will help people who are parking quickly and easily locate open spots. This will alleviate some of the headache associated with parking in these often crowded lots. Still, even the guided parking systems are not enough to dispel the utter disgust most people feel for this move.
The Rio, which is located a few blocks off The Strip, will continue to operate with free parking for everyone.
As we move forward and casinos feel the continuous pressure to boost revenues, it seems as though it is only a matter of time until all Las Vegas casinos force patrons to pay for parking. The simple fact of the matter is that most people can afford to pay for the parking, and Caesars and MGM, knowing this, are going to do everything in their power to squeeze those extra few dollars out of your pocket.