Caesars began charging out-of-state guests to self-park in late March at the Linq, and continued rolling out the fees at other resorts up and down the Strip throughout the year. But to date, Nevadans have been immune from paying simply by swiping their Silver State driver’s licenses.
That’s all changing on November 2, when state residents will also be forced to pay to self-park. Free parking for Nevadans will no longer be offered at the gaming operator’s seven Strip properties, which are Caesars Palace, Paris, Bally’s, The Cromwell, Flamingo, Linq, and Harrah’s.
Free self-parking spaces will remain at the Rio and in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Additionally, Total Rewards loyalty program members in the Platinum or above tier, which means a minimum of 5,000 points, will continue to be offered free self-parking across Caesars’ casino portfolio.
Caesars Executive VP of Public Affairs Richard Broome told the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week that the company had noticed an uptick in people coming to its properties only to park, and that’s made space limited for actual customers. That’s almost certainly due to MGM Resorts, which began charging both visitors and Nevadans for self-parking last December.
MGM and Caesars own the most properties on the Strip, likely meaning other casino operators will need to follow suit if they, too, want to keep spaces open for their customers. At least it makes a handy excuse to pin a “pay to park” move on, anyway.
Wynn Resorts announced its implementation of self-parking charges last summer as well.
Locals, Visitors Upset
The Caesars parking changes are, not surprisingly, pretty unwelcomed by locals, and visitors aren’t happy to discover they’re trips to Sin City are costing more, either.
At the seven Caesars properties where self-parking will no longer be offered, the first hour will remain free. One to four hours at Caesars Palace will run $10, while up to four hours at the other six resorts will cost $7.
24-hour self-parking will run $12 at Caesars Palace, and $10 at the remaining properties. Valet rates are $20 per day at Caesars Palace, and $18 at the others.
By comparison, in Atlantic City, parking spaces are mandated to cost $3 per visit, a fee that goes towards local government. Casinos typically charge $5 per day (Golden Nugget and Resorts both absorb the $3 fee and offer free self-parking), but also inflate rates during special events and high-visitation periods.
Special Event Upcharges
Caesars was scrutinized in Atlantic City for price gouging in 2015 when it charged $50 per space during two large summer beach concerts by country music stars Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum. Both of the company’s Boardwalk properties, Caesars and Bally’s, charged the $50.
So far, MGM and Caesars haven’t revealed whether they might inflate their rates during busy times on the Strip. For instance, MGM’s Mandalay Bay parking garage will feature coveted spaces in the coming years as it’s just steps from the future Las Vegas Raiders football stadium.
Still Free Parking, For Now
Though it’s becoming more difficult to find, free parking does remain on the Strip. The Sands’ Venetian and Palazzo casinos continue to offer both free valet and self-parking, as does Phil Ruffin’s Treasure Island.
Free valet is offered at the Trump International Hotel, and free self-parking is still available at Circus Circus, SLS Las Vegas, and the Stratosphere. Most Las Vegas Strip major malls also continue to lure in shoppers with the promise of free parking, including the Fashion Show Mall, the Shoppes at Mandalay Bay, and CityCenter’s The Shops at Crystals.