It’s a trend that RV owners are loving: regional casinos across the United States often have ample parking space to accommodate overnight motor homes and travel trailers, and retirees and vacationers are taking full advantage of that fact.
With gambling venues now spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific, RVers traversing the country have plenty of casino destinations to take park at. With nearly every casino featuring some level of around-the-clock security (albeit not as stringent in a lot as on the tables where the money is), people staying in RVs say they feel safer in such parking lots, compared with big box store chains like Wal-Mart and Home Depot.
Boondocking with Benefits
According to a recent report in The Green Sheet Farm Forum’s Motor Matters section, the popularity of recreational vehicles is skyrocketing, as is the use of regional casinos for overnight parking. Many casinos are gladly welcoming the vehicles, as they believe guests will at some point come into the property to eat, shop, and gamble.
“In our early years on the road, every time we would stumble upon a casino, we pulled in to play for a few hours and sample the buffet. No matter what the state, we often noticed a number of RVs parked in the casino lot, usually grouped together at the far end,” Jane Kenny, author of Casino Camping: Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos, told the Farm Forum.
There are many perks of RV “boondocking” at casinos, as it’s come to be known. In addition to 24-hour security, casinos offer plenty of food options, entertainment, and, of course, gaming. Perhaps at least as importantly, properties catering to RV owners have also began offering free sewer dumps and electricity hook ups.
Not the Same Everywhere
Before you get on the road towards Sin City, it’s worth noting that while regional casinos embrace RVs, that’s not necessarily the case along the Las Vegas Strip. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a parking spot near the busiest casinos.
A popular solution for RV travelers in Vegas is setting up camp at the Circus Circus RV Park. For about $45 a night, large vehicles can be stationed in one of 178 sites. Each space has water and electric hook ups, and the park also offers dumping stations.
For those looking for free parking, it’s becoming less available. MGM Resorts, the company that owns the most resorts in Las Vegas, began the unpopular trend of charging guests to park their vehicles in 2016. Wynn Resorts soon followed, eliminating free valet services, and Caesars Entertainment implemented parking fees at its properties soon thereafter.
But for a charge, RV-friendly parking lots can be found. Bally’s is one such resort, on the central Strip.
Don’t Leave it to Chance
RVers say the best practice is to call ahead before parking your rig at a casino. “Rarely will a casino turn away a camper who asks for permission to stay overnight in their lot, and if they do, it is usually for lack of space to accommodate large vehicles,” Kenny explained.
Once arrived, those who “boondock” at casinos say they like to introduce themselves to security personnel in order to let them know they’ll be sleeping in their vehicle. Except when they’re inside adding to the casino’s coffers, of course. Win-win.