Strat Rolls Out Fees for Premium Parking Spots

All the parking at Strat has always been free, but that’s no longer the case. Strat recently rolled out paid parking for “premium” spaces in its self-park garage, a program dubbed “Stratvantage Premium Parking.”

The idea of “premium” parking isn’t new, as it’s in place at Tropicana as well.

The idea is guests are given the option of paying for greater convenience. The potential peril for Las Vegas casinos: The perception of nickel-and-diming.

Define “required.”

At Strat, about 10% of the spaces in the resort’s self-park garage are now subject to fees.

Valet parking at The Strat is still free.

The “premium” spaces are those near elevators (about 10-12 spots on each floor) or on the same floor as the garage’s walkway into the casino, the third floor. (The third floor of the garage is now a mix of either paid premium spots or spaces reserved for loyalty club members.)

During our recent visit, we saw no signage about the new paid parking spaces, but a “citation” of sorts was slipped under our windshield wiper letting us know we’d parked in a premium spot and needed to pay.

Some guests seeing this slip of paper would presumably scan or text to pay. We are not one of those guests. If we aren’t informed beforehand there’s a charge to park, we are under no obligation to pay.

A rep from Strat said signs are being installed, so that would probably change the game.

Yes, lots of casino charge for parking now. That doesn’t mean we have to like it.

It’s never fun when casinos start charging for something that’s always been free, but we get the reasoning. Such fees are a case of making the most of supply and demand (at the moment, demand is high), and similar fees have been instituted in restaurants to reserve specific in-demand tables.

Some Las Vegas restaurants now charge guests for window seats, and some guests actually appreciate such fees because they don’t have to navigate trying to figure out who to tip, or how much, to get that perfect table with the perfect view for their perfect night out in Sin City.

Top of the World at Strat is one of the restaurants with reserved seating, along with Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris, Giada at Cromwell, Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Harrah’s and Prime at Bellagio.

The cost for premium parking at Strat is $8.35 for 1-4 hours, $12.35 for more than four hours, each additional day is $12.35, according to The Strat.

The service is operated by a third party company, SP Plus.

In an odd twist, from what we can tell, paying for premium parking at Strat is based upon the honor system.

Scanning the QR code on the “Reprimand Slip” (pictured above—our term, not theirs) takes one to a Web site, There, you presumably enter your license plate number, choose a period of time you’ll be parked in the premium space (who knows that going into a casino?) and pay up.

You know who should have to pay extra for parking? The idiots who put footprints on overhead beams in parking garages.

It’s unclear how such parking fees would be enforced. Hotel security can’t issue citations (they aren’t law enforcement), and it’s unlikely local law enforcement or City of Las Vegas parking enforcement would do so.

We also can’t imagine a scenario where a casino would tow a guest’s car for not paying $10 for a premium spot. Not the ideal guest experience.

There are currently no parking gates or machines in the parking garage or casino area at Strat.

That leads us to believe paid parking for premium spaces at Strat is voluntary, which is a smidge weird.

We’ve reached out to Strat for comment and clarification of its new paid parking policy. We also reached out to SP Plus for more details, but haven’t heard back yet.

The bottom line is this new paid parking policy will have zero impact on our enjoyment of Strat. It’s one of our favorite casinos on The Strip. Yes, it’s part of The Strip. Don’t get us started. Strat’s about to get even better with two new restaurants in the works.

We aren’t a fan of nuisance fees, so we’ll park in the 90% of spaces that are still free and walk a few more feet.

You sort of can’t miss it.

The Strat’s location remains a challenge, and we trust they’ll continue to need free parking to entice guests.

If you’re keeping track at home, The Strip casinos with free self-parking include: Tropicana (mostly), TI, Venetian/Palazzo, Casino Royale, Resorts World, Circus Circus, The Strat (mostly), Wynn and Encore.

Yes, Sahara also has free parking, but our list only contains casinos you’d actually want to visit.

Where do you fall in the paid premium services debate? Is it: 1) nickel-and-diming, further undermining the perception of Las Vegas as a value destination, or 2) smart business based upon supply and demand, you know, Capitalism?

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Update (5/18/22): We heard back from SP Plus. Demi Leggitt, Facility Manager of Las Vegas Parking Operations, says, “The paper you received is just a courtesy notice explaining that you parked in a premium parking space that now requires payment. The daily rate at The Strat garage is as follows: 0-4 hours, $6; 4-24 hours, $12; additional 24 hours, $12. There is a $0.35 service fee charge to each transaction. Level 3 of the garage, the entire floor are Plus spaces with exception to True Rewards members. Levels 4-7 of the garage, Plus spaces (closest to the elevators). There is also signage at the entrance of the garage as well as each level.
We are issuing courtesy notices at this time to educate the hotel guests and customers of The Strat.” We do not know when the premium parking system at Strat officially kicks in, but when we know, you’ll know.

Update (5/19/22): Beware using QR codes to pay for parking fees. Read more about potential scams where crooks use fake QR codes to dupe people.