Parking Fees Returning to Las Vegas Strip

MGM Paid Self parking

The arms are coming down! Start Paying!

As the Michael Douglas character Gordon Gekko stated in the 1987 movie Wall Street “Greed is Good”.  And so the wolves of the Las Vegas Strip, most notably MGM, have decided that it’s time to stop being nice and it’s time to start being greedy. Again.

With that said, we are seeing the end of free parking at a majority of Las Vegas Strip resorts as we pull out of the mask mandates and people are starting to travel again. If you remember, all Strip properties stopped charging parking fees last summer. At the beginning of the shutdown.  Ho-Hum, It was good while it lasted!

Yes, this article is mostly about the one who started the practice of charging the guests for parking, MGM. Caesars is mentioned.  I’m not here to just pick on the greed of the Las Vegas Strip. That’s just too easy.  We will talk about the greed of downtown at a later time!

Caesars has been charging for parking since last October (locals are free). But it’s the monster of the Strip that catches everyone’s attention. So that monster being MGM, has let it be known that as of June 1st, they will get back to the business of nickel and diming anyone who steps foot on any of their properties for any reason. The greed has returned!

With that being said, I do have to note that they apparently learned their lesson from the last time and are realizing that the locals could be a good source of business to them. or to look at it a better way, scaring off the locals can be painful to their bottom line.  So for now, they have granted us, peasants, a little more of a break on parking compared to the last time.  MGM is now giving us three free hours of free self-parking instead of one.

Not as generous as Caesars-related properties, which is giving locals free self-parking, period.  But it is nice to see that MGM is at least making an effort to acknowledge that maybe they really do need the locals to visit their palaces occasionally!

 

Bellagio Parking

MGM Properties Paid Self-Parking Update 

  • Starting June 1, 2021
  • The first hour will be free for everyone.
  • Locals (Nevada Residents) will be free for the first three hours

Aria
$15 up to four hours
$18 for four to 24 hours
$18 each Additional Day

Bellagio
$15 up to four hours
$18 for four to 24 hours
$18 each Additional Day

Delano
$12 up to four hours
$15 for four hours to 24 hours
$15 each additional day

Excalibur
$12 up to four hours
$15 for four hours to 24 hours
$15 each additional day

Luxor
$12 up to four hours
$15 for four hours to 24 hours
$15 each additional day

Mandalay Bay
$12 up to four hours
$15 for four hours to 24 hours
$15 each additional day

New York-New York
$12 up to four hours
$15 for four hours to 24 hours
$15 each additional day

Park MGM
$12 up to four hours
$15 for four hours to 24 hours
$15 each additional day

Vdara
$15 up to four hours
$18 for four to 24 hours
$18 each Additional Day

Who Will Still Get Free Self Parking at MGM Properties?

Self-Parking will remain free for military members and spouses through the M Life rewards military and veteran program, M Life members with Pearl status or higher and M Life rewards Mastercard holders.

 

MGM Properties Valet Parking

  • Paid valet parking will return May 25 to Aria, Vdara, Bellagio, and MGM Grand
  • Paid valet parking at all other MGM properties in Las Vegas starts on June 1 and will be cashless
  • Valet parking will remain complimentary for gold, platinum, and noir M Life members.

MGM Related Event Parking

Event parking will be timed with the Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup playoff games in May. Parking will be cashless for the games, shows at Park Theater, as well as for events at MGM’s other properties. You pay at machines at the entrance to the parking structures before you go to your car.

Free Parking on the Las Vegas Strip

There are still a few properties that are allowing guests to stay for free while they dine, shop, and stay at their properties.

Treasure Island, Circus Circus, Sahara Las Vegas, The Strat, the Tropicana, the Wynn, the Encore, Venetian/Palazzo all continue to offer complimentary self-parking.
Note: Self-parking at Planet Hollywood/Elara/Miracle Mile Shopping is currently free. However, they are beginning to install the sensors and kiosks to start paid self-parking soon!

Related Link:

 

The T-Mobile Arena Parking Garage Growing Quickly

In Las Vegas, it’s always fun to watch how fast we can build something or tear it down when we want to.  If it’s a well-staffed union highway project or government building contract, expect years to get it started. Having it completed anywhere near the deadline just means they forgot something and need to go back, close the roads and dig it all back up again. Can anyone say “Flamingo Road?”

Need something built to quiet the masses who are calling for your CEO’s head after making a bonehead, customer killing decision??  Boom!  The floodgates are opened and the throngs of workers are released.  A new shiny structure suddenly appears from the once open asphalt.

That latter would be MGM Resorts.  Trying to surmise the damage done when they announced that the customers were “Getting a Free Ride” in parking and needed to start coughing up their share of the cost by charging for parking.  Suddenly, the announcement of a brand new, $54 million 3,000 space parking garage brings some calm to the chaos.  And now, it’s taking shape fast and fiercely.  Hoping to make its grand debut for T-Mobile and The Park events by early spring 2017.

 

MGM New Parking Garage

This new structure and the “improvements” made to the original Excalibur parking structure, seemed to also maybe answer a long asked, but never really clarified answers about the dilapidated horse barn next to it used for the “Tournament of Kings” show.  These paddocks are where they keep and exercise the horses for the show.  For a long time, there seemed to be a cloud hanging over the barn as well as the show.  The horse barns were never really kept up or modernized  They always looked temporary.  Like they were ready for the show to close and the cast of equines to move on.

horses-mgm-garage

Now it appears MGM or the show owners pulled open the checkbooks and brought some life back to the place.  Making look like they are serious about sticking around and giving the animal actors a proper place to live and work.

Still not happy about having tourists pay for parking or the long lines after an event as people try to work the gates and get out in a timely and simple matter.  But at least they are trying to get a central area for the parking issue as the T-Mobile Arena starts to book bigger acts and tours.

Elvis Has Left the Building – Again

It seems like just last year we were celebrating the return of Elvis to Las Vegas and back in the building he called home for the final years of his life.  Oh, wait.  It was just last year.  Actually, it was last May.  Now we hear what was supposed to be a 10-year love affair between the Westgate Resort and Elvis Presley Enterprises went sour after only 10 months and Elvis exited the building late in February. Shutting ‘Graceland Presents: Elvis the Exhibition

(Read: Elvis is Back in the Building)

The love affair went sour fast according to new reports and legal papers filed between the entities. Claims of money owned, contract obligations, etc…  Now word is that the planned name change for Riviera Blvd to Elvis Presley Way is also being nixed.

Personally, I thought it didn’t have much of a chance for success since almost day one.  The opening was great and showed promise, but fell flat quickly thereafter.  The idea included a rotating “Elvis” tribute artist to perform in the renamed Elvis Presley theater monthly.  That lasted about one month.  The Westgate was in the middle of a remodel and  rebranding, and the new owners thought this would be one of  a long line of new entertainment announcements that would generate the much-needed traffic to the off-strip property.

The biggest problem is location.  The Westgate/LVH/Hilton is not a “Destination” property.  People don’t purposely come to Las Vegas to go to the Westgate for entertainment or museums. They stay at the Westgate because they either now own a timeshare there or are working at a convention at the neighboring Las Vegas Convention Center.   It has always been a hub for the conventioneers more than a place for tourists.  To get there from the Strip is either a long walk or an expensive cab ride, monorail ride.

Add to that, David Siegel, the owner of the Westgate was very hands-on in the beginning and especially with the Elvis project.  Then he and his wife suffered a personal loss of their daughter to a prescription drug overdose.  He then turned almost complete control of the property over to the same people who drove the final nails into the Riviera Casino so he could focus on creating a foundation to raise awareness to the problem of prescription drug overdose/addiction.  So the focus and the drive to make this a success was no longer there. The current management team doesn’t have a track record for making positive or profitable changes to an aging property.

Charging for Parking

Paid Parking in Las Vegas

Now comes what may be the final nail in the Westgate coffin.  Paid Parking.  Yap.  before MGM can get their greedy hands on more of your tourist dollars, the Westgate has already installed parking arms and pay kiosks.  $10 to park and to enjoy all that the Westgate offers. More during major conventions…

In their defense, The Westgate has revamped their sportsbook and is home to two very worthy shows:  The Prince Tribute “Purple Reign” and the second hottest Topless Revue in Las Vegas (the hottest is Fantasy) “Sexxy“.  But I am one of those that just refuses to pay for self-parking in Las Vegas.

 

Free Parking? Not No More!

Back in May of 2015, I shot this photo of the parking garage at Circus-Circus casino. The word “Free” was being painted over.  That’s when I also started to notice the subtle changes around the other MGM Strip properties.  Parking signs vanishing, booths popping up.  This was not limited to MGM, the Westgate was installing control arms in their parking lots and guest parking garage.  The resorts downtown, the Fremont Street Experience casinos stop the free parking in late 2014 early 2015 and started going to “validated” parking.

No More Free Parking

Now comes the final blow to all things unique to Las Vegas tourism, free parking on the Las Strip.  MGM announced on Friday, that they will implement parking fees at all their Strip properties later this year to “enhance” the guest experience.  Yes, on top of tight machines and poor customer service, they now want to add parking fees to your “Las Vegas Experience”.  Flashbacks to when Caesars Entertainment told us that their guests demanded resort fees! Apparently, your experience here is not complete until you leave every last dime in your pocket with them.

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According to the announcement, If you spend an unknown amount of money or get an unknown amount of points on the MGM M-Life player card, you COULD get free parking, maybe.  Again, they didn’t want to be pinned down to any specifics on what that amount has to be to “earn” the privilege of parking in their garages.

According to the LVCVA: 58% of all visitors to Las Vegas in 2014 arrived by automobile, RV, truck, motorcycle, or bus

Look for bankrupt Caesars Entertainment to announce soon that their guests as well, have asked for and demanded parking fees to be implemented on top of the already sky-high resort fees.  Where do these guests come from who they claim to want all these fees??

MGM Playbook: Nickle and Dime the Customer

This is part of that whole Book Smart-Street Dumb mentality that has crept into Las Vegas once they started to allow monopolies to run everything.  People with big letters behind their names and fancy sheepskins on their office walls started to make important decisions about people they did not understand.  They have no idea who the customer is or what they look like other than a line on a spreadsheet program.  Remember when the CEO of MGM Grand went on Undercover Boss?  He was totally clueless to the casino floor, the people who work for him or the people who walk in the front door waving their gold credit card. Absolutely clueless to what makes the money that pays his high salary and silly perks.

The first thought now is always “How can we get more of their money the fastest?”  when it really should be “what can we do to make them want to come to our resort and spend money again?”  So now MGM figures if tightening up the odds on all games didn’t piss you off enough, maybe adding parking fees will and maybe the locals will finally get the hint and stop coming down on the Strip.

Now before you bombard me with comments like “The hotels have parking fees in other cities, why not Las Vegas?”  The answer is simple.  Can you walk out of your hotel in Chicago with an open drink and walk freely down the street, stopping and looking at the sights?  No.  Why?  Because it’s a Vegas thing! Same with Free Parking!

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MGM New Parking Garage

MGM Buys a Clue

As opening day creeps closer for the Las Vegas/T-Mobile Arena, the tourist media hammered MGM about the parking issues it will face if left unresolved.  So while they announced the new resort-wide parking fees, they also announced… Surprise!  A new parking garage for the new arena.

MGM will build a $54-million, 3,000-space parking structure behind the Excalibur that will service the T-Mobile Arena, The Park, and the Theater at Monte Carlo (or whatever the Monte Carlo will be renamed to).  Construction for the new parking facility is scheduled to begin later this spring with completion scheduled for the middle of 2017.