Las Vegas annually hosts over 22,000 conventions, attended by 5.1 million convention attendees. Combine that with 3.2 million square feet of meeting space, you can see why the Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the largest, and busiest convention facilities in the world.
A great number of these attendees will be flying in from around the country, and around the world, and therefore likely won’t be driving. Those of you who are driving and attending smaller conventions shouldn’t have trouble parking at the Las Vegas Convention Center. All total, there is room at the convention center for over 5,000 cars.
Where it gets hectic are the larger conventions, when the parking lots fill up quickly.
At the annual Consumer Electronics Show, for example, roughly 160,000 attendees gather for the festivities. If that weren’t busy enough, the CES uses some of the parking lot space as tent space, meaning the convention center’s 5,000 spaces are reduced to roughly 3,000 spaces, according to a recent story by Richard N. Velotta in the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Las Vegas Convention Center Parking Fees
There is a $10 fee to park at convention center. You are entitled to leave and come back, but only if you keep your parking receipt. Payment can be made by cash, debit card or credit card.
Las Vegas Convention Center’s Gold Lot
Unless you can score a prized “Silver Lot” spot directly in front of the convention center entrance, you are most likely going to find yourself parking in what’s called the “Gold Lot.”
This massive parking lot sits to the north and west of the convention center, across the street (across Paradise Road), on Convention Center Drive.
(Here’s an aerial view of the Gold Lot (on the upper left), and the Las Vegas Convention Center, on the right-hand side).
It’s quite a walk from this parking lot to the front lobby of the convention center, however there is a covered pedestrian bridge over Paradise Road.
In addition, the larger conventions, (the aforementioned C.E.S. for example), offer shuttles that run from the lot to the entrance of the convention center entrance. These shuttles run frequently during rush hours, (every ten minutes in the morning before the conventions start, and every ten minutes in the later afternoons).
In addition to the Gold and Silver lots, smaller, more distant parking lots include the Bronze Lot, Platinum Lot, Orange, White, and Blue Lots. Some of these, however are restricted.
During very busy conventions, properties adjoining, and across the street from the convention center offer parking at inflated rates. Instead of the $10 fee, nearby properties have been known to charge $20, $30, and even $40 for parking.
Should you want to avoid the $10 and up parking fees, (along with the resulting mass of cars all leaving at the same time as you after the convention is over), you have two main options
1) Stay at nearby hotel and take a shuttle. Most large conventions provide this service to nearly all of the major hotels up and down the Las Vegas Strip.
My wife and I used the shuttle service and found the shuttle to be almost completely empty.
2) You could also take the Las Vegas Monorail, however it is not free. A one-way ticket is $5, so round trip, you’re spending the same as you would when parking at the convention center. (A two day unlimited pass costs $22).
The main benefit with taking the monorail however, is that you won’t have to deal with the heavy traffic both when entering and leaving the convention center parking lot. And there will be traffic.
The LV Monorail is clean, quick, and efficient. Definitely consider it if you are staying at one of the resorts with a monorail stop: MGM Grand, Paris/Bally’s, the Flamingo, Harrahs, Westgate, and the SLS Las Vegas.
If driving, I would even consider parking at a place like the MGM Grand, or the Linq Hotel and Casino and take the monorail into the convention center.
(Related: How much do Las Vegas Monorail tickets cost?)
* Box truck or RV Parking is only available in the Gold and Platinum lots.
* There is no overnight parking at the Las Vegas Convention Center
(Photos courtesy of Michael Gray via Flickr).