By Steve Beauregard (Updated July 2017)
We used to think resort fees were greedy. Then came 6/5 blackjack, outrageously pricey restaurants, reduced video poker payouts, and $16 cocktails.
Now they’re charging us money before we even step foot inside.
In a city that used to offer $4.99 buffets, cheap rooms and free parking, the fleecing of the Vegas visitor continues, as the vast majority of hotel/casinos along the Las Vegas Strip now charge all guests to both valet park, and to self-park in their parking garages.
The Tropicana Las Vegas still has free parking
These fees range from $5 for 2-hour parking at hotels like the Excalibur, up to (gulp), $25 to valet park at the Bellagio. (Not including tip).
Fees apply to both guests staying at Strip hotels, and those just visiting. Off-Strip hotels, such as Sam’s Town, South Point, Red Rock, The Silverton, etc., however, still offer free parking.
Guest staying at Strip hotels will typically have the parking fee charged to their hotel room bill. Visitors to the parking garage will collect a ticket upon driving into the garage, and will pay at either a kisok, or at the gate (depending on the hotel), when leaving.
The orange stars on the map below show you all of the remaining free parking areas on the Las Vegas Strip. You can zoom in on the map for more detail.
Fremont Street Parking
Hotels on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas also charge for parking, however unlike their cousins on the Strip, downtown parking is free to hotel guests. On the Strip, you’re charged a parking fee whether you’re staying at the hotel, or just stopping by to shop, eat, or play the slots.
Another difference between Fremont Street and Las Vegas Strip resorts is that on Fremont Street, you can often get your parking fee waived by having your ticket validated after gambling, and/or eating.
Lastly, downtown Las Vegas has several privately-owned, and city-owned parking lots and garages. Rates to park in and around Fremont Street are generally cheaper than at the Strip hotels.
Las Vegas Hotel Parking Rates
Free parking remains at the Venetian & Palazzo Hotels
(For a list of the parking fee at each individual resort, go to the “Directions” tab at the top of this page. Hotels are listed alphabetically.)
Parking fees are resort specific and not standard across the board. As you’d expect, the less expensive hotels charge less for parking. For example, MGM Resorts charges you $8 to park at the Luxor for 4 hours, but at their sister resort, the Aria, you’ll pay $12 for those same 4 hours.
It’s the same with Caesars Entertainment properties; where 24 hours of parking at the Flamingo will set you back $8, whereas 4 hours at Caesars Palace will cost you: $10.
Regardless of the hotel, all resorts on the Strip allow you to at least park for up to one hour for free.
The reason for these fees? Well for one, most of the Strip casinos are owned by two corporate behemoths: MGM Resorts, and Caesars Entertainment. In fact, of the 31 casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, 21 of them are owned by one of these two corporations.
The Strip being dominated by this duopoly means there’s less competition and incentive. Less incentive to have zero resort fees, good gaming odds, restaurant deals, and yes, less incentive to offer free parking.
Still, if you don’t mind walking a little, or taking one of the free Las Vegas Strip Trams, you’ll be able to partake of convenient, complimentary parking on the Strip.
From the Tropicana Casino to the south, to Planet Hollywood in the middle, all the way north to the Stratosphere, there are still several places where you can park for free on the Las Vegas Strip.
Free places to park on the Las Vegas Strip
(Going from North to South)
Stratosphere Hotel & Casino Parking Garage
SLS Las Vegas
Fashion Show Mall
Treasure Island Hotel & Casino
Venetian/Palazzo Hotel & Casino
Planet Hollywood/Miracle Mile Shops (Self-parking is free but you have to pay for valet parking – $13 for 4 hours).
Tropicana Hotel & Casino
Hooters Hotel & Casino (This hotel is not on the Strip but a block away)
As of this writing, in July of 2017, parking at Planet Hollywood and the Miracle Mile shops remains free. I should say, self-parking is free. There is a charge to valet park.
Caesars Entertainment, (the owners of Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino), have announced that they will – at some point – begin to charge for self-parking at the resort. We will update this article when that happens.
Other Ways to Park for Free
Casinos reward their high rollers with free meals, suites, show tickets, and now, free parking.
At MGM Resort hotels, any gambler who has reached the Pearl, Gold, Platinum, or Noir status on their M-Life player’s card receives complimentary self-parking.
In addition, anyone who applies for, (and receives) an M-Life Rewards MasterCard receives free parking. There is no annual fee on this card.
Similarly, at Caesars Entertainment properties, any gambler who reaches Platinum, Diamond, or Seven Stars on their Total Rewards card gets complimentary self-parking.
Free Parking on the Strip for Nevada Residents
Do you have a valid driver’s license from the state of Nevada?
Caesars Entertainment does not charge Nevada residents to self-park at their casinos. You simply swipe your driver’s license at the gate to receive free parking, up to 24 hours. Free self-parking for Nevada residents is at the following casino/hotels on the Las Vegas Strip:
MGM Resorts does charge Nevada residents to park, after the first hour.
(Photos courtesy of Wolfgang Staudt and James White via Flickr.)