Caesars Entertainment Preps to Launch Paid Parking

Paid parking has become the new normal at Las Vegas resorts, and one of the Strip’s biggest players, Caesars Entertainment, is ready to expand its paid parking program to include guests who self-park.

We hit The Strip to check on the progress of the paid parking roll-out expected to kick in sometime in March 2017. Caesars Entertainment already charges for valet parking at most of its Strip resorts.

Flamingo Las Vegas paid parking

Up first, Flamingo. The parking machines are encased in plywood. Let’s keep it that way!

While we were on a quest to visit every Caesars casino that will have paid parking, we did make the occasional stop to imbibe, a word which comes from Latin, meaning “if you can feel your face, you’re doing it wrong.”

At Flamingo, we had a lovely dinner at Carlos’n Charlie’s, including one of our favorite dishes in town, the Parmesan & Swiss Chicken. We played a bit of blackjack, and couldn’t help but snap a pic of two newlyweds at a nearby table.

Casino newlyweds

Congrats to the lovebirds. Oh, and both of the newlyweds were women. Las Vegas loves everyone’s love equally.

Next, we bopped next door to the Linq hotel, and again, paid parking machines are in place.

Linq paid parking

The machines at Linq are at the top of a steep incline, so that’s sure to be interesting.

Our Parade of WTF isn’t done yet. Right next door is Harrah’s Las Vegas, where a familiar theme is beginning to unspool. If you can unspool a theme. Just play along.

Harrah's paid parking

Harrah’s appears to have the most machines of any Caesars resort. If this keeps up, Las Vegas is going to experience a plywood and yellow paint shortage.

Next, we zip across the street to Caesars Palace, recently named “Las Vegas Resort With the Most Topless Women Carved From Marble.” We were going to say “David Wang,” but not everyone knows there’s a replica of Michelangelo’s David at Caesars Palace.

Back to the parking thing.

Caesars Palace paid parking

Caesars Palace is lagging a bit. We’re cool with that. Take your sweet time.

Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s share a parking structure, so we got a two-fer.

Paris Bally's paid parking

We totally predicted the plywood shortage.

Part of the pitch with paid parking has been it will help upgrade the various parking garages. That appears to already be happening at Paris and Bally’s. The parking structure already has a lighting system to let guests know which spaces are available (green) or not (red, please try and keep up).

Paris Bally's parking

You’re paying for the availability indicators, so enjoy! Bonus: The Availability Indicators would make a great band name.

While Caesars Entertainment has said the self-parking at Rio Las Vegas will remain free, we decided to have a look, anyway. And, boy, we’re so glad we did. As expected, there were no paid parking machines to be found at Rio. Inside, however, we found gold.

Rio Kiss Mini Golf Car

This awesome Kiss Mini Golf Car is right on the casino floor at Rio. Curious if they had to pay to park there.

While the car is cool, we found something even cooler. It’s so Vegas, it’s ridiculous. Apparently, guests have been getting creative with their selfies, so Kiss Mini Golf had to take the necessary actions to deter such behavior.

Wait for it.

Rio Kiss Mini Golf Car

So Kiss. So Vegas. So awkward.

Time to swing by Planet Hollywood. There was no trace of parking machines at Planet Hollywood, and presumably the hotel won’t be charging for parking because the structure is owned and managed by Miracle Mile Shops, not Caesars Entertainment. We take our good news where we can get it!

That’s about it. When Caesars Entertainment rolls out its paid parking program in full, it will mark the end of an era in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts started the trend when it instituted paid parking across its half of The Strip.

Visit Caesars Entertainment’s Web site for all the paid parking details.

It’s important to note you can still park free at both MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment resorts, but you have to get their respective credit cards. Having the card bumps you up to a qualifying tier in their player loyalty clubs. Get details about MGM Resorts’ program here.

The big casino companies seem determined to ride out their paid parking plans, despite rumors of fallout inside the casinos. Retail shops at some MGM Resorts casinos have reported drops of as much as 30% in business since paid parking was implemented.

We recently shared an MGM Grand insider’s observation that front line employees (from valets to cocktail waitresses and bartenders) have taken a major hit in tips, a decrease of 30% to 50%, according to our source. Read more.

Still, stock prices continue to rise, so it’s likely paid parking is here to stay. (Although, given recent bumps in the road, the jury’s still out.) Paid parking is also coming to Cosmopolitan, Wynn and Encore. While paid parking may seem to make business sense short-term, there’s a growing feeling the decision to charge for parking may have unforeseen consequences, including a change in the perception of Las Vegas itself.

Update (2/11/17): Caesars Entertainment has also announced it will raise resort fees at 10 Strip resorts.

One blog’s opinion: This really is the worst possible time to learn we can’t sit on the tongue.

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  • MAKNYC

    Has Caesar’s Entertainment ever done anything at all without copying someone else?

    • NHBill603

      Why should they?
      I mean it’s great McDonald’s invented fast food and all but I’m sure glad a lot of other people picked up on it.
      Don’t get me started about the iPhone.

  • Robven

    MGM stock down over 8% mid-day today (Thursday) on disappointing 4th qtr numbers. Maybe bad decisions do have consequences??? Get ready for the spin, including how everyone really has taken to the parking fees.

    • EnuffBull

      I can see the spinzone now: “You’re renting a room… why not treat your car, too? Make your car happy and buy it a night of luxury.”

  • Larry Larson

    The major players in the Las Vegas Strip Gaming Industry are screwing themselves by trying to squeeze every last penny out of their “Bread and Butter” customers. This is evident in the surge in growth and upgrades Downtown…The Strip Casinos are definitely not spending the extra money to repair and upgrade the Escalators and Pedestrian Bridges that never seem to work. The Strip is turning into a PIT!
    And BIG CASINO’s have only themselves to blame!

    • NHBill603

      After the Crash OF 2008 casino handles fell through the basement.
      They have yet to fully recover.
      Things got so bad that Caesars went bankrupt.
      They are still in court and so are basically handcuffed.
      Unless gambling makes a huge comeback, and I don’t think it will ever be like it was, expect the search for alternative revenue to continue.
      Gambling simply does not pay the bills like it used to do.

      • RustyHammer

        Now that we can gamble in some form (lottery tickets and scratch offs) at billions of gas stations and grocery stores across the U.S., as well as at plenty of tribal and state-endorsed casinos in many states, there’s no chance gambling holds the same fascination in Vegas that it did for my grandparents, aunts and uncles. I remember how special Vegas was to them, as it was the only time in their lives they could play blackjack or spin the reels of a slot machine. Now they can drive 45 minutes, or less, and do that any day of the year. #sadtrombone

  • NHBill603

    What about the massive parking lots behind that Ferris Wheel?
    They were kinda easy-in, easy-out for me.

    • RustyHammer

      I have wondered the same thing.

  • RustyHammer

    Paid parking would be the KISS of death at Rio. (That’s Vital Vegas quality humor there, folks.)

    #takesabow

  • Photoncounter

    Vote with your wallet, eat and play elsewhere. Maybe unemployment will rise and the Californians will move out.

  • Genaro Dispa

    I had dinner at Carlos’n Charlie’s same day as you did!, and it was greta as well! But i had a great chicken mole with a very dear friend of mine.

  • Matt

    I’m coming to Vegas for the Marijuana. I have been to Vegas 2xs in the past and have stayed on strip at the Sands property. No more I’m done with the strip. Screw parking fees and almost $40 a day resort fees. I’m going downtown. It’s more cost efficient for me. I know visits are up revenues are up but the gouging is going to catch up sooner or later. I’m proof. I’m a sucker but I ain’t stupid.

  • Rooster

    Strip casinos have decided their bread and butter is conventioneers and LA trust fund babies (i.e. – dumb money).

    Those two demographics are essentially price insensitive, so they can charge whatever fees they want, and change the gambling odds however they want, and make a metric ton of money doing it.

    For the rest of us, off-strip casinos still welcome our money with open arms.

  • I am one of the few ‘locals’ that actually goes to the strip for the past 13 years, and not just when friends and family are in town. I like it there. There is so much to do and see and not going there is silly to me. Might as well live in Montana. Now though, I find myself not going and only if I sort of ‘have to’. I have zero problem paying for parking if I am going to an event. For instance we went to a show at the arena named after a cell phone company and had no problem paying. We paid for parking at hockey games etc back home in L.A. so why not pay for parking at events here? But going to dinner at Monte Carlo is not an event. That is where I draw the line. There are plenty of fine restaurants not on the strip where parking is free. Same with gambling. SLS, M, Rio, SouthPoint etc etc not to mention downtown. I think parking there is something like $5? Perhaps this blog can confirm that price?

  • Remember when they all said there was already plenty of parking in place for the TMobile Arena and besides, people would walk or take public transportation? Have ya’ll seen the ‘uuuge’ parking structure behind Excalibur lately? Do that many people go to Excalibur to require another quarter million parking spaces? Gee, I wonder why they built that?