Wynn Resorts Rights a Wrong, Rolls Back Paid Parking

Few saw it coming, but Wynn Resorts has bucked a trend by announcing it will give free parking to its hotel guests, as well as a way for us commoners to get free parking, too.

Your first question, of course: Las Vegas hotels make their own guests pay for parking?

Well, yes. Where have you been?

Currently, Wynn and Encore charge guests for self-park and valet, a trend that’s become the norm in Las Vegas, just as it is in other cities.

Self-park rates run $7 for the first 1-2 hours, $12 for 2-4 hours and $15 up to 24 hours. Valet charges currently run from $18 (up to two hours), to $27 for 24 hours.

Starting July 1, 2018, that all changes.

Wynn Encore

Wynn Resorts could use some positive buzz right about now. Free parking is a great place to start.

Guests of Wynn and Encore will be able to self-park or valet for free. Remember when free parking was a thing in Las Vegas?

Free parking for hotel guests will be included in their $39 resort fee. Wynn Resorts assures customers the resort fee won’t be increased to accommodate the new policy.

Don’t get us started about resort fees. That’s a fight for another day.

But wait, there’s more.

Non-hotel guests will also be able to park free, albeit with validation. Guests will be validated upon receipt of a $50 spend at Wynn or Encore.

That minimum can be spent at all the retail stores, restaurants, shows, nightclubs and lounges at either of the resorts.

Players will be pleased to hear even money spent gambling counts toward the $50 minimum spend to get free parking. The company hasn’t release details about how that will work, but we trust they’ll figure it out.

Wynn parasols

Sorry, gazing at the pretty things won’t get your parking validated. Buy a couple of drinks, though, and you’re good.

This change in paid parking policy is a pretty big deal in Las Vegas. Paid parking is an ongoing source of frustration for visitors, and many believe is has caused a shift in public perception of Las Vegas as a value destination.

We are one of those people.

So, what’s the motivation behind Wynn Resorts’ move?

Well, there’s the official answer, referred to as “horseshit” in public relations parlance.

Maurice Wooden, President of Wynn Las Vegas, said, “We have come to believe that charging additional parking fees is counter to the personalized service we provide. This new policy directly reflects the way we know our guests want and deserve to be treated.”

So, it suddenly dawned on them guests don’t like having to pay for parking? Right.

Wynn $5,000 machine

This machine at Wynn is $5,000 per spin. You’re covered on the parking.

Wynn Resorts has at least three reasons to change its paid parking policies.

First, its restaurants, shows and retail stores have taken a hit since paid parking was instituted. And it’s not just happening at Wynn and Encore, but at casinos all across Las Vegas.

Restaurants don’t receive the financial benefits of paid parking, at all, so they’re being hurt with nothing to show for it.

Increasingly, restaurants, shows and retail stores are letting their casino overlords know they’re suffering, and it appears Wynn Resorts is listening.

Second, it’s Wynn Resorts, so there’s an undeniable public image component.

Generously setting aside parking fees can’t hurt during a time when Wynn Resorts is trying to restore its tarnished reputation following the Steve Wynn sexual misconduct scandal.

Wynn Resorts is throwing everyone a bone. Which, come to think of it, is what got Steve Wynn in all that trouble in the first place.

We’ll wait.

Wynn funny chip

Oh, like we’d do a story about Wynn without including this chip. Do you know this blog at all?

Third, follow the money.

Wynn’s neighbors, Venetian and Palazzo, still offer free parking. That means many customers park at these competing casinos and walk to Wynn and Encore.

One of the cardinal rules of Las Vegas casinos: Don’t send customers to a competitor. Guests may intend to pass through Palazzo to gamble and dine at Wynn, but there are lots of distractions along the way.

So, the bottom line is Venetian and Palazzo deserve props for holding strong on free parking. If they’d rolled out paid parking, it’s unlikely Wynn Resorts would be changing its policies.


We all owe you a beer, Palazzo.

Along those same lines, let’s not forget another neighbor with free parking: Fashion Show Mall. You can bet there’s a collective sigh of relief at retail outlets inside Wynn and Encore right about now.

We can only hope the new parking program at Wynn and Encore is an acknowledgment by casinos that paid parking is an unnecessary annoyance to customers.

Paid parking is a short-sighted revenue play that hurts brands and, ultimately, Las Vegas.

Let’s hope the other big casino companies in Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts (which started this whole paid parking mess), see the light, too.

17 thoughts on “Wynn Resorts Rights a Wrong, Rolls Back Paid Parking

  1. wally j

    It is a financial formula probably established by a young financial analyst. They are still charging for parking and sounds like it will be quite a complicated process for one not be charged.

    Patrons are getting tired of getting ripped off, parking, resort fees, 10+ domestic beers, no in room coffee, you have to sluff down to the casino floor and wait an hour in line for a 10 cup of coffee. Just no end to the ways they gouge you. Corporate greed. The strip is no longer a venue for value, it has become a ripp off.

    My opinion only.

    1. Coop

      Here Here!! Use to be novel that they trapped you inside with no windows or clocks. Now its weird. I just need a water. Walk a half mile or pay $5. Could you imagine a fee to exit out of a more convenient door. Say half a mile closer to your destination. I shouldn’t give them ideas.
      Gotta go. Off to Vegas to show them how mad I am…LMAO…I am clearly part of the problem.

    2. Dave Hat

      NOT a big deal. I goto XS and Encore Beachclub to see David Guetta or Kaskade or Zedd. The Wynn lot was very convenient… literally just steps from the two venues. When they started charging for parking, I relocated my car to Palazzo or Treasure Island, and simply walked across the bridge to Wynn.

      – “Guests will be validated upon receipt of a $50 spend at Wynn or Encore.”

      I wonder if that’s still true, if I pre-purchased my XS/Encore ticket online? The price exceeds $50 but I didn’t technically make the purchase “on the property”.

  2. William Wingo

    I went to the Wynn once, years ago when Encore was still on the drawing board. I remember artificial mountains, spiral escalators, high drink prices, marble latrines, unplayable Blackjack, admission fees at the Ferrari-Maserati dealership, and a candy shop featuring chocolates with flecks of 24-k gold foil in them. Clearly I wasn’t in Mr. Wynn’s target demographic.
    So now parking for hotel guests will be included in the resort fee, which they promise won’t increase (for a while, anyway–time will tell); and locals will have to spend or gamble $50 to get a parking rebate. I didn’t major in accounting, but that doesn’t exactly sound like “free parking” to me.
    It might be a first step in the right direction, but a very small one. The giant leap is still a long way off.
    We’ll be in Vegas next week for the WSOP, staying at one of our favorite off-strip places near the Rio. Even after reading this post, I doubt I’ll get over to the Wynn, or any place on the strip.

    1. Dave Hat

      Remember when MGM and Caesars received backlash and they said, “Okay, okay, the locals can park for free. Just show your Nevada license.”

      That policy sounded generous, but it ended just a year later. Now everyone pays.

      Greedy ______s.

  3. Jim F

    We drive up from Phoenix every few months. We like the Wynn/Encore the best, but have lately stayed at the Venetian or Palazzo because of the parking fees. It’s a better location anyway. We were contacted by Wynn to find out why we haven’t been staying there, and we blamed their parking charge. Some of our friends did the same.

    So… you’re welcome?

    1. Hundley Fan

      It’s great that you specifically said the parking fee was the reason you stopped staying at Wynn/Encore. I’ve read many people say they won’t stay at a particular hotel because of the resort fee or the parking fee, but I’ve always wondered how many of them actually tell the hotels.

    2. Davehat

      I always stay at Best Value Inn or Motel 6 (across the street from MGM).

      – No parking fees.
      – No resort fees.
      – No room service fees.

      You just pay the $40/night that they advertise. ($90/night on weekends but still cheaper than any of the casinos.)

  4. Mike L

    This whole paid parking thing was petty money grab from the start. They are especially chasing away locals and people that drive in from California. It seems like the more competition Vegas gets from casinos being built across the country, the less competitive they get.

  5. Charles Higgins

    Vegas casinos don’t make moves without a plan to increase revenues. This image-laden free parking move by Wynn Resorts is ultimately about INCREASING revenue via increased foot/vehicle traffic. It aims to attract the justifiably PO’d Vegas visitor group who abhor the paid parking scenario (me included). The best real benefit ($15 to 30/day) for this enactment is for hotel guests who don’t have to pay for parking above and beyond the resort fee as before.

    Non-guest Visitors who park MUST now spend $50 to obtain “free” parking after inside-spend validation. Granted, most visitors will spend that on something regardless..not very many folks go to Wynn / Encore to simply look at the flower arrangements and spend $0.

    In the end it’s a half-step in the right direction, at least for hotel guests. It’s also about generating more revenue in a disguised fashion…no surprise.


    1. Dave Hat

      > ultimately about INCREASING revenue via increased foot/vehicle traffic

      Well of course. Retail stores at your local mall do the same thing. Items they give-away for free or almost free (like $5 shoes) are called “loss leaders”. The store is taking a financial loss on these items, but they lead people into the building, in the expectation of making money off other sold goods.

      Same with Wynn’s free parking. They lose money on the expense of the garage maintenance, but make it up inside the building when they sell other goods/services. That’s how Las Vegas operated for ~80 years, when parking was free.


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