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Free Parking in Las Vegas Returns As a Resort Breaks Ranks | Frommer's Steven Depolo / Flickr

Free Parking in Las Vegas Returns As a Resort Breaks Ranks

For many years, the ability to park for free at most Las Vegas casino-resorts was a beloved perk, and it was one that made visiting the spread-out desert city much more affordable, practical, and welcoming.

But in 2017, starting with MGM-owned resorts, that privilege was snatched from guests. Just to visit a restaurant or a shop, with a few minor exceptions (Treasure Island, Venetian-Palazzo) guests had to pay fees in the realm of $15 for self-parking.

And so it was for three years. 

This year, though, Wynn-Encore complexes, a leader at the top end of the casino food chain, has dropped parking fees entirely. That's for both self-parking and valet parking.

You can now go to Wynn-Encore and spend lots of money for free—well, maybe that's not the right way to put it, but you know what we mean.

“People who visit Las Vegas are willing to spend, but you have to make them feel special,” Ted Newkirk, founder of Access Vegas, said to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Wynn is betting—and I believe rightfully so—that they will make more back in gambling [and] spending in the property, goodwill, and nice word of mouth than any financial hit from lack of valet parking fee.”

However, the parking issue is far from settled in Sin City.

MGM and Caesars Entertainment, two of the other big dogs, have not yet relented on their parking charges—but the pressure is now on. At Vegas casinos, as with airlines, what one player does, the others usually soon follow.

And the city's exorbitant resort fees aren't going anywhere. Those are only applied to overnight guests, but including tax, they can soar past $50 a night. With fees that high, the casinos are making plenty of extra cash without parking charges. (Here's a list of what the Las Vegas hotels are charging for resort fees.)

For now, day guests to the Vegas monoliths of the Strip should park at Encore-Wynn (or the Fashion Show mall, which never introduced fees) and fan out for explorations from there.