When the Las Vegas Strip reopens after the coronavirus lockdown, free parking will be making a Sin City comeback as well.
Once a standard feature at casino hotels along the Strip, the perk began to disappear in 2016, when MGM Resorts led the way in eliminating free parking at its 12 Vegas properties.
Most other resorts in town followed, though Wynn Resorts went back to free parking at its Wynn and Encore properties in 2019, joining a handful of others (including Treasure Island and the Venetian) in giving visitors a favorite amenity they had come to expect.
Now MGM—the company that started the paid parking trend—has announced that it's "implementing free self-parking at all properties upon their re-opening," according to a statement on the hotelier's website.
The statement describes the move as "a way to welcome back guests" and says there's no "timeline regarding future plans"—which gives the company room to weasel out of making the change permanent. But we'll see.
MGM isn't planning to reopen all of its Vegas resorts at once. Instead, it's starting with New York-New York and the Bellagio, both of which are currently accepting reservations even though Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has yet to give the Strip an official reopening date.
When that happens, visitors to Vegas can expect an experience vastly different from how things were before the pandemic. Crowds will be limited, cleaning procedures will be enhanced, and social distancing measures will be in place.
With the return of free parking, however, you'll find at least one throwback to classic Vegas.
UPDATE (12:15pm ET): When it reopens, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will also reportedly waive self-parking fees for all non-hotel guests. Parking fees for guests, meanwhile, will continue to be covered by the hotel's resort fee.