Las Vegas Strip Revenues Impacted by Bumped Up Resort and Parking Fees in 2018
Las Vegas Strip revenues took a hit from casino resort and parking fees that kept on climbing in 2018. And at a time when gaming operators might have pushed a more welcoming structure on visitors — in the wake of the gruesome shooting late last year that left 58 dead — the big players instead decided to ramp up expenses for already wary guests.
Pay to Park
Las Vegas high rollers are all about the perks, but one comp that had been afforded to guests of all economic tiers for decades was free parking. MGM Resorts eliminated freebies in 2016, and Caesars soon followed.
As Las Vegas suits continued to seek ways to overcome the fallout from the Mandalay Bay mass killing of October 1, 2017, parent company MGM announced it was increasing its parking rates in January 2018. Self-parking at Aria and Bellagio went to $18 a day, while the cost jumped to $15 for 24 hours at resorts such as Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, and New York-New York.
In December, The Cosmopolitan announced it would no longer charge separately for parking, but instead include the cost in its resort fee, which was increased to $39 per day.
Wynn Resorts — which had followed MGM and Caesars in eliminating free parking — reversed its decision in June 2018 for guests who spent at least $50 in its Strip properties. The Venetian and Palazzo, Treasure Island, and SLS have continued to offered free parking, at least for now.
Hidden Fees Jack Up Rates
Along with higher parking costs, Las Vegas casinos jacked up their daily resort fees in 2018. The charges, which now are as high as $45 a day at Venetian and Palazzo, claim to cover the costs of amenities like in-room Wi-Fi, local calling, and boarding pass printing.
$30-$40 a day is what guests should now expect to see on their Strip casino resort bills when they leave. And these costs aren't included in the online booking quote until checkout.
Increased resort fees can now more than double what a guest might think they're going to pay for an overnight stay in Las Vegas.
No Comps a Turnoff
Las Vegas Advisor publisher Anthony Curtis said in May that the charges are turning off potential tourists.
Everyone hates resort fees, but the parking fee is even worse,” Curtis said. “Everyone wants some kind of comp. The most basic is free parking. The customers hate it. I really do think that these fees are starting to cause people to second-think a trip here.”
Visitor volume statistics from the LVCVA support Curtis' thinking, although a substantial drop in convention attendance has been blamed as the key reason for the fallout.
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