Resorts World Las Vegas Doing Away with Free Valet Parking Hints at Business Struggles

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In June, Resort World Las Vegas opened after Malaysia-based parent company Genting Group invested $4.1 billion into its realization.

When it opened, Resort World announced free self and valet parking would be an amenity major for the Strip’s first from-the-ground-up casino resort since the Cosmopolitan opened in late 2020. However, just five months after welcoming its first guests with much flourish, the north Strip complex eliminates a perk once offered to Las Vegas casino guests of all statuses for decades: complimentary valet.

“Due to increased business and service demands, Resort World Las Vegas will begin charging a daily rate for valet parking… effective Wednesday, November 24,”

a media spokesperson from the casino said.

“Guests who utilize hotel valet will be charged a daily rate of $21 per vehicle, per 24-hour period.”

Self-parking will remain free to all guests.

Resorts World is at the northwest end of the Strip, just south of Circus Circus and the smaller Slots-A-Fun casinos. The Cosmopolitan is on the west side of the Strip, towering over the ancient Jockey Club near the Bellagio.

Value not received

Scott Roeben, who manages the popular Vital Vegas website and social media channels, says Resorts world doing away with complimentary valet is an open sign that things are not good at the new resort.

“Resorts World isn’t just having challenges because of its location or the lack of convention business. The casino has some of the tightest slots on the Strip,”

Roeben told Casino.org.

“Word spreads. People know they are likely to lose when they gamble, but they want to be entertained.”

Despite solid gaming revenue across Nevada in the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, most casinos officials and gaming industry analysts credited unprecedented pent-up demand as the reason. Roeben is worried that Las Vegas is doing away with much of the general public and becoming a VIP-centered town.

“Vegas needs to recommit to providing value,”

he continued.

“Increased competition across the country was already going to be problematic. Vegas has no solutions yet.”

Pay to valet

Before 2016, Las Vegas guests of all life statuses were treated like VIPs upon arriving at the Strip casino resort of their choice, getting an affectionate greeting from a valet serviceperson. However, MGM Resorts, the operator of most Strip facilities, eliminated that common perk when it decided to start charging for valet and self-parking that year.

A snowball impact followed. Companies such as Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment followed MGM’s way. Wynn backpedaled on that decision in 2019 and restored complimentary self-parking.

Currently, complimentary valet on the Strip is available at Treasure Island, Tropicana Venetian and Palazzo, STRAT, and Sahara. Free parking is offered at these casinos, plus at Wynn Las Vegas, Resort World, Circus Circus, and Encore.

Scott Roeben, who manages the popular social media account Vital Vegas, believes parking fees affect Las Vegas as a destination.

Parking charges huge business

It might seem that Las Vegas casinos charging for parking is simply a way for the resorts to nickel and dime their clients. However, for a company the size of MGM Resorts, those daily rates accumulate rapidly.

In 2016, MGM explained its decision to charge for parking. It then said that around 70% of its running revenue comes from outside the casino. Over the last five years, MGM and other casinos operators who have been charging for parking have thought of their garages as revenue creators, not unlike their retail shops, spas, clubs, restaurants, and pools.

However, many questions how eliminating free valet will impact the workers who usually park the clients’ vehicles. Will visitors continue to tip well after being charged $21 a night?