More Las Vegas Strip casinos make an unpopular pricing move

You can say that the Las Vegas Strip has completed its covid comeback.

After its brief shutdown and a very long period where social distancing, mask rules, and limited international travel kept crowds low, the Strip has returned to 2019 crowds. Those numbers should get bigger in the next few months as Las Vegas welcomes some of the biggest events in its history.

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It was not a straight-line or easy return for Las Vegas. The lack of international travel and periodic new covid variants made 2021 and most of 2022 very challenging.

That has changed as it's basically business as usual across the Las Vegas Strip now that last summer's intense heat has faded. In fact, as we enter the fall, Las Vegas will welcome a Formula 1 race on the Strip itself.

The race might be the biggest event in Las Vegas history as airfares and hotel room rates have been pushed to new heights. It's hard to find a room at a major resort on the Strip and Caesars Entertainment  (CZR) - Get Free Report, MGM Resorts International  (MGM) - Get Free Report, and all the other big rates have been offering packages that include race tickets at prices that exceed New Year's Ever and March Madness events.

The F1 race kicks off an unprecedented stretch for Las Vegas where the race will be followed by CES in January, the Super Bowl in February, and March Madness throughout March. Basically, Las Vegas will have a long stretch where hotel rooms will be in high demand, shows will be packed, and casinos will be full.

That has allowed nearly every casino on the Strip to get rid of a perk most once offered for free. Now, two more big-name casinos have followed Caesars, MGM, the Venetian as well as its sister property, the Pallazo in making the same customer unfriendly change.

Wynn and Encore will begin charging for parking.

Image source&colon Wynn Resorts&period

Two more Las Vegas Strip resorts end free parking

Free parking used to be a standard at casinos. In many ways it was a courtesy offered to customers in exchange for them coming to gamble at your property. But, with Las Vegas crowded due to its massive events schedule, it's a perk that most of the Strip has decided no longer needs to be offered.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) - Get Free Report, which operates the Wynn and its sister property, the Encore, will become the latest Strip resorts to drop free parking on Sept. 27. The company is actually using the same logic that the Venetian and Pallazo used to justify the increase.

Both Wynn's and the Venetian's properties are close to the new Sphere Entertainment (SPHR) - Get Free Report concert venue, The Sphere. That venue will host U2 beginning in September which should draw 17,000 each night looking for a place to park. In addition, The Sphere's external light shows have proven popular, drawing people to see them who may not opt to gambe.

Wynn did not name the Sphere, but it did blame the parking charges on “the anticipated increased demand for parking at nearby attractions, and a higher volume of citywide events,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported

Overnight guests of Wynn Resorts will still receive complimentary parking. Others will pay $20 per day, but with the first four hours free. That's actually a more generous policy than most of the other resorts on the Strip, which are charging hourly and daily rates. Valet parking will be $40 per day.

And, while this seems like Wynn (and the rest of the Strip's resorts) charging because they can, that's not how the casino operator framed the move.

“The program is intended to ensure ample, free parking is available for guests to visit and enjoy the resort’s dining, entertainment and shopping amenities,” the company said in a press release.

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