MGM Resorts, the giant Las Vegas casino hotel chain that operates Bellagio, New York-New York, The Mirage and several other properties on the Las Vegas Strip, will start charging for self parking again in June.
Free parking was a hallmark of Las Vegas until 2016, when MGM announced plans to start charging fees. Rival Caesars Entertainment Corp., which together with MGM dominates The Strip, joined the parking fee parade.
MGM and Caesars dropped parking fees last summer in a bid to woo people back to Las Vegas after it closed for more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. (A few hotels, including Cosmopolitan Las Vegas and Wynn and Encore, eliminated parking fees long before the pandemic to stand out from the competition).
The pandemic-induced free parking rule has applied only to self-parking because valet parking has generally not been offered at Las Vegas hotels since the gambling and entertainment destination reopened. Valet parking is set to resume at all MGM properties by June 1.
Las Vegas is rebounding strongly, and AAA said Tuesday that it is the top destination for road trips and the No. 2 destination for vacation bookings for Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kick off to summer travel season.
“Service and business needs are changing rapidly as Las Vegas continues its recovery,'' MGM spokesman Brian Ahern said in a statement. "We’re focused on expanding our amenities and workforce to accommodate increasing numbers of guests as demand grows and visitation continues rising.”
Caesars Entertainment hotels, which include Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas and Flaming Las Vegas, reinstated some self parking fees in October but parking remains free for hotel guests and Nevada residents, according to spokeswoman Kristin Soo Hoo.
Before the pandemic, self-parking for overnight MGM guests was as high as $18 a day, valet parking $30, at the chain's priciest resorts, including Bellagio.
Prices vary based on number of hours parked, and apply to hotel guests and visitors. The first hour of self parking is free for all visitors except local residents, who get three free hours.
MGM's self parking fees for the chain's top tier hotels will be $15 to $18, all others will be $12 to $15. The daily maximum rate kicks in after four hours.
Valet parking rates will range from $18 to $35.
Las Vegas rebound: Vaccinated visitors driving bookings
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Las Vegas travel: MGM Resorts resuming parking fees this summer