Summary: In Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment has issued parking fees some time ago, with the CEO of the company stating that the fees are not hindering visitor numbers.
For decades, visitors to Las Vegas, Nevada could park at a casino and not have to pay a fee to do so. This was a perk of visiting a casino in the region. A short time ago, several gaming companies in the region decided to start charging for parking with many analysts estimating that the parking fees would result in lower visitor numbers. According to Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Mark Frissora, the introduction of such fees has now led to a decrease in visitors to the Caesars properties.
Parking Fees Not a Problem
The CEO attended an investor conference in New York City this past week, where he made the comments on the parking fees in Las Vegas. According to Frissora, the company has reviewed the parking fees, looking at whether or not properties on the Las Vegas Strip were affected. A 30 day promotion was provided for the LINQ Hotel, where complimentary parking was on offer.
The goal of the promotion was to test the reaction of customers and if more visitors would show up due to the free parking. Or if regulars would increase the number of visits to the property.
The company first introduced parking fees last year and this past February, resort fees were increased at some properties located on the Strip. Customer feedback that has been accumulated over the past few months has revealed that people are not avoiding Caesars properties, even though these new fees have been created.
Caesars is not the only company to create such fees. MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts have both instituted fees for parking. MGM Resorts is the largest operator when it comes to casinos and hotels on the Strip, becoming the first to implement such fees for parking. Wynn Resorts tried a different tactic and while they charge for parking, players who spend over $50 at the gaming venues will be given free parking.
Criticism of Parking
Even though Frissora stated that parking fees have not been a problem, customers of the brand are complaining. Customers are not happy with the fact that they have to pay for parking and have decided to air their grievances on social media sites like Facebook. Some have stated that they will be traveling to the area less now that such fees are in place.
With the LINQ Hotel parking promo, there have been complaints about this as well. Many consumers are stating that the brand did not make the deal known, promoting the deal so players could take advantage of it. According to Caesars, the company has the info of the promotion on their website and they have advertised via travel websites.
So, did Caesars not make the promotion readily known? If not, would the impact of the free parking be a bigger deal than the CEO makes it out to be? It seems that the short time frame of the free parking as well as customers being unaware could have resulted in a different outcome for the test.
So far, Caesars has seen a drop in their stock. July was a rough month and August is not expected to be any better. Las Vegas actually saw a decrease in visitor numbers in July, with a drop of 1.2%. The decrease of tourism to the area has been attributed to the mass shooting taking place in October with visitors nervous about travelling to the region.