It was bound to happen.
Tropicana is finally fed up with drivers dodging fees at nearby MGM Resorts International properties by parking on its turf.
The sprawling Strip hotel announced Friday it has begun charging guests not staying at the hotel $15 for event parking effective immediately.
“This change does not surprise me at all. I honestly thought they would have instituted it months ago,” said Ted Newkirk, founder of Access Vegas.
Tropicana has been a favorite parking destination over the past year for drivers visiting the MGM Grand, the largest hotel in the U.S. by rooms, or T-Mobile Arena, where the Golden Knights play.
MGM Resorts initiated parking fees at nearly all its Strip properties two years ago and then raised them this year, pushing parking-fee dodgers to other properties.
Parking at the MGM Grand now costs from $9 to $15 while Park MGM charges $25 when there are events at the arena.
Yet Tropicana, which is surrounded by MGM properties, held firm for two years until today. Parking will still be free at Tropicana for non-guests on days there are no events.
Tropicana is owned by Penn National Gaming, which bought the 61-year old property in 2015.
“Tropicana should be commended for bucking the paid parking trend for so long. It is simply protecting their assets,” Newkirk said.
Tropicana is adding some sweet to their sour note in an attempt to lure Knights visitors away from MGM restaurants. The hotel is giving all those paying parking a $10 voucher for food and beverage at Robert Irvine’s Public House restaurant.
It is unclear if Tropicana’s decision will affect nearby hotels and motels. Hooters Hotel, which is located next to Tropicana, will not charge “as of now,” said owner George Ruff.