Few things raise the hackles of longtime Las Vegans like having to pay to park on the Strip. Three years after MGM Resorts International became the first casino company to begin charging locals to park at its properties, it remains a hot-button issue for many, and a frequent excuse for not spending more time on Las Vegas Boulevard.
There are, however, still places you can valet for free in or near major resorts. We found 10 Strip locations with free valet parking, some with more than one valet location.
Related: How much should you tip your valet?
In cases where a location has multiple valets, we picked our favorites. And we’ve only included places that offer free valet without restrictions or blackout periods. For hotel-casinos, that means 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without any minimum purchase, players’ club membership or validation. The same holds for most of the shopping areas, unless otherwise noted.
We’ve also estimated how long it will take to get to nearby attractions. All times are estimates, based on a casual walking speed, and waits for tram service, where appropriate. (Times into a resort are based on getting onto the casino floor.) Your travel time may vary.
All of these are subject to changes in policy (which happens more frequently than one might expect).
The shopping corridor that connects Mandalay Bay and Luxor has a complimentary valet accessible via Hacienda Avenue. Along with providing easy access to those two casinos and the Delano hotel, it’s also a parking option for events at T-Mobile Arena, with a little legwork that can be mitigated by taking a tram.
If a Golden Knights game or other arena event is your final destination, head to Mandalay Bay, turn left and walk to the tram station in the northeast corner of the resort. Use the express track to Excalibur (the one farthest from the escalator) and get to the front of the tram as it departs. Once you exit, cross the Tropicana overpass to New York-New York and walk through the casino to Toshiba Plaza.
The Shops at Crystals
Enter Crystals from the Strip to take advantage of the free valet at this multilevel, high-end mall. It can be confusing, but once you get the layout down, it’s an easy walk to Aria, the Waldorf Astoria and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. MGM Resorts also has a tram here that can be used to access T-Mobile Arena. That’s a quick trip, which makes up for having to drive on Las Vegas Boulevard to get there. Be prepared for traffic jams, sometimes extreme, exiting the valet after big events.
If you’re heading to T-Mobile, take the elevator to the fourth floor to catch the tram to Park MGM. Make a sharp right out of the station (left will take you back toward Aria) and head to the front desk. Exit toward the valet (which is not free), and the arena will be in front of you. The shortest way to the gate is to exit the hotel to the right, heading toward the parking garage.
Avoid Las Vegas Boulevard traffic by entering this valet from Spring Mountain Road. Once there, take a short walk south on Las Vegas Boulevard to The Mirage. A tram also connects Treasure Island and The Mirage, but it will likely take a bit longer (the walk through the casino to the tram takes three to five minutes). It is air-conditioned and a bit easier on the feet. If you self-park, which is also free, the tram is much more accessible, and could be a quicker way to get to The Mirage. For points farther, with the possible exception of Caesars Palace, there are better parking options.
Fashion Show mall
If you’re searching for free parking, a visit to Fashion Show mall will feel like hitting the jackpot. Along with self-parking, there are five valets, all of them gratis. They operate from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Two valets on the north side of the mall are accessible via Fashion Show Drive. The one at the entrance to Nordstrom also is close to the Trump hotel, which has its own free valet. The one closest to Las Vegas Boulevard, near the direct entrance to Maggiano’s Little Italy, is a short walk to the Strip, and not much longer to Wynn or Encore. The three other valets — two on the south at the entrances to Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s, and a sub-level valet for Neiman Marcus — don’t provide easy access to anything outside the mall.
Miracle Mile Shops
It’s hard to decide what’s more confusing, navigating your way to this free shopping mall valet without accidentally pulling into Planet Hollywood’s fee-based valet, or figuring out where to go when you get there. For the former, just follow the signs after you enter from Harmon Avenue. (You’ll exit onto Audrie Street.) For the latter, you’ll need to understand the basic layout of Planet Hollywood and Miracle Mile. The shopping promenade forms a rough oval around Zappos Theater, with the entrance to the casino on the opposite side. Get to the Strip through the casino or via Harmon on the south (walk left when you enter).
The Venetian and Grand Canal Shoppes
The Venetian has two free valet parking areas. The first is accessible off Las Vegas Boulevard and offers the best access to the hotel lobby, the Strip and Harrah’s. The second is accessible through the self-parking garage. Get there via Las Vegas Boulevard, or by taking Koval Lane to Kruger Drive. It’s useful for access to the Grand Canal Shoppes or the rear of The Venetian’s casino.
This valet only can be entered from Las Vegas Boulevard, and it drops you off outside Lavo, adjacent to the hotel desk. From there, it’s easy access to Las Vegas Boulevard. When leaving, valet pickup is one floor below the dropoff, down an escalator from where you arrived.
Wynn Las Vegas
Wynn Las Vegas offers two free valets. The one at the main gate, accessible from Las Vegas Boulevard, provides the easiest access to hotel registration through the main entrance. It’s also the best bet if you plan to explore the Wynn Plaza Shops, which can be entered next to the valet pickup, a few yards from the dropoff. (It’s much quicker than walking through the casino.)
Wynn’s south gate is accessible from Sands Avenue, allowing guests to avoid Strip traffic. Technically, it has two valets just a few yards from each other. One, is limited to guests staying in Wynn’s Tower Suites. The other is open to the public and free of charge. It’s a short walk from Wynn’s shopping Esplenade and the casino floor, and just across Sands Boulevard from the Sands Convention Center.
Encore has two valets a few yards from each other at its main gate on Wynn Boulevard, accessible from the Strip. The first is reserved for guests of the hotel’s Tower Suites. The other is free and open to the public.
Sahara Las Vegas
This resort has two free valets: one on the Strip, and the other off Paradise Road. Since Sahara is located at the Strip’s north end, there aren’t a lot of places within walking distance. The back valet is just a short walk from the Las Vegas Monorail station. The shortest way there is to cut through the bar near the lobby (there’s a door in the back that connects to the station). Remember to show local ID to an attendant when buying your ticket, which reduces the fare to $1 each way. Depending on the wait time, you can hit most resorts on the monorail route in less than 25 minutes from when you leave your car, some much more quickly.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian and Palazzo.
This story has been updated to add information about The Strat.
Contact Al Mancini at email@example.com. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter.