The Top 5 Worst Las Vegas Casino Parking Garages
50% of Las Vegas visitors arrive at their hotel by car. While they
may get a glimpse of the property at which they'll be staying as they
pull up to it, the first experience with the property for those who
elect to not valet park will be with the Parking Garage. So, casino
moguls, what does your parking garage say about you and your property?
Perhaps both more and less than you'd like.
We don't expect Corinthian columns and gold leaf in a parking garage,
but that doesn't mean it should be reminiscent of a coal mine. Some
are clean enough, well lit, and easy to get into and out of. We like
those. They don't have to be fancy. Some of them are labyrinthine,
frustrating, congested, and often just plain dangerous. If I'm
staying at a hotel and I get frustrated parking my car, my hotel
experience is not just about me having a good time. First you have
to win me back before I can start to have the experience you want me
Frankly, some of the Las Vegas hotels and casinos show nothing more
than contempt for the customers foolish enough to park their cars
themselves. These deserve to be called out. Not all of them can
be the Wynn, an example of a parking garage done right, but there's
no excuse for making this list.
Without further ado, the Top 5 Worst Las Vegas Casino Parking Garages
5. Caesars Palace
A lot of people would rank this one higher, but it's not all that
bad if you come in from Frank Sinatra Drive in the back of the
property. Of course, from several directions it's not all that
easy to get to Frank Sinatra, and it is a real PITA to park coming
from the Strip, so it makes the list. Once you're at the
garage, though, getting in and out of the actual structure isn't
too bad, although on the lower floors it can be a bit of a hike
to get from the garage to the casino.
Aria is part of the CityCenter project, the most expensive
construction project in the history of the human race ...
with a single parking garage that's totally inadequate.
Perhaps the thought is that "CityCenter people don't self
park." Heck, maybe they don't even know how. In any case,
the only access to the garage is via the Strip, which is
packed to the gills with people who want to ooh and ahh
After you've made the trek from the garage to Aria, though, and
you're debating whether it would have been better or worse to walk
from your car to the Monte Carlo and taken the tram, you
can still take some comfort in the fact that at least you're
not staying at Vdara.
Bottom line: When it's more convenient to park at either of two
other casinos (Monte Carlo and Bellagio) than to use your own
parking garage (*cough* *Venetian* *cough*) you know you have
3. MGM Grand
After parking one's car but before setting out on foot for the
registration desk in the lobby of the MGM Grand, the first thing
one should do is decide on a bivouac point for the first night
you'll spend on your trek. Even though there are a couple of
vending machines along the route, you should still seriously
consider packing food and water. It takes less energy to walk the
length of downtown Las Vegas than it does to get from the MGM
Grand's parking garage to the casino, and woe unto anyone heading
to Studio 54, the sports book, or the poker room. The folks
at the MGM should provide Sherpas and pack animals.
The Venetian is undoubtedly one of the nicest casinos on the
Strip. Its parking garage is, well, second worst. There's
bad access from the Strip, and difficult access from the
back. The parking garage itself is tall and narrow with
tight turns. The experience of trying to get out at the same
time as several hundred of your closest friends (or fellow
show-goers) will feel familiar to those of you who have
driven on L.A.'s 405 freeway during rush hour. Plain and
simple, Sheldon Adelson, who is not known for wanting to
splurge on parking, did this on the cheap. It shows.
Even less explicably, you park, you take the elevator to the
3rd floor, and then you walk back through the parking garage
to get to the casino along a causeway and a hallway that looks
like it's still under construction. I'd be certain it was
still under construction, but it's been like this for well over
a decade now. I fail to grasp the intent of the folks who
built this embarrassment.
There is good news, though. The Venetian's sister property,
the Palazzo, opened with an underground parking structure
that's easy to get in and out, is easy to navigate, and doesn't
feel like a hard hat is required going from your car to the casino.
Honestly, if the Venetian makes the bottom five list, the Palazzo
could easily be among the top five best parking experiences on the
Strip. Frankly, when I'm going to the Venetian, I park at the Palazzo
and walk. It's far less frustrating.
1. Imperial Palace
Confusing, difficult to get in and out of, cramped, and difficult to
navigate are just some of the features of this travesty. Moreover,
these aren't even its worst qualities. When it rains, the IP
parking garage resembles the Green River more than any place you'd
normally want to leave your car. This one qualifies as downright
dangerous. Even with a map, a compass, a GPS unit, and a guide there's
a good chance you'll get lost between your car and the casino.
Worse, there's an even better chance you'll get lost on your way
back. Plus if your vehicle wasn't manufacutred by Harley Davidson,
you'll end up passing on some spots you just don't want to contort
your car into. Never in my life have I seen a worse designed parking
structure than this insult to civil engineering.
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