Posted on: April 12, 2022, 09:44h.
Last updated on: April 12, 2022, 10:37h.
Visitors to casinos in South Tahoe, Nevada will endure more paid parking as the city moves toward opening the South Tahoe Events Center early next year.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is mandating gaming companies operating in the casino corridor implement parking fees related to permitting guidelines for the events center. Patrons disdain casino parking costs – that’s widely known across the gaming industry. To that end , TRPA is offering a microtransit service that’s scheduled to come online in summer 2023.
During peak times of visitation, Tahoe’s roads clog with traffic and parking demands exceed capacity at recreation sites. This seasonal influx of motorists has consequences for the environment, for local communities and their mobility, and for air and water quality,” according to TRPA.
Bottom line: The casino parking fees are aimed at deterring locals and visitors from driving to the gaming venues. That’s in an effort to reduce vehicle miles driven, while the microtransit offering provides an environmentally friendly alternative to get patrons to their casino of choice.
The microtransit is free and the city is currently using a similar program on the North Shore. Users request rides via apps, similar to Lyft and Uber.
Some Operators Already Responding
While the events center isn’t scheduled to open until early 2023, and the microtransit plan won’t go into effect for more than a year, some gaming venues are already charging for parking.
That group includes Harrah’s Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino — both of which are operated by Caesars Entertainment. In 2019, Caesars put $41 million into enhancing Harvey’s. That project included refreshing all of the nearly 520 rooms in the Lake Tower, the addition of balcony suites, and a new lounge area near the casino.
The Tahoe Daily Tribune reports Bally’s and Hard Rock aren’t yet charging for parking, but it’s likely the two will join that party this summer. Because of construction, Bally’s is currently down 500 parking spots.
That venue was previously known as the MontBleu Resort Casino. It was sold in 2020 to Bally’s, which was then known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings. That was part of Eldorado Resorts’ effort to downsize its Northern Nevada portfolio to allay regulatory concerns pertaining to that operator’s takeover of Caesars.
Balancing Act for Lake Tahoe Region
Whether it’s for gaming and outdoor activities, tourism is the primary economic driver for Lake Tahoe — a region that prides itself on environmental sustainability efforts.
“The Lake Tahoe Region is a uniquely complex transportation planning landscape. Visitation from outside the Region is the main driver of the Lake Tahoe Region’s $5 billion annual economy, based largely on seasonal tourism and outdoor recreation. But it also puts metropolitan-level travel demands on the Region’s limited and largely rural transportation system,” adds TRPA.
All Lake Tahoe casinos are on the Nevada side of the lake.