Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

April 4, 2007

McCarran Consolidated Car Rental Facility

Posted by detroit1051

"A $170 million consolidated rent-a-car center is scheduled to be open for business today three miles south of McCarran International Airport.
The sleek, modern structure on 68 acres of land at 7135 Gilespie St. will consolidate operations of 11 car rental companies operating at McCarran and, at least for now, ease curbside congestion in front of the airline terminals."

I'm not a fan of these consolidated facilities, but I've been known to be too negative. When any readers use the new one at McCarran, let us know how it works. I've been spoiled by Hertz over the years.
New McCarran Car Rental Facility Opens Today


Read archived comments (16 so far)
April 4, 2007 6:39 AM Posted by Chris

3 Miles Away!?!?!? bad idea.

The DFW facility is at the airport, less than a 5 minute shuttle ride. And in a few years will be connected to the rail system, so it will be a very easy train ride.

April 4, 2007 5:54 PM Posted by mike_ch

Chris' shock is well-warranted. According to Google Maps that's on the other side of 215, around nothing but homes.

April 4, 2007 6:05 PM Posted by charlie

This is not good. McCarran was pretty much easy out/easy in for car rentals. For the past couple of years, I have rented a car for a quick trip and really liked it.

On other notes, the Palazzo is really looking great. It has that impressive Bellagio-esque stature...where the big action is at. Its really well done.

April 6, 2007 5:42 PM Posted by Gregory_Zephyr

Havent been to Vegas to see this one but they opened a similar facility for Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix. I was concerned, but now that I've used it, I find it is spacious and efficient. I frequent Hertz but use others from time to time and it is actually nice not to have to figure out where to go for each rental company. Also, you dont need to wait for a specific rental car shuttle from the airport--just hop on whatever shuttle is ready.

April 8, 2007 10:03 AM Posted by Steve I.

I just returned my first rental car to Dollar's bay in the new McCarran return center. I do Not like the distance I had to haul my maxed out baggage load from the Dollar check in area to the curb. it was a few hundred feetacross the garage to the elevator, then another slog out to the curb. no baggage carts were in evidence, and the dollar clerk seemed perplexed that there was no ready option for carts. there was a Smarte Cart stand at the curb however. you no longer are driven by your favorite rental agency's driver, but a friendly enough generic driver.
I prefer the old system. with all the newer larger busses running around, the benefit to McCarran can hardly be reduced congestion. watch the old rental yards.???

April 13, 2007 11:41 AM Posted by detroit1051

"In Business Las Vegas" has a story on the Rental Car Center and how it will free up terminal space for more luggage carousels. The old rental car lots will be converted to long-term parking. There are other articles in the issue including MGM-Culinary contract talk progess and the growth of Las Vegas into a 4 Million person region by 2040.

April 21, 2007 6:48 PM Posted by DG

The McCarran Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility will also have a new access control system in place soon. When you rent a car from Advantage, Enterprise, Payless, or Savmor, your contract will come with a printed barcode. Customers will have to scan that barcode at the exit gate to get the car out. If there is a problem, they can simply hit the intercom button and the appropriate rental agency can open the gate remotely. Will help increase safety and security at the facility I hope.

April 27, 2007 12:43 PM Posted by John

Just used the new car rental facility for the second time since it opened. I travel to vegas frequently on business from LA and if you follow the "travel rules" (ie. check-in 90 min's before departure, etc.), thanks to this new car facility it's now faster to drive from LAX to LAS. It's always been a close call but this new facility has increased my travel time ~45 min's at arrival and departure and there's no question about it now. Walking has increased significantly at both ends of the shuttle. The Hertz drop off spot is probably 200 yards from the escalators down to the shuttle area and you have to wind in-and-out of the cars parked for pickup. You then have to go another ~200 yards to get to the shuttles. Traffic congestions at the airport seems worse now than it was before. They put you in lines to get on the shuttle, they hold the shuttle until it's full and the three mile trek takes about 10 min's rather than the three min's it used to take for Hertz. Whoever made the decisions for design and location needs a new career path. PHX's new facility has a better, more efficient, design and traffic flow.

April 27, 2007 8:33 PM Posted by detroit1051

John, that's discouraging, but your report doesn't surprise me. Wait 7-10 years when some travelers will have to use the new Ivanpah airport. That sure won't be fun.

May 3, 2007 9:44 PM Posted by motoman

On paper (or Google maps as mike_ch noted) it doesn't look too bad: "cabbie tunnel" under the runway, Hidden Well Rd. to the Gilespie St. overpass, and right there behind the outlet mall. Of course that's probably the perspective the planners had, and John & Steve's personal experiences are both more relevant and less encouraging.

Yet another reason to not rent a car when going places like Vegas, SF or NYC that are compact and have myriad transportation options. (Was considering to next trip however, for some outlet mall shopping and to see Red Rock. But hey, those also offer shuttles to/from the Strip.)

Speaking of which, hail2skins' idea of a mini-Strip out by Ivanpah does seem plausible, especially with Primm and an outlet mall right there. God forbid, more water and power demand and traffic....

May 4, 2007 11:32 AM Posted by detroit1051

A friend who flies frequently between LAX and LAS on business said the same thing John did. It's no longer worth flying if you need to rent a car in Vegas. He's driving from now on.

May 8, 2007 9:16 PM Posted by Chicago22

Detroit1051, this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Drive 300 miles (across the desert) because you have to wait in a short line? Is your friend crazy? I have used this system and sure you have to wait in a line but I only waited about 3 minutes even though the line looked really long. I happen to travel on business about 3 weeks a month and can tell you from experience most major airports are going to consolidated facilities in the future. From my experience the new center took about 10 minutes longer than usual. I saw some posts saying 45+. I doubt that is truly the case unless their is a big convention in town. I don't know if anyone has tried the cab line in Vegas, let me tell you the line over there is crazy! I waited 1hr 20 minutes four months ago. McCarran is a busy airport and like any busy airport you have to plan your trip.

March 19, 2008 4:35 AM Posted by Sefton

Got such a great car rental facilities through online stores with coupons for discount.

May 6, 2008 8:13 PM Posted by MiKe

the wait was minimal, the checkout people were courteous and friendly. i thought it was kind of nice to move it offsite and get away from most of the departure headache traffic. it only gets mildly confusing finding your way around after picking up your rental and maybe finding your way back. the only problem i had with the car rental hub was that enterprise have been repeatedly billing me on a package deal from travelocity. 2 hours on hold time trying to get it reversed and now another charge 2 months later. be very weary of the boneheads behind the counters.

and i would suggest to keep all valuables as carry-on. the luggage handlers lifted at least $100 in change, cell phones, jewelry, etc. from our suitcases on the flight home. lovely las vegas, almost makes me want to move back. glad to see sun country "can't do anything about it". show some backbone bigtime corporations!

December 3, 2008 2:18 PM Posted by Molly

Jan 08, we had the problem of many bags to haul, load, tip, unload, haul, elevators, lost car reservation. I see the new Speed check Advanced when leaving, but what about arriving? Are there luggage carts availble now?

December 10, 2008 2:21 AM Posted by Randall Putala

Having visited Las Vegas many, many times over the past 30 years, I can tell you that the Rental Car facility is a godsend. In the past you had numerous buses from dozens of car rental companies fighting for lane space at the airport. You waited for 10-20 minutes while every pick-up van but the one you wanted drove by. Now, everyone gets on the same bus, and there's always one there. So all of you new visitors should appreciate the convenience you now enjoy.

My one comment involves the same issue that Molly posted above: luggage carts. Did you know that they're totally free at the parking facility? Just go up and grab one, and you won't have to work up a sweat hauling 4 bags to the counter and then to your rent car. Most of the van drivers will announce this, but does anyone listen? Of course not.

Here's a suggestion for the McCarran 'powers that be': hire a couple of 'cart grannies' and 'cart grandpas' to distribute the carts at the bus doors and at the car return counters (which are buried deep in the belly of the facility, a half-mile from the bus, where you can never find a luggage cart, where you have to work up a tremendous sweat getting your bags up to the airport bus, and where the carts are needed most - by the way...)

You have to know that there is a problem here. Heck, I KNOW about the free carts at the arrival point, and I've struggled with the rack trying to get the doggone thing out. I've never seen anyone else even try - because they assume that the carts are $3.50 like everywhere else in America... Who would pay for a cart that they'll only use for 5 minutes? I've actually told some families about the free carts when I saw them struggling with a mountain of bags, but they thought I was some kind of nut trying to sell them something... (go figure.)

Las Vegas has tens of thousands of retirees - many of whom would love a job with responsibility and human contact - regardless of the pay. You could probably get them to work for tips. Put them in orange safety jackets with the words "FREE COURTESY CARTS" printed on them, and everyone would understand the program instantly. It would be a win/win situation.

Get those carts in play, and everyone will enjoy the rental car facility just a little bit more. They'll also have a better feeling about how easy it was to arrive and leave from Las Vegas, which is a plus for the city and McCarran in general...