MGM Hotels In Las Vegas Soon To Charge For Parking On Top Of Resort Fees

Las Vegas has always been a travel destination where visitors were able to park their car complimentary at the Casino Resorts. Now MGM Hotels & Resorts announced they will do away with that!

Las Vegas MGM Parking

The Entertainment Giant will introduce a new fee schedule for parking at their Las Vegas Resorts in the second quarter of 2016.

Remember the days when Las Vegas was fun, affordable and customer friendly? That started to change when the city began to fall into a hole during the Global Financial Crisis. The hotels were plagued by low occupancy and discovered a method to squeeze extra revenue out of their guests without providing anything extra for it: Resort Fees.

These fees between 10-30$ were levied for basic services such as Gym, Local Phone Calls, Bottled Water. In short: All of these things a hotel usually provides anyway. For free!

After decades of complimentary parking MGM announced this week (access here) that this feature will now be phased out as well in order to finance an improved parking structure at their Las Vegas properties.

MGM Resorts International today announced the launch of a major parking strategy and investment to address long-term growth in visitation to Las Vegas. The $90 million strategy will expand and enhance parking infrastructure, take advantage of new technologies that will significantly improve the parking experience, and meet changing consumer tastes and demands.  The strategy includes the implementation of a parking fee program that will introduce a modest fee for customers utilizing valet services or self-park facilities.

“The parking process is our customers’ first and last touch-point with us. Our guests expect and deserve an enhancement to this aspect of our resort experience,” said Corey Sanders, MGM Resorts International Chief Operating Officer. “We’ve taken into account our customer feedback and carefully planned these improvements to address some of their most common concerns – challenging navigation and difficulty finding available spaces. We acknowledge that this aspect of our resort experience can be improved, and we’re taking an aggressive approach.”

I agree with the point that the parking facilities at almost all Las Vegas resorts (including the new luxury resorts) leave everything to be desired. Then again, considering the dimensions of these resorts there is very little space for improvement except maybe electronic indicators that help to spot available parking spaces better.

MGM Hotels in Las Vegas are: Aria, Bellagio, Circus Circus, Delano, Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, the Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York-New York and Vdara.

After extensive review and analysis, the company will construct a $54-million, 3,000-space parking structure near the northwest corner of the Excalibur Hotel campus that will serve to absorb further visitor growth and enhance the experience of attendees of events at nearby resorts and entertainment venues. The facility is designed to serve the city’s newest venues – T-Mobile Arena, The Park, and the Theater at Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino – and provide additional onsite parking for employees. Construction of the new parking facility is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2016, with completion scheduled in the second quarter of 2017.

Additionally, the company is investing an additional $36 million to improve parking facilities at its Las Vegas resorts to implement guidance technologies and other guest enhancements. Among the planned improvements:

  • Redesigned parking facility layouts to improve accessibility
  • Parking guidance systems that will guide guests to available spaces
  • Mobile technology allowing visitors to check space availability prior to arrival
  • Upgraded lighting, LED signage, paint and striping
  • Elevator and escalator upgrades and enhancements

All very nice and regarding. I’m sure that nobody would have a problem to pay a nominal parking fee. But let’s not forget this comes on top of resort fees so let’s say you stay at the MGM Las Vegas (28$ Resort Fee) plus 10$ parking fee. Plus the room rate.

Las Vegas is a city where you don’t necessarily need a car though. Even when I lived in Los Angeles I can remember driving twice in three years. All other times I took the plane.

For local visitors and temporary MLife casino guests who don’t stay overnight, MGM plans to offer complimentary parking options.

Parking fees will be moderate when compared to similar fees in other markets.  An overnight guest utilizing a self-park facility will pay $10 or less. Las Vegas locals will be given a grace period for free parking after the program starts and can maintain their free-parking status by enrolling and earning privileges through M life, the Company’s customer loyalty program. Non-resident guests can also earn free-parking status through the M life program. …

Mr. Sanders also noted that fee parking is a standard practice for hotels, resorts and entertainment facilities across the country, especially those in comparable high-demand tourist and convention destinations, such as New York, Los Angeles and Orlando.

In other words it would be recommended for Las Vegas visitors to finally join the Casinos Players Club if they haven’t already done so. If you are Hyatt Gold Passport Elite you can also receive MLife Status based on your Gold Passport Membership (see more here).

That last argument doesn’t sit well with me. Other hotels, resorts and entertainment facilities usually do not include a Casino that is already a money making machine if operated professionally.

Conclusion

This can certainly be seen as a plan to squeeze additional revenue out of customers. But maybe MGM is just the first who will levy these fees and other casinos will follow suit within a matter of months or years, just as it was with the resort fees.

For me personally it’s a non-issue as of right now as I have MGM Mlife Noir status that includes complimentary Limousine transfer from the hotels and I’d imagine that even MLife Platinum which any Hyatt Diamond can get receive some sort of parking waiver. We will follow the development in Las Vegas and update accordingly!

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