End Of An Era: MGM To Charge Gamblers At Its Las Vegas Casinos For Parking
Over-Night Stay At A MGM Property Could Cost $10
One of Nevada’s largest casino operators will begin charging for parking this year.
MGM Resorts International announced last month that its Las Vegas properties will soon no longer offer free parking for guests, even if they are gambling. The casino giant owns the likes of Bellagio, Mirage, Circus Circus, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, MGM Grand and New York-New York.
In a company blog post dated Jan. 21, MGM CEO Jim Murren said “the current parking model is decades old.” According to Murren, the fees will help pay for a “significant investment of $90 million to expand and enhance parking infrastructure to improve the parking experience.”
Exactly how much visitors will have to shell out to park at a MGM casino hasn’t been announced yet, but Murren said that over-night parking wouldn’t be more than $10.
He cited tourism industries in other cities that don’t have free parking.
“We operate tens of thousands of parking spaces that cost tens of millions of dollars annually to operate,” Murren said. “This is why fee parking is a standard practice for hotels, resorts and entertainment facilities across the country, especially those in high-demand tourist and convention destinations such as New York, Los Angeles and Orlando.”
Obviously there was a lot of backlash to the decision, but Murren again stressed that Las Vegas isn’t what it used to be. Gaming as a percentage of overall revenue is at a historic low.
“Although I’ve lived here for 18 years, I too have come to value many of the qualities of our community that some people believe are our birthrights, with free parking as one of them. But I also know that many of the traditional features of a visit to Las Vegas are now part of our long ago history,” Murren added.
While there are still places to park for free on the Las Vegas Strip, some believe that MGM’s decision will start a new trend for parking fees. Last year, MGM apparently was the first casino operator in Las Vegas to stop allowing cash to play at all of its poker tables, a change which was later implemented by Caesars and other casino giants.
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