Since late last year, rumors have been spreading that MGM would begin charging for parking at their Las Vegas strip properties. On January 15, MGM confirmed that the rumors are true, and the company will be instituting a daily fee to park. MGM plans to implement the new policy in the second quarter of 2016.
Corey Sanders, MGM Resorts International Chief Operating Officer, made a statement defending his company’s position on the policy change:
“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.
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.”
Fees will be attached to both self-park and valet, reportedly ten dollars per day. MGM has also stated that the fee will serve as a deterrent for people who use MGM parking facilities to access non-MGM casinos.
MGM is in the finishing stages of completing Las Vegas’s newest venue, the T-Mobile Arena, and feared there might not be enough parking during large events.
Will anyone be exempt from paying?
Several MGM properties will be exempt from the policy. Self-parking lots that attach directly to shopping districts and the self-park at Circus Circus will still have free parking. Locals will be temporarily exempt from the fees but are encouraged to sign up for an M Life Player Rewards Card as soon as possible.
Patrons who have achieved certain status levels through MGM’s M Life rewards program will receive parking benefits. MGM has not yet specified which M Life level will be needed to obtain parking benefits.
There has been an enormous outcry from local poker players; many poker pros fear that the free parking will be unachievable for them, MGM treats poker room comps differently than M Life Rewards. Hotel guests will also have to pay the daily fee of ten dollars.
How will this change the landscape of the strip?
Las Vegas regulars are bracing themselves for how other strip properties will react to MGM’s new policy. Currently, no other Las Vegas Strip properties have announced changes to their parking policies. Though the new MGM system could potentially make it easier to find a parking space, most locals who go to the strip for entertainment will most likely choose other properties instead of paying a parking fee.
MGM properties with unpopular poker rooms may see negative repercussions from the new policy. Poker rooms at casinos like Luxor and Excalibur are heavily reliant on local poker players to help get their games started. With MGM not allowing players to accumulate M Life Rewards from time spent at the poker table, it’s safe to assume many local players will be taking their action elsewhere.