Back in May of 2015, I shot this photo of the parking garage at Circus-Circus casino. The word “Free” was being painted over. That’s when I also started to notice the subtle changes around the other MGM Strip properties. Parking signs vanishing, booths popping up. This was not limited to MGM, the Westgate was installing control arms in their parking lots and guest parking garage. The resorts downtown, the Fremont Street Experience casinos stop the free parking in late 2014 early 2015 and started going to “validated” parking.
Now comes the final blow to all things unique to Las Vegas tourism, free parking on the Las Strip. MGM announced on Friday, that they will implement parking fees at all their Strip properties later this year to “enhance” the guest experience. Yes, on top of tight machines and poor customer service, they now want to add parking fees to your “Las Vegas Experience”. Flashbacks to when Caesars Entertainment told us that their guests demanded resorts fees! Apparently your experience here is not complete until you leave every last dime in your pocket with them.
According to the announcement, If you spend an unknown amount of money or get an unknown amount of points on the MGM M-Life player card, you COULD get free parking, maybe. Again, they didn’t want to be pinned down to any specifics on what that amount has to be to “earn” the privilege of parking in their garages.
According to the LVCVA: 58% of all visitors to Las Vegas in 2014 arrived by automobile, RV, truck, motorcycle, or bus
Look for bankrupt Caesars Entertainment to announce soon that their guests as well, have asked for and demanded parking fees to be implemented on top of the already sky-high resort fees. Where do these guests come from who they claim want all these fees??
This is part of that whole Book Smart-Street Dumb mentality that has crept into Las Vegas once they started to allow monopolies to run everything. People with big letters behind their names and fancy sheepskins on their office walls started to make the important decisions about people they did not understand. They have no idea who the customer is or what they look like other than a line on a spreadsheet program. Remember when the CEO of MGM Grand went on Undercover Boss? He was totally clueless to the casino floor, the people who work for him or the people who walk in the front door waving their gold credit card. Absolutely clueless to what makes the money that pays his high salary and silly perks.
The first thought now is always “How can we get more of their money the fastest?” when it really should be “what can we do to make them want to come to our resort and spend money again?” So now MGM figures if tightening up the odds on all games didn’t piss you off enough, maybe adding parking fees will and maybe the locals will finally get the hint and stop coming down on the Strip.
Now before you bombard me with comments like “The hotels have parking fees in other cities, why not Las Vegas?” The answer is simple. Can you walk out of your hotel in Chicago with an open drink and walk freely down the street, stopping and looking at the sights? No. Why? Because it’s a Vegas thing! Same with Free Parking!
MGM Buys a Clue
As opening day creeps closer for the Las Vegas/T-Mobile Arena, the tourist media hammered MGM about the parking issues it will face if left unresolved. So while they announced the new resort-wide parking fees, they also announced… Surprise! A new parking garage for the new arena.
MGM will build a $54-million, 3,000-space parking structure behind the Excalibur that will service the T-Mobile Arena, The Park, and the Theater at Monte Carlo (or whatever the Monte Carlo will be renamed to). Construction for the new parking facility is scheduled to begin later this spring with completion scheduled for the middle of 2017.