Coming Soon: No More Free Parking At MGM Resorts
Get out your pitchforks and fasten your seat belts folks, Las Vegas as you know it is about grind to a screeching halt.
Sources have told VegasTripping that MGM Resorts International is on the verge of announcing a new part of their Profit Growth Plan initiative - charging fees for parking in all MGM resorts self park garages in Las Vegas.
I'll wait while you pick your jaw up off the floor.
The new, mandatory fees will be charged to all automobiles that enter the garage - be it locals, casino players, diners, high rollers and hotel guests. Think of it as the resort fee your Toyota has long been asking for. It is unknown what the price points will be, but like resort fees, they will probably be similarly tiered based on the property level.
These new parking fees join other Profit Growth Plan initiatives MGM is slowly instituting, all of which are designed to increase company profits by "transparently" adding or increasing fees, streamlining services and standardizing offerings.
Many MGM hotels have already started instituting Profit Growth Plan initiatives, transitioning from custom sets of linens and bath products to cheaply made, poor quality offerings with property logos hot stamped on generic clear bottles.
For those of us within driving distance to Las Vegas, a weekends worth of parking fees would be akin to buying another tank of gasoline. For folks who fly and rent cars at the airport, the new fees could will potentially double the daily cost of a mid-sized rental car.
It is also within the realm of possibility that players at certain M Life levels and above will be able to use comp points to "bypass" parking fees, which amounts to throwing your points in the garbage and calling it a benefit. While you are at it, just go ahead and throw some of your hard earned MyVegas clicks into the fire to in the form of eventual "free parking" vouchers as well.
A new parking fee will also present an obstacle in the way of folks thinking about making a run downtown or the liquor store or In-N-Out, thereby keeping guests "tucked in" to the hotel they arrive at, eating MGM's farm to table puffery and drinking from a trough of pre-mixed hand crafted one of a kind cocktails.
While it will surely rain cash down on MGM shareholders and buy Murren a little more time in the CEO seat, it is an anti-visitor policy. Resort fees are a way to reclaim hotel room proceeds from 3rd party retailers as well as a tax dodge and a way to monetize the availability of seldom used hotel services. If I'm driving up to Aria and am faced with parking fees, I'll go park at Cosmopolitan, I'll probably end up eating there and gambling there too.
But what happens if/when the rest of the Las Vegas resorts follow MGM's lead? With resort fees settling in at the $30/night range and a probable $20 car fee, every car load of people is going to pay $50/day just for the pleasure of showing up.
But what if Caesars promises to KEEP PARKING FREE just like they did (for a time) with resort fees? Would this change the way you make your booking decisions, throwing a lifeline to MGM's bankrupt and beleaguered competitor? Would you opt for Caesars instead of Bellagio, Cromwell instead of Aria, Flamingo instead of Excalibur, Wynn instead of Mirage? And will anyone know at the time of reservation that a hotel is going to charge them $20/day at the self park entrance? Since it isn't part of the booking, you most likely won't.
Just when I was starting to appreciate MGM CEO Jim Murren's urban planning vision as well as the "less cardboard, more prick" way he's been acting in the press, he decides to pull the lever on the parking garage slot machine and potentially fuck Vegas up forever.
I would guess that the only way this will cease to happen is if the people roar back at the Lion. Tell em now and tell em loud.
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