MGM properties to charge for parking starting this Spring

General Discussion by zzyzx Posted

another reason not to play at their properties.

what will be next, a fee to cash in your chips?


  1. Here's a link to the Review Journal article on it.

    They mention that you can earn "free-parking status" based on your M-Life status. But, yeah it will discourage me from playing at any of their properties, especially since I only play poker and barely ever get out of the lowest level of any loyalty program.


  2. @Dap Poker wrote " I only play poker and barely ever get out of the lowest level of any loyalty program."

    play at Caesars, 34 tier credits build up pretty fast and should get you to at least Platinum. so
    if CET decides to charge for parking, you have a better shot at getting "free" parking based
    on a higher tier level.

  3. I guess that they don't want my business.

  4. I play a fair amount of MGM properties, but will definitely frequent them far less when this policy if implemented. If there are fairly liberal comping of free parking, maybe the impact will be less. But a $10 base rate? Wow, I really will try to avoid that like the plague. But will also be interested to see how the competition responds. If all Strip hotels move to match this, I can see myself cutting my three Vegas trips per year down to one or two. I'd love to say I stop coming altogether, but I do still love this city. But I also hate the feeling of being nickel and dime. I already get dinged by paying $30 a day for a resort fee at varying three star hotels that clearly don't qualify as "resorts", and get absolutely nothing for that $30 in reality. Funny that some resort fees (perhaps not MGM, I can't remember) talk about getting free parking, or free valet.... along with a lot of other free amenities I never use. Feels like getting dinged twice for the same service that is free at the vast majority of casinos across the country. Do they cut us a break for how low it is to provide us with energy these days? It doesn't seem so. But they sure keep looking for extra ways to stick it to us. We've got some solid cash games here in Colorado, so consider giving up a Vegas trip each year and substituting one staycation per year... but I'll see how this all plays out.

    Thanks for the update Dap (as someone who delivers bad news as a major part of my job, I firmly believe in not shooting the messenger).

  5. @Goodshoe - Not to really argue with you, but with the policy here. To the extent they are charging parking for the new arena, why not either: (1) add the cost of financing the new parking structure to ticket prices for events in the arena (not charge it to people like me who won't use the arena), or; (2) only charge for parking on the night of events in the arena.

    I have no stats to back this up, but my sense is that the majority of people parking in the parking lots of Strip casinos are tourists. Not to open up a separate debate, but I have been to Vegas something like 70 times in my life and have, every single one of those times, gotten a car. A car let's me shop for the best NFL football lines (I like to bet season win totals on NFL teams and other season long NFL bets) as well as eat at the better & cheaper restaurants that are plentiful off-Strip. I really don't want to be tied to one general location. But if I have to pay an extra $10 to leave the Strip to go eat dinner... well, it's no longer cheaper to eat off-strip (a benefit to the casinos), but now Vegas loses perhaps its biggest advantage over the many gambling towns throughout the country (diversity and quality of eating options). Maybe now I take more trips either to Black Hawk (an hour drive away) or to New Orleans (another place with both gambling and great food options, along with being an interesting and diverse city with a lot of entertainment options). It is also common for me to take a day and go hiking in Red Rock Canyon, again necessitating a car. If having a car becomes too expensive, I am far more likely to skip Vegas entirely than go without a car because of the diversity of interests I have when in Vegas (food, sight seeing, restaurants, sports betting, casino chip collecting throughout the Valley, etc.).

  6. As poker players, if the poker room will Validate your parking ticket for free then, I guess it wouldn't be that bad.

  7. Someone asked about breakouts for who generates revenue. Here is some data from Nevada gaming reports, it isn't broken out by location of visitors but by type of game. For the Las Vegas Strip, here are 2015 the revenue breakouts:

    Gaming = 34.9%
    of which
    Pit = 45.5%
    Coin Operated Devices = 50.6%
    Poker & Pan = 1.7%
    Race Book = 0.6%
    Sports Pool = 1.7%
    Rooms = 26.7%
    Food = 15.9%
    Beverage = 7.4%
    Other = 15.1%

    I think the things to watch for after the parking fees go into effect will be
    1) Will room occupancy rates at MGM properties drop?
    2) Does Gaming revenue decline at MGM properties?


    P.S. I heard a poker dealer that used to post here that the plan is for locals to be able to park free. If that turns out to be true, then I'd urge locals to go park at MGM properties and walk over to another company's casinos to gamble -- this way we save the free spots at other properties for the tourists without giving MGM any money.

  8. Since the spacing didn't stay, here are the revenue breakouts in easier to read format:

    Gaming = 34.9%
    Rooms = 26.7%
    Food = 15.9%
    Beverage = 7.4%
    Other = 15.1%

    Gaming breakout:
    Pit = 45.5%
    Coin Operated Devices = 50.6%
    Poker & Pan = 1.7%
    Race Book = 0.6%
    Sports Pool = 1.7%

  9. @Dap Poker are you sure about the locals being able to park for free? A lot of locals are upset because it looks like they won't be able to park for free. In the link to the article in the OP it says this:

    "Las Vegas locals will be given a grace period for free parking after the program begins and can maintain their free-parking status by enrolling and earning privileges through M life, the company's customer loyalty program."

    If that part I quoted is accurate then locals will either have to pay for parking, or lose a lot of money gambling to get "free" parking (which means they will still be paying).

  10. I am worried that MGM poker rooms will increase their comps to $2/hour and, simultaneously, tell poker players to use comps to pay for parking. For most people, this will be a massive decrease in comps compared to what soon might be referred to as "the good old days". I will be less concerned if comps stay the same, but 2 hours of poker play will also get me a days worth of parking comped. But even still, every once in a poker room stay doesn't last two hours for a wide variety of reasons (multiple bust outs, you just don't like the quality of the game at a certain casino on a certain day - which is more of an issue at a smaller MGM room like Luxor or Monte Carlo where table changing is not much of an option, or the wait list just makes it so that walking to the casino next door is the best option).

  11. @allin67 wrote:
    "I am worried that MGM poker rooms will increase their comps to $2/hour and, simultaneously, tell poker players to use comps to pay for parking. "

    if you play poker at any mgm property, you have zero mlife comps on you card. all poker
    comps are tracked separately by each poker room so i doubt this will be an option. you will likely need to have your parking ticket validated by the poker room to get any type of break, if
    allowed, on parking.

  12. @Goodshoe "Not that it changes your opinions, but the impetus for this policy is to fund the new MGM / Las Vegas arena"

    That's the line of bull they are feeding to get the public to think greed isn't behind this, but if that's the case they would only charge fees during events, and only for properties close to the area.

    In their corporate disclosure the fee was disclosed as a way to increase profit during a time of declining revenues under the infamous 'Profit Growth Plan'. The executives stand to be rewarded with large sums of stock options if the stock price moves just a little. By pumping up revenues short term they hope to do this.

    "In that case, it would put the parking policy on par with large arenas in other cities."

    Most cities have less parking than demand, in addition city parking entities don't directly benefit from the visitors spending. MGM charging people to spend money at their properties is totally backwards.

    "In any case, this policy has a larger impact on locals than tourists."

    Vegas has a larger proportion of drive-in tourists than people realize. Walk through the parking decks and you'll see many license plates from California, Arizona, Utah, and even N Nevada. And you maybe surprised at how much locals (which tend to be loyal unlike rate-hunting tourists) business the strip casinos gets. This essentially punish those that make are loyal to MGM properties in lieu of others.

    "As a tourist from the midwest, I've never once driven a car in Vegas. So this doesn't change my opinion of MGM properties."

    It will eventually affect you regardless. If visits/gaming/dining/beverage revenues drop due to the fee, they WILL make it up by offering worst odds/higher prices/lowering comps. It's how the profit game is played.

  13. "strategy to "expand and enhance" the company's parking infrastructure."

    You gotta love corporate PR fluff. "I went there because of the great parking!" says no-one ever.

    "The parking process is our customers' first and last touch-point with us," Sanders said. "Our guests expect and deserve an enhancement to this aspect of our resort experience."

    Yes, we have been asking to pay for a parking 'experience' for a while. Glad they are listening.

    "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."

    While ignoring customer feedback over the charge. If customers are generally concerned about "challenging navigation and finding spaces", they could just spend $5 and use existing valet parking.

  14. So long as other properties don't charge for parking, I will absolutely be taking my business to different casinos. Right now, I spend about 40% of my poker playing time at MGM properties and about 40% at Caesar's Entertainment properties (with a random 20% at off-the-beaten path casinos). No way I'd pay $10 to play at MGM properties if I have the option to park for free and play elsewhere. Will be interesting to see how this experiment plays out; I hope this blows up in the face of those Greedy MGM execs (well put Thamster!).

  15. @allin67 I think you can expect Caesar's to follow suit in a few months. That's what they did with the resort fees - promoted 'no resort fees' for a few months, then gave in. Oligopoly sucks.

    On a positive note, this really helps off-strip places like South Point, Orleans, Red Rock, Green Valley. Played at the last two last trip and was surprised at how nice both places are. FREE PARKING too!

  16. @thamster
    I think when/if Caesars does, I'm guessing there is a higher likely that you can use your Tier Credits or Resort credits to pay for parking assuming you only play poker

  17. I live in a state that has casinos and legal poker. A big reason why I go to Vegas is because it seems like I can generally find some solid values in Vegas (even if it takes a little bit of looking to find some of them). But with resort fees, and now parking fees, this feeling is quickly eroding. The more this type of things happens, the less likely I am to go to Vegas and the more likely I am to simply stay at home or travel to an alternate gambling destination.

    I agree that CET will start charging for parking. How else will they stop me from parking at Caesar's and walking straight to the Mirage (to take one easy but random example of a simple way to try and get around the parking fee). And, at that point, they can get away with charging $10 because half the Strip will already be charging $10, so customers will only be left with a few options (Trop, Venetian, Wynn, Palazzo, and TI to name most of them). It's at the point where all Vegas casinos are charging parking fees that I anticipate cutting back from 3 Vegas trips per year to 2 Vegas trips per year. And, yes, at this point, I will also definitely spend more time off-strip. I could see myself intentionally spending a day or two never going near the Strip, to save myself $10 on each of those days. As this all hits, I will have to develop a basic strategy to minimize parking costs and payment of silly fees. For the first months, the strategy is simple: do NOT go to MGM properties. Since I am absolutely rooting for this money grab to fail, I will actually not be parking at other properties free parking and walking to an MGM property either. I want MGM to feel the financial pain of this decision. So, at least initially, I will be joining the MGM boycott and hoping their profits suffer. But as soon as CET starts charging for parking, my boycott will be over (although, again, I will visit all casinos with parking fees less... but not a real boycott at this point).

  18. I emailed them at to complain. I'm sure they don't care what I say, but I needed to vent and I figured the more complaints they get the better. I'd urge anyone else to send them something negative because they have been taking heat for this and they have noticed. I expect them to charge anyway but they haven't given out all the details yet. In any case, they sent me this bs in response:

    "Good afternoon,

    Thank you for contacting M life Member Services. I apologize for the inconvenience. MGM Resorts International is a growing business and parking frustrations have been one of our most common guest concerns. Upgrades including technology to existing parking structures along with construction of new parking will help us enhance our overall guest experience. The parking system is in need of significant improvements to meet guest expectations and current business needs at our resorts but the parking fees are slated to be modest in comparison to similar markets. Although it is true that M life members with a high status may have the parking fee waved, the full list of details has not been announced yet. Please keep an eye out for further updates or feel free to ask us in the coming weeks. Parking fees are scheduled to go into effect in 2Q 2016. Thank you for your patience.

    Best Regards,
    Member Services Administrator
    (866) 761-7111 (6am to 9pm PST)"


    Not sure why I can't edit posts here but whatever.

  20. @Steve007 - No, I am not sure about locals being able to park for free. I read that same article and my impression from that was that you would need some sort of high level status on an M-Life card to get free parking. I merely said that I had heard from a dealer that there was going to be some parts of the policy that might allow locals to park for free -- maybe locals will need a lower status level to qualify. At this point, the details are not out, so there is just no way to know.

    But, because I can be a vindictive a$$hole when I choose to be, I can say that if I can park for free at an MGM property, then I will choose to do that whenever I go to the strip. I won't play at their property, but I will park there, just to screw with MGM's "enhanced parking plan."


  21. @Steve007 Good on you for writing them, though I'm pretty sure they are not considering backlash on this, unless total revenue takes a hit.

    "parking frustrations have been one of our most common guest concerns."

    More hard to digest rationale. It's the same "our customers wanted this!" line they gave for resort fees. Having parked at most of the strip casinos, MGM properties parking are no worst, and often better than, others. If that part is a concern, the solution is just fix the problem. It's a cost of business to attract guests to your properties over others.

    Had they been upfront and state that MGM is losing money still and need to find a way to turn a profit, I may be willing to eat the fee out of sympathy.

  22. @Goodshoe - I'm upset about this because I live in Vegas and only play poker. I don't play for a living, but I am close to the point that poker is a profitable hobby. Adding a fee for parking (even $10 for a day, which seems to be about where the costs are coming in) mean's an extra cost to me of about $2/hour based on a 5 hour cash game session. It's "only" 1 big blind per hour, but as basically a break even player right now, that is the difference between leaving with money or losing money on an average day.

    In addition, as thamster points out maintaining parking is a cost of doing business and MGM's lots are far from the worst on the strip -- look to the Quad and Flamingo for examples of much worse than any MGM property that I've ever parked at. I also am upset about the comparisons for parking in other cities. In most other cities, there are big garages that handle parking for multiple businesses. That's just not true on the strip. Most people who park in the garage at the MGM Grand will be giving at least some (if not all) of their business to that particular property. Therefore, charging a customer to park is just gouging them for extra money.


  23. It is hard to justify this as anything other than a money grab by MGM. Speaking of which, has anyone seen a reduction in hotel costs now that energy costs are so much cheaper?

    Random other thought. When in Vegas, I enjoy stopping by the California Hotel and eating a bowl of saimin at the Aloha Specialties restaurant inside (saimin is basically a Hawaiian version of ramen soup). However, since the downtown Las Vegas casinos started to charge for parking, I probably go about half as often as I did previously. I am not sure if they'd validate parking, but the hassle of it all has often caused my to just hit any of a number of other good food alternative in the city. Plus, kind of like Dap was saying about poker, its a good lunch at $10 but, if you also add the cost of parking on top, the value of the lunch quickly plummets. Although my buying a $10 lunch - or not buying a $10 lunch - is hardly what will sink the Cal, it is also fair to say that charging for parking has cost the casino some business. Whether the casino is better or worse off overall, I can't say. Sadly, the Downtown parking fees have survived a few years and appear to be here to stay. As such, I fear that the MGM experiment will also survive. I'll vote against it with my pocketbook, but fear this election - much like the national elections - will go in directions that I don't like.

  24. @allin67 - I have heard (not yet verified it myself) that Binion's security will validate parking tickets. So, that might be an option.


  25. Thanks Dap. I also believe that, just by flashing a Players Card, you can park for free at El Cortez. I know for sure I have done this in the last year or two, but won't guarantee that this is still the policy. I will go Downtown, from time to time, and use this play. But I have to be doing more Downtown that just getting a bite to eat for this to make sense.

    Validation Downtown has not been a big issue the times I have done it. Got validated at Binion's just last Summer when I played in the Binion's Classic. Was shocked and appalled that they didn't pay me for finishing 116th out of 232 runners - you would think that this perfectly average finish would be worth a few multiples of my buy-in - but they did validate my parking ticket without question.

    Regardless, maybe spending more time in Downtown Las Vegas will be in my future if the Strip starts implementing onerous parking fees. Despite my story, I almost never player poker Downtown anymore (I did more of this 3 or 4 years ago, but started to realize that easier pickings were to be found on the Strip).

  26. @allin67 wrote:
    "Sadly, the Downtown parking fees have survived a few years and appear to be here to stay."

    i don't ever recall there being free parking in any self parking lot downtown. there has always
    been some type of free "validated" parking downtown. if you are a poker player and play at either binion's or golden nugget, they will validate your ticket for free parking in their garage

  27. @allin67 - actually at El Cortez you are supposed to be at least at the 2nd level (Sapphire) of their loyalty program now. It changed once the Downtown project started gentrifying downtown. If it's not a busy day, the attendant will still let anyone in with an El Cortez player's card. But, if it is busy, then they will keep out the lowest level (Emerald) members -- like me. I found this one out from experience.


  28. zzyzx - Agreed, that Downtown fees are not that bad; you can generally get them validated (although less clear to me if you are just grabbing a bite to eat, for example). It is also, however, still a bit of a hassle and, all things being equal, I go Downtown a bit less with the fees. If MGM initiated a similar policy (mainly, fees that were easily waived through validation) I would complain less. My impression is that fees will generally not be validated, but we will have to wait and see what the final details are.

    Dap - Thanks for the clarification on the El Cortez. If El Cortez issued a Rust-level players reward level, I am sure I would qualify. So, I guess I will expect to be paying for my parking next time around.

  29. Ugh.

    "In related news, VT has learned that MGM Resorts International has begun eliminating valet jobs and will outsource parking operations to SPPlus. Apparently, the reason why Circus Circus is immune to the parking change is their employees there are part of the Teamsters union."

    "Update #1: SP Plus Corporation have confirmed this news via Twitter. Just in case they delete the tweet after MGM comes crying to them, here's a screen shot:"

    "Update #3: The tweet is deleted."

  30. Since the MGM announcement, some CET properties have been "surveying" customers entering their parking garages. I have been asked, "what is the purpose of your visit", "what is my card status", and "am I a hotel guest or local". I am sure they are compiling this data to figure out the best way to screw as many people as possible when they decide to start charging to park.

    For those that don't know, Binions and Golden Nugget validate parking in their poker rooms.

  31. it will be interesting to see how CET responds to the parking issue. they DO need to be
    concerned that visitors will NOT be using their garages to avoid parking fees at MGM properties.

    CET has made some recent positive moves in their rooms, rakes were lowered at Caesars.
    Harrah's and PH

    CET is more aggressive in their marketing to locals, and i am sure they understand that
    parking fees will negatively impact local visitation. so, if CET makes the decision to follow MGM in charging for parking ,hopefully they will be smart enough to incorporate some type of validation process.

    if you are unhappy with MGM, then the best course of action is to immediately STOP playing
    at their properties.

  32. Soon MGM will be charging $10/day to park, plus a deceptive, hidden, and mandatory extra $5/day "premium asphalt fee" which shall entitle the payer to parking on a hard surface instead of on the desert sand. Once the market gets use to that, MGM will add an additional "Right of Way" fee, which entitles the user to travel from the Las Vegas Strip and other public roadways, across private MGM property, to the hard surfaced parking spot of one's choice. If you want a spot within a quarter of a mile of the casino entrance, however, there will be an additional charge. Oh, and all applicable fees, charges, premiums, and royalties paid by parking customers will double on weekends and holidays.

  33. It's not fare for every player. Do the right..