New Parking Fees at Hotels: When Mandatory Resort Fees are Not Enough
A press release from MGM Resorts International announced the launch of a $90 million “major parking strategy and investment to address long-term growth” for visitors to Las Vegas which will “expand and enhance parking infrastructure, take advantage of new technologies that will significantly improve the parking experience, and meet changing consumer tastes and demands” — but it also includes the implementation of a parking fee program which will “introduce a modest fee for customers utilizing valet services or self-park facilities.”
That “modest fee” is expected to be ten dollars or less for overnight guests who park their own vehicles when the parking fee program launches sometime during the second quarter of 2016.
Guests who are based in Las Vegas will be given a grace period for free parking after the parking fee program starts; and they can maintain their free-parking status by enrolling and earning privileges through the M life customer loyalty program. Guests who are not residents of Las Vegas can also earn free parking status through the M life customer loyalty program…
A structure with 3,000 parking spaces — at a cost of $54 million — is scheduled to begin construction sometime during the second quarter of 2016 near the northwest corner of the Excalibur Hotel campus; and will “serve to absorb further visitor growth and enhance the experience of attendees of events at nearby resorts and entertainment venues.” Completion of the construction of this parking facility is expected sometime during the second quarter of 2017; and it is designed to serve the newest venues in Las Vegas — such as the T-Mobile Arena, The Park, and the Theater at Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino – and provide additional parking for employees.
Additionally, an additional $36 million will be invested to improve parking facilities at the resorts of MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas to “implement guidance technologies and other guest enhancements.” Guests using self-park facilities will be able to check real-time availability from a portable electronic device; and quickly find a space by following dynamic signs and guidance comprised of light emitting diodes.
The planned improvements include:
Redesigned parking facility layouts to improve accessibility
Parking guidance systems that will guide guests to available spaces
Mobile technology allowing visitors to check space availability prior to arrival
Upgraded lighting, signage comprising of light emitting diodes, paint and striping
Elevator and escalator upgrades and enhancements
When I visited Las Vegas in September of 2014 and stayed at both Mandalay Bay Las Vegas and the Monte Carlo Las Vegas Resort and Casino — both of which are part of the MGM Resorts International portfolio of hotel properties — mandatory resort fees were not included in the initial room rate at either hotel property.
“Fee parking is a standard practice for hotels, resorts and entertainment facilities across the country,” noted Corey Sanders — who is the chief operating officer of MGM Resorts International — “especially those in comparable high-demand tourist and convention destinations, such as New York, Los Angeles and Orlando.”
Further justification of the implementation of parking fees is as follows:
Parking fees will be moderate when compared to similar fees in other markets. An overnight guest utilizing a self-park facility will pay $10 or less. Las Vegas locals will be given a grace period for free parking after the program starts and can maintain their free-parking status by enrolling and earning privileges through M life, the Company’s customer loyalty program. Non-resident guests can also earn free-parking status through the M life program.
As I did not have a car in Las Vegas, I walked from the international airport which serves the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area to the hotel at which I was staying to avoid possibly being scammed by taxi cab drivers. Perhaps members of the city government of Las Vegas should consider addressing that and other issues to help improve Las Vegas for its visitors.
Las Vegas may be more than a city of gambling these days as it keeps trying to position itself as an upscale destination; but charging visitors and guests fees seems counterproductive when they are encouraged to gamble their money away. Are the casinos not profiting as much from gambling revenue as they used to do years ago where they now are resorting to charging parking fees? What is next — electronic tolls along Las Vegas Boulevard?!?
As it is, it would not break my heart to never step foot in Las Vegas ever again — especially as visiting there seems to keep getting more and more expensive; and I get little in return, in my opinion…