Friday, January 15, 2016

MGM Parking Garage and Valet Fees Introduced

In a story first reported by Vegas Tripping back in October, MGM Resorts International today officially announced they will be charging "modest" parking fees at most of their Las Vegas properties.

The MGM Resorts press release announcing the fee is pretty vague, largely because the plans probably aren't finalized yet. It states "An overnight guest utilizing a self-park facility will pay $10 or less."

If I stay 5 nights does that mean I pay $10 or $50?

Free valet service will be going away as well, a move that pretty much had to happen to avoid abuse now that self parking isn't going to be free.

From what I can gather hotel guests will not be exempt from the parking fees, which is absolutely ludicrous considering they are already paying a resort fee that can top $35 a night.

As part of the new parking initiatives MGM will also be building an additional garage on the Excalibur property which will serve the new T-Mobile Arena. An arena parking garage has been called for by locals since day one, but I'm guessing they didn't know it would come with extra parking fees.

Las Vegas locals might actually be the biggest loser in all of this. According to the press release, "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."

Yep, pretty much a slap in the face to locals. Come sign up for our loyalty program and gamble and we might throw you a bone with free parking. Yuck.

The question now - will other hotels copy MGM's lead and start charging for parking, or will they see it as an opportunity to steal some of MGM's customer base by keeping parking free forever? I think it will be the latter.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Encore Player's Club

One of the narratives in Las Vegas news lately has been the premise that young people don't gamble. This has led to casinos trying different things to try to get young people interested in gambling.

Skill based slot machines are going to be hitting the floor in 2016. I think skill based machines are exciting and have lots of potential, but only time will tell if they actually catch on.

Another thing casinos are doing is to combine the casino with the nightclub. Last year The Palazzo introduced the Lavo Casino Club which essentially added a few table games to the restaurant and nightclub.

More recently Encore has introduced the Player's Club. This area off the casino floor is essentially a lounge with casino games alongside non-casino games such as pool and bar shuffleboard. Vital Vegas has posted a few photos of the Player's Club.

I think it's a good idea. If young people won't go to the casino, why not bring the casino to them. Someone might not want to seek out a casino gaming experience, but might play if a game is presented to them in a more relaxed environment.