MGM Resorts Begins Charging Self-Parking Fees

by Kyle Miller

MGMTravelers to Las Vegas will find they now have to pay to park when visiting MGM Resorts

One of the perks of visiting Las Vegas was the free parking. Players could easily visit their favorite casino and pay nothing, staying hours on site playing their favorite casino games. Now it seems the times are changing and casinos are starting to implement parking fees for visitors to the property. MGM Resorts International began charging self-parking fees today at all of their properties minus Circus Circus.

Why Charge for Parking?

Officials of venues that will now charge for parking say the fee is necessary due to individuals parking at their venues but not partaking in what they have to offer. Apparently, people would park at the parking decks for the gaming venues and then go somewhere else. The parking lots would fill up quickly and leave the actual patrons of the venues with nowhere to park their vehicles. The solution was to start charging so only those who visited the casino would want to use the parking area.

Today, MGM Resorts properties including the MGM Grand, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, CityCenter’s Aria, Excalibur, New York-New York, Bellagio and the Mirage will all be charging for parking. The only way to not pay for parking is to be a member of the loyalty rewards program of MGM Resorts known as Mlife. Players must have a Pearl status to earn free parking.

There are five levels to the Mlife program so players will have to move past the starting Sapphire level to reach Pearl and earn free parking. The more one gambles and spends at the MGM properties, the more rewards will be earned and a higher level obtained in the program. Another way to receive free parking is to sign up for the Mlife Mastercard credit card which automatically places a player at Pearl status.

Moving Forward with Parking Charges

Back in June, MGM Resorts International decided they would be charging for parking. Both valet and self-parking would have a charge. Locals will be able to park for free until the year end but not after. When MGM made the announcement, it marked a change in how casinos do business along the Las Vegas Strip.

Joining the Bandwagon

After MGM made the announcement, it seemed that other casino venues decided to join in and charge for parking. Back in November, Caesars Entertainment made the announcement that they would be charging for Valet parking and self-parking but in limited capacity. Harrah’s, Linq Hotel and the Promenade already charge with other properties to charge in the coming weeks.

Wynn Resorts has announced that valet parking will charge but self-parking will still be free to players. A parking validation policy may be created but details of any plan have yet to be released. This month, the Cosmopolitan announced they would charge for both parking options beginning sometime early next year.

For MGM Resorts, the parking charges will vary based on Valet and Self-parking choices including the time frame and property you visit. For the most part, it will cost $8 to $13 a day for valet parking while self-parking will range from $5 to $8. Particular properties including the MGM Grand, Aria, Belladio and Mandalay Bay will charge $13 to $18 for valet and $7 to $10 for self-parking.

The charge for parking is certainly the end of an era in Las Vegas. It remains to be seen if the charge will affect the number of gamblers who will frequent the gambling facilities. For most, the small charge will be nothing compared to what they might spend or win on the gaming floor!