Locals must pay to park at MGM casinos starting Thursday

AP News
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Posted: Dec 28, 2016 9:13 PM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada residents will have to pay for parking at most MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas starting Thursday, just as the crowds of new year's revelers begin arriving for the big holiday weekend.

The company implemented paid parking in June, although people who scanned their Nevada driver's license at the gate got in for free. MGM said the fees will help improve parking at its properties.

The charges come as the company is planning a $54 million parking structure to support the new T-Mobile Arena and is investing $36 million to upgrade existing parking facilities.

But the change angered some who have long enjoyed free parking in the heart of Las Vegas' tourism corridor — a rare benefit among big cities. It's also prompted a domino effect of other casinos implementing paid parking plans.

Vehicles will be charged up to $10 per day if they're parked for longer than four hours at Bellagio, Aria, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Excalibur, Luxor and New York-New York. They won't be charged if they are in the garage for less than an hour.

Locals can get free parking if they join the M Life rewards program and achieve Pearl status, which is one step above the introductory level.

After MGM's decision, Wynn Resorts said it will begin charging guests for valet services at the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, but drivers can still park their own cars for free.

The Cosmopolitan casino said it will start charging for self-parking and valet services early next year.

Caesars Entertainment, citing guest reports of scarce parking, said it will begin charging for valet services and self-parking at most of its properties, although hotel guests and local residents with identification will still be able to park at the off-Strip Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino for free.

Paid valet is already in place at the LINQ Hotel and Casino, the LINQ Promenade and Harrah's. A Caesars spokeswoman said the company has not finalized a date for paid valet and self-parking at the other properties. But she said paid valet should arrive in coming weeks and paid self-parking should phase in over the next few months.