Its official. The are beginning to charge for parking at the hotels in Las Vegas. Another tradition bites the dust.
It was so great — you drove up in front of the hotel, tossed your keys to the valet, and they parked your car. You were treated like Royalty. It was a little thing, but a good one. Las Vegas always led the pack with service. There was free drinks at the tables, buffets that stopped traffic, and free self and valet parking.
I always went to Sin City with the idea that gambling was rather like going to a show. You invested a certain amount of money, had a good time, and probably lost the money, like the price of the ticket to see an Elvis impersonator. That way, you never felt bad when you lost. And just maybe, you would win. (yeah right).
But when you left, a tad poorer than when you arrive, you handed your ticket to the valet and there it came, your car was delivered, free, right to where you were standing. That felt good, and took out some of the sting when you split 10s.
But no more. Good business sense has taken over. The MGM hotel chain which owns a dozen of the casinos dotting the Vegas Strip, including the Bellagio, MGM Grand, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay has decided that it will charge $10 a day for self parking, more for valet. So who gets hit the most. Yes, those of us from LA who drive across the beautiful desert to visit.
Why? Money, that’s why. Seems the days when all the profits in the hotel trade in Las Vegas came from the gaming tables is gone. In fact, less than half now comes from craps, slots, and blackjack. The rest is from food, hotel rooms, and entertainment…. and soon parking.
Do the numbers. MGM Resorts alone has over 37,000 spaces on the strip and assuming only half of them are full each night, that would generate $67.5 million a year. That not chump change, even in Vegas. How long will it take the others to jump on board.
So the decision was made. some lucky PARCS company will get a dozen large systems on this go alone. Will MGM be a little sneaky and divide up the systems into two or three parts. Thus motivating the companies to do their best to keep the deal? It worked at Schipol airport in Amsterdam, why not here.
But I digress. Its been tradition that some of the amenities were ‘free’ in Las Vegas. You might not be able to be ‘comped’ for your room, but your car got a place to park. Not any more. Its sad, but then, that’s how business is done.