Will any resorts not charge for parking?
According to the same memo, Circus Circus will not charge for self-parking but will charge for valet.
There will be no charge for valet at two shopping centers under the MGM umbrella: The Shops at Crystals at CityCenter and the Shoppes at Mandalay Place between the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. It will be interesting to see how that pans out, since people could use those valets to avoid being charged while visiting neighboring properties, leading to congested garages.
The Signature towers at MGM Grand, just one block off the Strip, are also not expected to charge for parking.
What's going to happen with valet service?
A source within the company says valet at Strip resorts will now be around $17 a day -- at least at the Bellagio. None of that will go towards the valet attendants directly. One employee says it could lead to a major reduction of income (65 to 70 percent) for those who work in the valet area.
Clearly the idea is to hand over a $20 bill and have them keep the $3 difference as a tip. Fair enough. However, fewer drivers will choose to valet when it isn't free. That means less cars and less tips for employees overall. Drivers will also have the option to pay for valet by credit card.
When will these new fees start?
Our source says April 1st. MGM Resorts is adamant about not mentioning a specific date and will only officially say the "second quarter of 2016"... which would point to April, especially since the new arena is opening early in the month. Getting new equipment into place and refurbishing existing parking garages could be a factor as well.
Are there any perks for locals?
Locals (those with a Clark County address) on their ID will be given a "grace period" for free parking after the new policy goes into effect. How long that period will last is anyone's guess at this point.
"As a local who's been here for over 10 years, I know that free parking is one of the few freebies that we are still entitled to on the Strip," says Simon. "So if nothing else, MGM should make parking free for locals permanently."
Will there be a rewards program?
If you sign up for the "M life" customer loyalty card, you can receive some sort of discount or "maintain" free parking status by "earning privileges" with the card (which kind of sounds like gambling). That could also mean a certain degree of free parking as a reward for a certain amount of paid parking.
"If you were to sign up for it and get free parking, it's a better idea than having to earn points to get free parking." Simon points out. "If you are just going to a restaurant and don't want to gamble, you don't necessarily want to get a card."