Almost every week there’s a flow of news where it’s easy to see what the big buzz will be about. This week the news stream had a strange flow. It looked like one thing would be the hot topic then there was another announcement that seemed bigger. That stream of news continued throughout the week and by the end, the reaction was fairly equal for everything.
MGM Parking Deals: The Details Revealed
This week MGM Resorts rolled out their plan and fees when parking at their Las Vegas hotels. The social media outrage was as loud as I’ve ever heard in Las Vegas when they first announced the parking fees way back in January. A funny thing happened after not announcing anything for nearly four months. The majority of outrage went away online. Maybe people forgot about the fees or maybe they got the outrage out of their system but the buzz online seems to be more accepting this time around.
The MGM Resorts parking fee structure is way more complicated than you would imagine. I’ll try to break it down as simply as possible.
The self-parking fee is $7 for vehicles parked between 1-4 hours and $10 for vehicles parked between 4-24 hours at the following MGM Resorts: Aria, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, & New York – New York. The self-parking fee is $5 for vehicles parked between 1-4 hours and $8 for vehicles parked between 4-24 hours at the following MGM Resorts: Excalibur, Luxor & Monte Carlo.
The valet parking fee is $13 for the first 4 hours (no grace period) and $18 for between 4-24 hours at the following MGM Resorts: Aria, Bellagio, Delano, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, New York – New York, & Vdara. The valet parking fee is $8 for the first 4 hours (no grace period) and $13 for between 4-24 hours at the following MGM Resorts: Circus-Circus, Excalibur, Luxor & Monte Carlo.
Not everyone will have to pay parking fees. Some M Life players club members will receive complimentary parking.
Complimentary self-parking: M life members who are Pearl level and higher.
Complimentary valet parking: M life Rewards members who are Gold level and higher.
In addition, Nevada residents are given a grace period on paying for self-parking until December 29. This is just the tip of the iceberg on the MGM Resorts parking fees. Visit http://mgmresorts.com/parking/ for more information.
Palms Sold To Station Casinos
Earlier this week Red Rock Resorts (parent company of Station Casinos, not to be confused with Red Rock Resort the hotel without the “s”) announced that they will be buying Palms Casino Resort for $312 million. The deal is expected to close and become a part of the Station Casinos Boarding Pass players club family in the 3rd quarter. Palms Casino Resort will join Palace Station as their two properties closest to the Vegas Strip.
Much of the Palms has been renovated in the past few years so don’t look for Red Rock Resorts to make many changes in the near future. They mentioned that once they take over operations they’ll be observing to see what works and what doesn’t and go from there on their earnings call earlier this week.
In somewhat related news, Red Rock Resorts owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta might be working on a deal to sell UFC. They own 80% of the Mixed Martial Arts league that might fetch somewhere between $3.5 billion and $4 billion. ESPN has more on the potential deal.
SBE Returning To Las Vegas
SBE as a company never left Las Vegas since they still work in nightlife but they will return in the hotel biz. The former 10% owners of SLS Las Vegas announced that they’ve purchased Morgans Hotel Group. The name may not ring a bell since Morgans only own one hotel operated in Las Vegas and MGM Resorts does most of the work. The Las Vegas connection in this deal is Delano at Mandalay Bay. It will be interesting to see if SBE brings some of their restaurant and nightlife brands to the hotel.
Let’s break up the hotel news with something that feels as though it’s straight out of a post-apocalyptic movie. This week Hyperloop One was tested in North Las Vegas.The Hyperloop concept is amazing but it’s a bit out of my knowledge base so I’m going to quote Tech Insider with details “The Hyperloop is a futuristic transport system that carries passengers in capsules at speeds reaching more than 500 miles per hour.” Hyperloop won’t be available for another 5 years but the thought of travelling from LA to Las Vegas in less than a half hour is crazy. CNBC put together a quick video of the test with some interesting facts:
Westin To Upgrade And Close Max Casino
The Westin is located just east of the Vegas Strip on Flamingo. The hotel is about a 2-minute walk from The Cromwell and Bally’s. Unless you were a low roller you may have never known about attached Max Casino which was most famous for their $3 Happy Hour craps game.
The Westin makeover will close the Max casino to make room for a new restaurant. The location of the Westin makes it a great option for Starwood Hotels SPG members looking to use their free rooms accumulated travelling around the world in Las Vegas. The casino wasn’t much a destination as it was just a nice amenity. The William Hill sports book and a few slot machines will remain probably as part of a bar in the restaurant.
Caesars Shell Game Continues
Caesars Entertainment is still dealing with their bankruptcy and it may never end. The latest news from the Wall Street Journal (paywall) says that they might sell their mobile and social gaming business. This is a big deal for Caesars Entertainment as the sale could fetch them $4 billion. At the same time, this is the one segment of their business showing significant growth. The mobile/social gaming unit had year-over-year revenue growth of 28.8% in the first quarter this year.
This is the kind of growing revenue a company like Caesars Entertainment needs to stay in business but it’s also attractive to the people they owe money to. I think Caesars would be better off shedding some properties but I doubt that they’d be able to raise that kind of money without selling 10-15 casinos around the country which seems impossible.
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Travel Hacks | “Earn and Burn” – The Travel Hackers’ Credo
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