Coronavirus: MGM Resorts says Las Vegas Strip free parking coming back - USA TODAY

Coronavirus: MGM Resorts says Las Vegas Strip free parking coming back - USA TODAY

Coronavirus: MGM Resorts says Las Vegas Strip free parking coming back - USA TODAY

Posted: 19 May 2020 04:52 AM PDT


Slot machines are powered down, casinos boarded up and barricaded. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, instead of hosting throngs of visitors for one of the busiest seasons of the year, Las Vegas is trying to survive. (April 26) AP Domestic

LAS VEGAS – The pandemic may have forced a shutdown of the Strip – but it's also resurrected a relic of old Las Vegasfree parking

MGM Resorts, operator of a dozen properties in this gambling and entertainment capital, announced Monday the return of the treasured amenity, reports the Reno Gazette Journal, which is a part of the USA TODAY Network.

"MGM Resorts is updating many of our offerings as we prepare to welcome guests back, and that includes implementing free parking," the company said in a statement.

A start date has not been disclosed. In the wake of COVID-19, MGM won't open all hotels at once, but rather start with two or three targeted at different traveler budgets. 

The first two resorts that will reopen with free parking when shutdown orders are lifted? New York-New York Hotel & Casino, a midprice hotel on the south end of the Strip with a roller coaster, arcade and Irish pub, and Bellagio, the luxury mid-Strip resort that's home to the famous fountain show, high-end shops and restaurants, a conservatory and a museum.

Parking strategy swing

In 2016, a majority of casino companies started charging tourists to keep their cars in the parking garages of Strip properties, a move that raised concerns that free parking would soon fade away.

In 2019, after experimenting with a paid parking model, Wynn Resorts broke ranks with the bulk of hotel-casinos on the Strip and announced free self-parking would resume at its Wynn and Encore resorts. 


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MGM Resorts will soon join a small group of resort neighbors — Treasure Island, SLS Las Vegas, Wynn, Encore, Venetian and Palazzo — that offer free self-parking. 

In an email, Caesars Entertainment declined to comment on whether the company would join the unfolding free parking trend.

Paid parking woes

Paid parking has been a center of frustration of tourists remembering the old days. 

"The parking fees are a gigantic deal for everybody. They gripe all the time about things they don't like. They hate resort fees. They hate paid parking worse," Anthony Curtis, founder of, told the USA TODAY Network. 

One solution to paid parking woes has been avoiding casino-resorts that charge for parking, according to a 2018 Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance survey. 

Data revealed almost 37 percent of respondents avoid parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. About 7 percent said they visit the same hotel-casinos regardless of parking fee policies.

Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network.

'A new Vegas for the new reality': Las Vegas launches new TV ad as resorts, casinos prepare to reopen

Itching to visit Las Vegas again? MGM Resorts says these Strip hotels will reopen first


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MGM Resorts CEO Says Las Vegas Strip Reopening Will Start With Two or Three Casinos - The Wall Street Journal

Posted: 30 Apr 2020 04:53 PM PDT

Once the Las Vegas Strip is cleared to reopen, MGM Resorts International will open two or three of its casinos, including the flagship Bellagio, as part of a gradual relaunch, acting Chief Executive Bill Hornbuckle told Wall Street analysts.

MGM Resorts, the biggest operator on the Strip with about a dozen properties, will have the Bellagio to compete with other high-end properties reopening at the same time, Mr. Hornbuckle said, and the New York-New York casino could be chosen as a lower-priced offering. Casinos will open...

MGM Resorts Will Open Vegas Properties at 25% Capacity to Start - Travel Market Report

Posted: 14 May 2020 06:16 AM PDT

Once the COVID-19 shutdown is lifted, MGM Resorts International will open its first couple of Las Vegas hotels at 25% capacity, its CEO Bill Hornbuckle said this week.

Hornbuckle told the Today Show that the 25% capacity limit, along with a new set of health and safety measures that MGM also unveiled this week, will set up "a very, safe, controlled environment."

"In the short-term, Vegas done safely, I think, is still Vegas."

MGM's seven-point safety plan, which it unveiled on its website this week, calls for a new set of health protocols for both its employees and its guests including: temperature checks and health screenings for employees and self-screening for guests; mandatory masks and personal protective equipment required for employees and recommended for guests; six-foot of physical distancing; new handwashing and sanitization stations throughout properties; air quality and HVAC checks; new incident response protocols; and digital innovations.

The physical distance protocol will see every other slot machine in MGM's casinos placed out of service and a reduction in the number of guests allowed at blackjack and other gaming tables. Employees will also discourage guests from standing at tables (aside from Craps) and plexiglass will be placed at tables where physical distance isn't possible.

All gaming machines and other touchpoints will also be frequently cleaned.

MGM's digital innovations include a new, touchless check-in procedure that will have guests avoid the front desk and waiting in line. Instead, guests will be able to complete the check-in process on the MGM app before coming into the lobby. They will then receive a notification when their room is ready and will be able to unlock their door with a digital room key.

MGM will still offer a traditional check-in process, changed to be contactless, for those who want to use it.  

MGM is still likely to start with just two of its Vegas properties when it again begins welcoming guests—New York-New York and the Bellagio. Those two properties will allow MGM to offer experiences for different budgets on the strip.

Hornbuckle, in that Today interview, said that he sees three buckets of guests that come to Las Vegas and the first will come "immediately, irrespective of health concerns." There's also a group that will need to be convinced that it is safe before coming, which MGM hopes to accomplish with the new set of safety protocols, and a third group that's going to "wait to see how this plays out."

Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall Tunica reopen May 21 - WATN - Local 24

Posted: 18 May 2020 02:26 PM PDT

Announcements came days after Mississippi Gaming Commission allowed casinos to reopen.

TUNICA COUNTY, Mississippi —

5/19/2020 - (NEWS RELEASE) - MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) today announced the reopening dates of its Mississippi resorts, the first of the company's U.S. properties to reopen following closure earlier this year amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica will reopen in a limited capacity to the public on Monday, May 25, followed by Biloxi's Beau Rivage Resort & Casino's reopening Monday, June 1, also in a limited capacity. Each property will host an invitation-only weekend ahead of its public reopening.

"Our hearts are with everyone in our communities, and around the world, who has been personally impacted by this crisis," said Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts' Acting CEO and President. "As we plan to reopen our resorts, the health and safety of our guests and employees guide all of our decision-making. Getting many of our employees back to work and welcoming guests through our doors once again will allow us to do what we do best – entertain. We can't wait."

Health & Safety

Last week, MGM Resorts released its comprehensive "Seven-Point Safety Plan," a multi-layered set of protocols and procedures designed in conjunction with medical and scientific experts to deter the spread of the virus, protect customers and employees and rapidly respond to potential new cases. The full plan can be reviewed at Key initiatives include:

Employee screening, temperature checks and Covid-19 specific training.

Employees will be required to wear masks; Guests are strongly encouraged, and in some settings where physical distancing is more difficult and/or barriers do not exist, will be required to do so. Examples of where masks will be required include salons, table games where physical barriers are not in place and elevators if riding with guests outside of their travel group. Masks will be provided, free of charge.

A physical distancing policy will be enforced in public areas, with floor guides serving as reminders throughout the properties.

For areas where physical distancing presents challenges, plexiglass barriers will be installed, or other measures will be used to reduce risks for employees and guests.

MGM Resorts has fabricated handwashing stations that will be conveniently placed on casino floors.

Digital menus will be available to view on personal mobile devices via QR codes in the company's Food & Beverage outlets.

To minimize groups congregating while they wait, restaurant guests will receive a text message notification when their tables are ready.

Guestroom Attendants will wear masks and gloves while cleaning each room and will change gloves between guestrooms.

Per Mississippi Gaming Commission guidelines, a 50 percent capacity restriction will be enforced, table games and slot machines will be configured to allow for appropriate physical distancing, and valet parking will be temporarily discontinued. Complimentary self-parking will be available for guests.

Gold Strike Casino Resort

Upon reopening May 25, in addition to the hotel, Gold Strike's food and beverage offerings will include Pickle & Jam, Chicago Steakhouse, the Buffet and Stage 2. All food within the Buffet will be served by team members; there will be no self-service. Property amenities will be limited in this first phase of opening.

Room reservations for dates beginning on May 25 can be made at

Beau Rivage Resort & Casino

With its June 1 opening, in addition to the hotel, Beau Rivage's food and beverage offerings will include the Italian restaurant Stalla, Terrace Café and Snacks. For retail needs, Essentials and BR Etc. will be available for guests. Property amenities will be limited in this first phase of opening.

Room reservations for dates beginning in June can be made at


5/18/2020 - (NEWS RELEASE FROM BOYD GAMING) - Tunica, Miss.— Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall today announced it will reopen to the public on Thursday, May 21.

The property will resume operations on Thursday at 11 a.m. with a limited number of amenities. Casino gaming will be temporarily limited to slot machines only.

"As we reopen our doors, the health and safety of our customers, our team members and the community will be our highest priority," said Vince Schwartz, Senior Vice President of Operations for Boyd Gaming. "Throughout our property, we will implement comprehensive safety protocols approved by local, state and federal health officials. We are excited for the opportunity to reopen Sam's Town, and we look forward to offering our customers an enjoyable – and safe – entertainment experience."

Upon re-opening, Sam's Town will practice "Boyd Clean," a set of comprehensive protocols aimed at protecting the health and safety of its team members and guests. These protocols, which will be followed at all Boyd Gaming properties nationwide, include:

· Mandatory face coverings and temperature checks for all team members;

· Social distancing requirements and capacity restrictions across all customer and team member areas, including casino floors and restaurants;

· Enhanced cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch surfaces, including door handles, gaming machines, table games, handrails and elevator buttons;

· Increased placement of hand sanitizer dispensers throughout our properties;

· Required training for all team members on our safety protocols.

For additional information on the Boyd Clean initiative, visit

In compliance with state requirements, property amenities will be operating under limited capacity and operating hours. A full list of current amenities and schedules is available on the property's website at

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About Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Tunica

Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Tunica is the place for entertainment on the Delta. More information on Sam's Town can be found at, on Facebook and Twitter. Sam's Town is a property of Boyd Gaming. Founded in 1975, Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) is a leading geographically diversified operator of 29 gaming entertainment properties in 10 states. With one of the most experienced leadership teams in the casino industry, Boyd Gaming prides itself on offering its guests an outstanding entertainment experience, delivered with unwavering attention to customer service. For additional Company information and press releases, visit


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