In a Las Vegas Strip first, MGM Resorts International will become the first major casino company in Sin City to start charging visitors for self parking, finds Grumpy Editor.
Locals and frequent tourists consider the move a bad turn in PR since such parking has been a key “freebie” since the Strip was born 75 years ago.
Management sees it another way. The headline on a company news release crows: MGM Resorts International to enhance guest parking experience.
The New York Stock Exchange-listed Las Vegas casino company’s properties --- MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Delano, Luxor, Excalibur, Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Vdara, Aria, Bellagio and The Mirage --- will charge $10 for overnight parking, less for shorter periods during the day starting sometime in the second quarter.
MGM hotels on the Las Vegas Strip already are nicking visitors on the high end (up to $33.60 per room, per night) for so-called “resort fees,” padding added to room rates that covers the Internet, local and 800 phone calls, newspaper (at news stand), basic services at hotel business center and access to exercise room at MGM Grand Spa.
Resort fees, in efforts to boost bottom lines, have caught on in other parts of the country over the past few years.
As with past added money-making developments in Las Vegas, other major hotel/casino properties are likely to follow instituting parking fees.
With 45 million visitors a year to Las Vegas, the move by MGM is seen bringing in additional millions of dollars in revenue annually --- without adding a single slot machine or a craps table.
Iran capture of 10 U.S. sailors raises questions
News reports on the Iranian capture of two small U.S. Navy boats with a combined crew of 10, including one woman --- later forced to wear a headscarf --- were blamed on assorted factors. Most prevelant: engine problems as the boats drifted toward shore near Farsi island in the Arabian Gulf. Then it became a navigational error with the onboard GPS. (One report had the Iranians confiscating that gear.)
While released the next day, the U.S. sailors nevertheless were subject to facing weapons while kneeling with hands clasped behind heads on their own craft as the Iranians were busy recording propaganda video on board and later on land for worldwide consumption.
Few in U.S. media mentioned the Geneva Conventions ban the practice of parading prisoners for propaganda purposes.
In a new development today --- and adding to strange goings-on --- the Pentagon revealed Iranian soldiers removed SIM cards from two handheld satellite phones in possession of the U.S. sailors.
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE…
Despite bright economic outlooks last week from the White House, U.S. industrial production fell for the third straight month in December…Performing elephants, a decades-long attraction with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, will only be seen in vintage movies after May. All 11 touring circus elephants will be retired…While U.S. military forces continue to dwindle, Russia will create three military divisions on its Western flank this year…Media, especially TV, were highly excited late last week over a possible out-of season hurricane in the far eastern Atlantic. Named Alex, it quickly fizzled and departed the Azores Islands Friday as a tropical storm…California politicians concerned with housing the swelling prison population at San Quentin should read a Reuters story out Friday that noted more than 700 death row inmates in the Golden State still await execution. Despite an $850,000 remodeling with taxpayers’ funds, San Quentin’s death chamber remains unused, as the state has not carried out an execution in a decade…Forget bank robberies, that’s old stuff. New York police are looking for a suspect who cleaned out an entire 190-bottle display of upscale nail polish at a Manhattan store. Caught on video and facing a grand larceny charge: a man, undoubtedly highly polished.
This five-word headline spotted on a financial site sums up stock market action last week: Global selloff on China worries.
And it’s not even our 51st state.