Disclosure helps MGM-Mirage avoid costs

MGM Mirage saved a bundle when the county inspected the Monte Carlo hotel because its parent company had already reported, during a 2008 "amnesty," past remodeling done without permits.

So the county did not penalize MGM Mirage whenever building inspectors came across work performed without permits during recent inspections at the Monte Carlo and five of its sister properties.

It turned out 64 percent of the code violations found at the Monte Carlo last year involved renovations that took place without permits or inspections. The county has already inspected five other MGM Mirage properties as well.

MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said the company had a head start on fixing shortcomings.

"After the Monte Carlo fire (in January 2008), we hired a third party to just go out and look at everything" related to building safety, Feldman said.

In Clark County's new resort monitoring program, it has, however, penalized owners who did not self-disclose such below-the-radar projects -- by doubling the inspection fees connected to the projects. On Wednesday the penalty increased, to triple the inspection fee.

At the Monte Carlo -- as at most of the other 17 hotels in Clark County that have participated so far -- inspectors sometimes classified jobs as unpermitted if the owner could produce no paperwork documenting that it had secured permits and passed inspections.

Examples of work done without permit at the Strip hotel are: part of a keno security office converted to a players' club; pool storage converted to an office; other storage converted to a photo lab; restaurant liquor storage converted to an office.

As of Jan. 23, Feldman said the Monte Carlo has resolved 38 percent of its 662 violations.