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More questions on MGM Resorts parking fee controversy

I can always count on Road Warrior readers being predictable.

After a fairly thorough look at any traffic or road situation, I can count on readers hitting me up with related questions about the topic, often things I hadn’t even thought about.

That’s what I like about you folks. You’re paying attention. And that’s one of the things I’m going to miss in the future. But more about that later.

After going through details of MGM Resorts International’s $90 million parking strategy, which starts to take effect next week, readers responded immediately — with more questions.

Parking will cost guests $10 a day, but most Nevadans can get a break from that.

MGM explained it will begin implementation June 6 at New York-New York, Bellagio, Aria, Vdara and Monte Carlo, then add the Excalibur, Luxor and Circus Circus valet on June 7, the MGM Grand and The Mirage on June 8 and conclude with Mandalay Bay and the Delano on June 13.

For most Nevadans, parking still will be free for 24-hour periods as long as you have a Nevada driver’s license, at least until Dec. 29 when the company will re-evaluate the plan. People who enter an MGM parking garage can exit after passing the smaller of two bar codes on the back side of the license past a scanner. There’s no need to insert a license into a machine so you won’t ever lose it due to a technological glitch.

Several readers asked questions related to the exit process and noted how one driver could back things up for everybody when leaving, for example, after a show or big event.

Gordon Absher, the MGM spokesman who knows all and tells all about parking, said exiting garages shouldn’t be a problem once everybody becomes familiar with the system. He explained that all parking facilities have multiple exit gates so there is an alternate gate in the event someone ahead of you is having a problem.

“Each exit gate has a call button that connects a guest to the parking command center for help,” Absher explained. “However, we cannot stress strongly enough the value of taking care of that transaction at the pay-on-foot kiosks located as you enter the parking facility. All ticketed transactions — credit card, cash, Mlife cards, driver’s licenses — will be accepted at those stations. Doing your business before you return to your vehicle will save you time at the exit gate.”

Another topic that received multiple email inquiries was whether those parking in handicap parking places or veterans could park for free.

“Unless you qualify for free parking as an Mlife Rewards member of Pearl status or higher or are a Nevada resident with valid driver’s license, through Dec. 29, parking fees will apply to all customers,” Absher said.

There are no discounts for those with disabled plates or handicap placards. While all MGM resort parking facilities will continue to offer the required amount of Americans with Disabilities Act accessible parking, some adjustments are being made at the New York-New York parking facility, as ADA spaces were located adjacent to the casino when the facility served only the resort.

“Now that it also serves the T-Mobile Arena, we are making spaces available nearer that venue to accommodate needs of our guests on event nights,” he said.

And, valet rates also are fixed and free only for Gold tier Mlife Rewards card holders.

Finally, several readers questioned the status of temporary residents of Nevada, or “snowbirds.” Is there a way to take advantage of the free parking Nevada residents will enjoy?

The short answer is no.

“The locals’ offer that waives the self-parking fee through Dec. 29 is available for full-time Nevada residents,” Absher said. “Part-time residents and drivers who live here but have not obtained a Nevada license are not eligible for the discount.”

Hopefully, that’s the last word on MGM parking for awhile. And, it’s also my last words as Road Warrior.

Next week, the column will be taken over by my new colleague, Art Marroquin, who wrote a similar column when he worked in Southern California. You can still send your inquiries to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com.

Thank you for your support during the two years I’ve written this column. Readers have done a great job of educating me and providing new concerns and issues that will help us get around better.

When I began as Road Warrior, I tried to expand it to include all transportation issues, including matters involving the airport, trains and light rail as well as streets and highways.

But you’ve made it abundantly clear that learning more about street projects and the rules of the road are your top priority, and I’ve tried to answer as many of those kinds of questions.

While I’m leaving Road Warrior behind, you’ll continue to see me in the business pages, writing about gaming and tourism.

Transportation is still near and dear and I’ll always be looking in on the issues of getting around town.

So stay safe, slow down, be courteous and enjoy the ride. I’m out there with you.

Questions and comments should be sent to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number. Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter @RJroadwarrior

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