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Your Response to MGM PGP??

Last edit: wpsteel66 on Thursday, 17th March 2016 4:00 pm
Last response by level42 14th April 11:25am

Question: What have you done differently since the MGM Profit Growth Plan (PGP) has been implemented?

We have read many stories of how MGM is changing procedures and actions to make more money…we have read VT posters say that they are no longer going to patronize MGM properties since MGM is screwing the customer.

But we all know actions speak louder than words…a few VT posters have said they did not book a MGM hotel, play at a MGM casino, and/or visit a MGM restaurant. For instance, Chuck commented that he purposely avoided an MGM hotel but instead stayed at the Super 8 hotel at Ellis Island.

The two most significant effects of MGM PGP on me are no longer getting Express comp money for my craps play and will have to pay for parking (since I always rent a car while in Vegas due to the need to be off the strip during my visit).

To be honest, I have been loyal to MGM. Of the almost 30 Vegas trips, only 4 times have I stayed at a non-MGM hotel, and never stayed downtown. But this changed earlier this month…I booked a hotel stay at Caesars Palace for the first time…I wanted to test the “other Vegas waters” to see if the “grass was greener on the other side” compared to MGM hotels/casinos… I wanted to see if the others offered better things and would I be better off than getting hit with the PGP effects.

In the end, I liked Caesars Palace…the Forum Tower room and other things (ie fitness center, food options) were really nice… but also some things I did not care so much for (ie, pay resort fee even on comped nights, night club music thumping heard in room, property has so many nooks)… I selected the Palace since I figured this was the best CET has to offer…plus the few other times I have stayed at another CET property, I was not all that impressed.. based upon the Caesars Palace experience, I would book another stay at this hotel…I plan to consider/look into other non-MGM properties for future Vegas trips.

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 Chuckmonster responded on Thursday, 17th March 2016

On my most recent trips, I booked non-MGM hotels. It was strangely refreshing to cross off 1/3 of The Strip as options. It made me look at my options/budgets/offerings in a completely different way.

I generally planned my trip around going to MGM properties although I did have an unavoidable conflict - concert tickets at Mandalay Event center. I bought some food and a beer at the concert. You can't buy a burger without buying fries too! BAHAHAH. After the show, I left the MGM bloc and explored other joints. Side note, the Tropicana looks great under Penn National. I didn't stay there.

Perhaps the other major thing I've done is to scratch MGM from my list of hotels to review during my upcoming trip to Macau. I'll definitely walk through, but with so many other great options in Macau I'm going to pass on giving them my money for the time being.

 DoubleD responded on Thursday, 17th March 2016

In Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, there is a great conversation between Howard Roark and Ellsworth Toohey. Toohey asks Roark, point blank, what he (Roark) thinks of him (Ellsworth). Roark responds in typical Roark fashion: "...I don't think of you."

This line has always stuck with me, and I find it very appropriate in explaining how I feel about MGM's PGP. I don't mean to get all literary, but it drives home the point exactly.

I went from favoring MGM, being attracted to MGM, interested in MGM and appreciating MGM to not caring about MGM at all. And the truth is, it's not worth an explanation. Put simply, my response to MGM: I don't.

 mjames1229 responded on Thursday, 17th March 2016

I've long said the same thing about what the hotties at the Hard Rock Hotel think about me as we pass in the casino.

They don't.

 HillBilly replied on Saturday, 19th March 2016

Hellllloooooo and Goooood Bye.

 Hyperfocal responded on Thursday, 17th March 2016

In many ways, PGP is like the dawn of resort fees. Resort fees fundamentally changed my Vegas experience since I had been staying at cheap and comped rooms. Luxury be damned, Vegas is free.

Once a comped room at Imperial Palace became a $25 room, the value proposition disappeared.

My current phase is value luxury and downtown. A $33.50 resort fee on a Terrace Suite at Cosmo is pretty much a rounding error. ...or stay downtown where it's cheap. OK, the gambling budget got cut by the room cost.

As a more long distance traveler, parking fees aren't all that important. But, there is no way even the independents like Cosmo and Trop can avoid some sort of charge. Parking is finite and no one can afford to have their parking full of other people's customers.

I have Aria booked in two weeks. It's going to be an experiment. It looks like PGP at Aria seems to be split between cutting free drink options and upgrading the lower level suites. They have never gotten the prices corner suites would get if they were in Bellagio or Caesars. The basic suites are now the Tower Suites with a private lounge and comp limo R/T from the airport. Looks like they are trying to push up the room rates. We'll see if the service is better or worse than my last stay.

Unfortunately, PGP, especially the parking fees are going to hit some of Vegas' most frequent visitors, Californians, and that could hurt much more than it helps the bottom line.

 HedgedBettor responded on Thursday, 17th March 2016

I'm too much of an Aria/Vdara addict to quit MGM unless things get really awful. June will be my first trip since PGP started and I'm very curious to see how the experience is affected for me - I'm wagering less than everybody fears.

 wpsteel66 replied on Saturday, 19th March 2016

I have been a Beau Rivage (MGM in Biloxi, MS) junkie for 10 years...but last April I went out of my comfort zone and stayed at the Hard Rock next door...the next 6 of 7 Biloxi trips since have been at the Hard Rock.

So I am applying this learning outcome to Vegas as my justification to try other non MGM in Vegas...maybe there are other places worth while ...but I agree with you that Aria/Vdara are great MGM hotels, but I got to find out for myself what else is out there.

 catfishncwc responded on Thursday, 17th March 2016

I go to vegas normally 3 times a year, 2 for vacation and 1 conference that is held at Paris. Even with the conference at paris I would stay at Bellagio, but with all the games that MGM is playing in will stay at Paris for my conference. The 2 vacation trips will probably be at Aria still but I will start to spread my play over to Wynn and Cosmo a little more. Though my wife loves Aria so happy wife, happy life.

 anawas responded on Tuesday, 22nd March 2016

Bellagio has always treated my wife and me well during conferences. And there will be more conferences.

But I might be taking my gambling dollars downtown while she's "learning."
If we were to visit the Strip without a conference, I'd look hard at staying at Trop and/or Linq.

That said I'm also mad at CET for allowing Atlantic City to get so bad, then complaining about the drop in traffic while building in Philly and Baltimore and attempting to build in NY.

 NeverJustJ responded on Thursday, 17th March 2016

"...so many nooks..."
What? Nero's Nook was a CP original. This image is from the Palo Alto, CA version, but I imagine LV must have been equally if not more cool!
https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3547/3795334457_d3e1e8312d_z.jpg?zz=1

 joekollar responded on Friday, 18th March 2016

My wife and I are in the process of planning our June trip to Vegas and the PGP actually weighed in pretty heavily.

1. I did not even bother to look at room rates at any of the MGM properties even when I had some discounts/room offers from them.

2. Even when we stay elsewhere, we usually end up eating at a restaurant or 2 in an MGM property. Not this trip.

3. Every trip we go back to places we haven't been in a while and gamble a bit/eat/see what's new/etc. I will not be doing this on any MGM property.

Screw them. This PGP crap will snowball and they are going to ruin Vegas. I will not be helping them do it. We always have fun trying new places and eating at locals restaurants anyway so I won't miss anything MGM has to offer.

 motoman replied on Friday, 18th March 2016

joe, I like your attitude!

But I have a question about restaurants: do the MGM celebri-chef joints belong to the host resort, or are they just rent-paying tenants? Seem to recall that Steve owns his places while Sheldy's joints are owned by their operators and just rent the space (which makes it easier for me to patronize anything within a Sands property). What model to MGM and Caesars use? Just wondering.


 joekollar replied on Friday, 18th March 2016

In don't know what the financial relationship between the restaurants and MGM is composed of but either way I'm not going.

 rsauve responded on Friday, 25th March 2016

The PGP has also change my approach to travel plans and this upcoming April trip will be my transition trip. I will be taking advantage of my comp rooms and free play at MGM but other than the resort fee I do not plan on giving MGM or any MGM property any money during this stay. I'm moving my gambling to Trop and will be dining at non MGM restaurants. After this trip, I won't be back to an MGM property until this trend of screwing us for every cent is reversed.

Addendum: I lied, I made a reservation for Michael Mina at Bellagio. Other than that, all other dining plans are elsewhere.

 jinx73 responded on Friday, 18th March 2016

MGM props have essentially been off my radar since after the recession started reversing and they went from sending me multiple nights at all their properties to nada.

So while PGP has a number of issues, overall I sort of see it as just a way of identifying the regular rising price of staying on the strip, regardless of what company it is.

 chesteronriver responded on Friday, 18th March 2016

A good thread on putting the money where the mouth is. My experience......late last year, I was starting to plan a Jan, 16 trip with friends when I saw the first mention of PGP on VT (I think it was some kind of car counting device in one of the garages). Then it was announced they were looking at parking fees to increase the "user experience" blah, blah, blah.....whatever that verbal doody is the cubicle people come up with. Before this I was considering MGM's Monte Carlo and Vdara along with CET's Bally's and Harrah's.....probably a 50/50 chance I would stay at MGM. Because of PGP I eliminated consideration of MGM properties.....no food, no drinks and no gambling. I increased my "user experience" because I knew I would not then (or in the future) get spanked while driving in the garage (I usually drive in from PHX). Okay, so big deal.....one guy for two nights.....what does that translate to for the bean counters? Th answer for me was $900.....that is what I spent for the trip on room/food/gambling. Not much in the big picture of course, but when do the numbers start to add up? Were there a thousand other people that week that did the same thing? Since the announcement, have there been 10,000 people that took their $900 (may be an average) and went to a Caesar's property, or to Trop, etc? The group of friends that I met there all moved away from MGM of late......mostly due to tightening comps. I would be willing to guess that our group of ten spent at least 12k during that stay......none of it at MGM props. How many in a year......100,000? It's all math....the results will come out eventually but sure to be spun by Jimmy's Pom-Pom squad. I sure hope that the other choices in Vegas (CET, Wynn, Sheldon's Shacks and hopefully soon Alon) realize how important it is to make people feel appreciated. I'm not saying I won't spend the money, but I just want to feel like I am spending it on my terms.

 parchedearth responded on Friday, 18th March 2016

I'm going to get crushed by the parking fees; unless they exempt Platinum members. I drive from SoCal and stay about 35 nights a year. The last few years I spent most of my visits at MGM properties. Also, I have local friends who come visit me for dinner/drinks wherever I am staying. I'm not sure how parking fees are going to work for them.

Yesterday, I booked a room at Bellagio in April and at Mirage in May. No mention of any parking fees.

Stayed at Linq a few weeks ago and noticed comp drink lights on the video poker machines and there was no lotion in the rooms. I drink fast and the comped drink lights never went off when playing max bet on 25cent machines.

 level42 responded on Friday, 18th March 2016

I remember the first time I ever heard of a resort fee...I was checking into the MGM Signature for a week. I was incredibly excited, having scored a strip facing room with a balcony for a rate that kept me within my budget for a work trip. When I checked in, I was informed there would be an extra $20/night added to my bill...for this "resort fee". It changed the entire mood of the trip. I came very close to telling them to stick it and just grabbing a room somewhere else, but I ended up staying. That was maybe 6 years ago? I have not stayed at an MGM property since. That being said, I regularly hang out at NYNY, Mandalay Bay, and Luxor. I've always enjoyed playing and dining at those properties. I will not be back to them, or any other MGM property. There's too many people downtown that appreciate me giving them my business. I rent a car every trip and don't drink during the day. I like to drive around and make short visits to a lot of places on a trip, looking for small changes and such. Paid parking will kill that. I've already cut down from a minimum 4 times a year visitor to a twice a year visitor due to resort fees and rising airfare costs. Paid parking will probably knock me down to VIMFP trips only. Good job MGM.

-chall
@dustinofholland

 MinVegas replied on Tuesday, 5th April 2016

You say you're going downtown with your rental car. Downtown has always been pay to park. And they're making it worse.

They're going from "run this ticket through the validation machine at the cage" easy like it used to be into "wait in line at the slot club and prove to a human that you spent money somewhere in this establishment to earn your validation by either showing validation or showing points on your slot card."

Golden Nugget blew my mind with that shit. Used to be that these systems existed so that courthouse visitors would pay if they didn't hoof it clear across the property. Now it's being used to demand a certain amount of loyalty/investment out of each visitor and punish the people who are just here for the atmosphere or something else.

 level42 replied on Thursday, 14th April 2016

I agree that paid parking downtown can be an annoyance...but...there are differences.

1. They are not charging hotel guests or players
2. Most places will still valet for free (The D is where I usually valet)
3. I have actually never paid for parking downtown.

I leave tomorrow for a 4 night stay downtown. As a hotel guest, I will not have to pay. If I were to go back in 3 months and stay at NYNY, I would have to pay. That's rubbish.

-chall
@dustinofholland

 StudiodeKadent responded on Saturday, 19th March 2016

I like MGM's restaurants and hotels but I'm planning on giving all my gambling money to the M Resort on my next Vegas trip and splitting my trip between the M (with some Trop restaurants) and staying at Aria.

I don't care about the parking personally. I care about how gamblers are treated and the PGP is going to treat them worse.

 andybflo responded on Sunday, 20th March 2016

The MGM PGP isn't the only deciding factor; it's just one of them in this rant.

Bluntly, we've been taking vacations elsewhere.

I'm an East-Coaster (my user name is how some locals shorthand "Buffalo"), but the wife and I used to take 3 or 4 trips annually to Vegas. She was an MGM-Mirage Player, I was Total Rewards. We'd hit CP and Mirage a few times a year, and spend two six-day, and one or two three day trips out there. Southwest flights were cheap, food and drinks could be as cheap or as expensive as you wanted, and we rarely paid for hotels.

On the longer trips, we'd drop $2-3k/each on expenses/gambling. Shorter, $1.5k was our budget. Recently, we'd taken to renting a Cabana at Vdara two or three days for longer trips, and spending a fair amount on dining/experiences. Our "cheap" vacations started to be less, well, cheap.

The wife and I went to Maui last year for the first time. After a seven day trip, we realized we came back refreshed and happy; and that incrementally it wasn't much more expensive than a six-day trip to Vegas had become. Sure, the initial costs of hotel/airfare were higher, but we weren't gambling with bad odds, and getting gigged for every little nickel and dime. No resort fees. Free WiFi. Drinks were cheaper. And ohmygawd the scenery. And no porn slappers. No Oontz. No 437 D'bags to a room to get there. None of the BS.

We're taking our loot completely elsewhere. Our aim is to save a few duckets, buy some income property (think a 1 BR condo), and be able to write off a Hawaii vacation annually.

We shared this with MGM on their Facebook page (I'm Pearl; no big deal, but still "valued", and the wife is TR Diamond), shockingly, no reply.

Vegas will come back, after it implodes under the weight of it's own stupidity. It's competing with too many, now non-gaming, resorts for the pie. Gaming is too ubiquitous to make it exciting.

Oddly, I scrapped a Vegas vacation in May for 7 days on a cruise. Gaming odds are now slightly better on my cruise ship (H17, 8-deck shoe, 6:5) than lots of MGM properties in Vegas. Suck on that for a bit to realize how far it's fallen.....

 jimmybond replied on Tuesday, 22nd March 2016

good grief - if odds are better on a cruise ship with a captive audience, zero competition and presumably no gaming board oversight like in Nevada, then truly Vegas needs to wake up.

 jimmybond responded on Monday, 21st March 2016

it's easy to say - we look at rates and comps, realize the offers from MGM are crap, and weigh: a) free room w. Caesars TR combo rate (2 players cards), with crappier room but cheaper, or: b) better room at MGM property but knowing we will be crossing the street or taking a tram to play somewhere else. no gambling at MGM except the extremely drunk moments, or sports book. the table odds are just too poor.

enough trips have shown: stay at Mandalay for the pool, gamble elsewhere and cab back. stay at Mirage for the pool, gamble across the street at harrahs. stay at MC for lazy river, gamble somewhere up the strip (Paris, PH, etc)

basically as I think of the others to add, I will say: MGM has some great pools. they don't have a decent set of odds anywhere. So they might get my room and F+B spend but not my loose money.

 Boomer007 responded on Tuesday, 22nd March 2016

This is a tough one for me. I just started staying at MGM resorts with any sense of regularity over the past year. I stayed at Golden Nugget for the previous 15 or so trips over the past few years. I travel frequently for work and with the MGM and Hyatt partnership, the tier match at MGM is very appealing. I'm getting decent offers (have a comp offer of 4 nights at Aria right now) so that helps me be less jaded, and I rarely rent a car so I'm not directly impacted by the parking fees.

That being said though, it's difficult to continue my loyalty knowing all of this is happening. Some of my favorite restaurants are at MGM properties. Aside from playing slots to and from conferences or off site appointments with customers, I really don't play much at their properties. If I'm going to play tables I usually head downtown.

So I guess my response to PGP is wait and see, for now I'm still getting reasonable offers, so I'll continue to take them. When that dries up though, I will probably jump on the Cosmo wagon.

 alFromSanDiego responded on Friday, 25th March 2016

this is certainly difficult. So many great memories and experiences at numerous MGM properties. I think the PGP moves aren't just bad for the customer: I think they are an attack on the reputation and future of Las Vegas. I have been out to Las Vegas three times since the Parking story broke, and I haven't booked a room at an MGM property. The restaurants are hard to avoid, how can I do without Craftsteak? I simply can't. However, I have five trips booked, April (VZZZT) at the Nugget and Gate. July at Caesars Palace, August at the LinQ, September at Wynn, October at theD. This will be the first year I don't stay at least 3 times at an MGM property.

 KickedBoar591 responded on Saturday, 26th March 2016

My group of eight dudes heads out there every March for some fun. This year we set up shot at New York New York, until I heard about the parking fees. All of us fly into Vegas, but the principle of the thing was enough to cause a revolt.

Of course, I was leading it. And I would have adhered to the group's wishes had they decided it wasn't a big deal. Turns out everybody thought it was pretty bush league.

Not only did we cancel on NYNY to move to the Palms; we also canceled other traditions including our Friday night Todd English and a late night at Nine Fine Irishmen. I even stayed away from Shake Shack.

I know it's probably not enough to dent this corporation, but it made me feel better.

 MinVegas responded on Tuesday, 5th April 2016

Probably use the park & ride lot and ride the bus in. That's it.