MGM Resorts outsourcing its parking operations and valet services

MGM Resorts International, of which Mandalay Bay is a part, announced Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, that it will become the first major casino company to start charging visitors for parking on the Strip.

Valets at many Strip properties owned by MGM Resorts International will soon start working for a new employer as the casino company outsources its parking operations to a third-party contractor.

MGM Resorts announced today that SP Plus Corp. will take over the management of its parking facilities within the next 60 days, and the new operator will employ nonunion valets as part of the change.

SP+ will match the compensation, seniority and benefits received by valets when they were MGM Resorts employees, according to a company statement.

Unionized valets at Luxor, Excalibur and Circus Circus will remain MGM Resorts employees when the transition happens, but “pending discussions with union representatives will determine whether operational changes will be made,” the statement said.

About 400 nonunion valet staff members will be affected, according to MGM Resorts spokesman Gordon Absher.

The shift is happening as part of MGM Resorts’ previously announced $90 million parking initiative, which includes a controversial plan to start charging guests for parking. Under the new policy, expected to be implemented sometime in the second quarter this year, guests will pay $10 or less for overnight self-parking, the company has said.

Guests will also be charged a fee for valet parking.

As part of the $90 million initiative, MGM Resorts will build a new $54 million, 3,000-space garage near Excalibur that will help accommodate demand for the T-Mobile Arena and the Park dining and entertainment district, both set to debut in April. The company also will spend $36 million to upgrade its existing parking facilities.

“In seeking to provide the ideal solution for our customers, our employees, and our company, we determined the best-practice operation of our enhanced parking facilities required an expert hand,” Corey Sanders, MGM Resorts’ chief operating officer, said in the statement. “The SP+ team brings decades of experience to this challenge. But just as important, SP+ shares our company’s strong employee-centric culture and our commitment to guest-service excellence in resort and event operations.”

SP+, a Chicago-based parking company, counts more than 22,000 employees among its ranks, and it runs more than 2 million parking spots at 3,900 facilities in North America. It offers valet and self-parking services for hotels and has expertise in parking operations management for such large-scale events as the Olympics, the World Cup and the Super Bowl.

SP+ President of Urban Operations Robert Toy said in the statement that his company was “especially eager” to work with MGM Resorts valets due to the belief that “merging their many years of knowledge in the Las Vegas market with the nationwide experience of SP+ will create a powerful force in this market.”