Question of the Day July 29, 2016
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Q:Today was the third time I've parked at an MGM hotel since they started charging (twice at MBay and today at Luxor). As a local, I scan my driver's license when I enter and again when I leave. At all but one of my trips, there have been women standing at the gate as I go through and the first time it happened, the woman actually took my license from me to scan it for me, which pissed me off because I thought she might run off with it -- she wore no uniform (looked like a hooker in fact) and didn't ask me first, although she was actually very polite and smiley, and did give the license back. Anyhow, who are these women and what are they getting out of this? Tips? Dates? Stolen identities?! Do they work for MGM?
A:This question is more aptly directed to MGM's parking subcontractor, Chicago-based SP+, but the latter isn't very media-friendly, so MGM Vice President of Corporate Communications Gordon Absher stepped into the breach. He writes:
"The friendly people your reader writes about so colorfully are Ambassadors employed by our parking vendor SP+. Ambassadors do not wear street clothes. They wear bright orange polo shirts, for better visibility, and black shorts or pants. They are positioned at our parking facility entry/exit kiosks to help customers navigate their way in and out of our facilities. Ambassadors are there to help guests understand the new process. They are instructed not to take driver's licenses or M life cards and swipe them for visitors. They are there to answer questions and help visitors properly complete the transaction, showing them how to scan a license or pull a parking ticket. [Ed: Sounds like our reader either hit the parking garage on an early-teething day, or else perhaps was the victim of an impostor, but if so, to what end?]
"Ambassadors are paid an hourly wage to perform a very important customer-service role. In these summer months they work in very hot conditions. [Ed: Perhaps your Ambassador couldn't take it anymore and had stripped off her regulation polo shirt?!] Water and cooling stations are available to them and shade structures are being installed in many areas that receive direct sun.
"For guests not using a [Nevada driver's license] or an M life card, and therefore pulling a parking ticket at the entry kiosk, the ticket is generated by pressing the button on the face of the kiosk. This is the only way to generate a ticket. They are not kicked out by vehicle weight, as the writer suggests."
It should be noted that the rules for getting fee-exempt parking if you are a Nevada resident are so Byzantine that perhaps SP+ should be thanked for providing customer-service representatives to help us navigate them. It's going to take a while for drivers to become accustomed to the new regime at MGM garages, so every little bit of help is appreciated. [Ed: LVA members can take note that Anthony Curtis writes about his own first experience using the new system in the August issue of the newsletter, just posted.]