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What do you do first when you take over running the world's second largest hotel? You take time out to get to know how everything works and when you can pull in untold amounts of free advertising at the same time? Jackpot!
The new President and COO of MGM Grand Las Vegas, Scott Sibella, probably got stopped - and ribbed - quite a bit in Sin City today by people who first saw him as a rug-wearing "Undercover Boss" last night on CBS. After goof after goof on the casino floor, guests are likely telling Sibella how happy they are that his full-time job doesn't have anything to do with their luck at the tables.
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What exactly is going on with MGM Grand?
No sooner were we relieved that it had caved to public opinion/common sense and ditched its $20 fee for guaranteeing you a non-smoking room, than we realized they’d done something even more ridonkulous.
Yes, they did, as they promised, take down the $20 non-smoking charge off their website.
But instead, yesterday they replaced it with a $20 charge for a smoking room.
Oh yeah. Last night, the reservations page of MGM Grand had replaced the $20 non-smoking fee with a $20 fee to guarantee a smoking room. Here’s the proof, with screenshots and everything.
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UPDATE 2.15pm: MGM Grand just announced that they are rescinding the $20 non-smoking fee. It's still showing on the website, but hopefully they'll take it off soon, and refund the people who've checked that box.
More and more hotels are eliminating their smoking rooms thanks to both customer requests and local regulations, says a huge USA Today report that frames the issue in terms of similar prohibitions on smoking on airplanes, in bars and restaurants and in rental cars. It's interesting reading if you like heaps of hotel statistics but the upshot is that, at least in the U.S., you're almost guaranteed a smoke-free room.
Well, except in Vegas. According to the Seattle Times, seems the MGM Grand has launched a $20-per-night "Non Smoking Room Guarantee," meaning you can ostensibly lock in a smoke-free room for an extra charge of $20. A quick search of other mid-range MGM properties in Vegas, like the Luxor, Monte Carlo, Circus Circus, Excalibur, and New York New York, reveal that this appears to be an MGM-exclusive fee. Aria and Bellagio, however, are not showing the charge.