Thursday, June 14, 2007

Things I Didn't Know About McCarran

I spent a LOT of time at McCarran last night waiting for my suitcase to make the trek from the farthest D Gate where my much-delayed flight home from the East Coast finally parked to the luggage kiosk. I timed it -- It took more than 40 minutes. That seems a bit much, and I wonder if there's anyone who ranks airports based on their baggage delivery timing. If anyone knows, I'd be interested to see how McCarran stacks up.

Anyhow, I noticed something. I suppose it's been there a while, but I don't remember much fanfare being paid to this: Harrah's has a hotel registration check-in desk for all six of their properties right there by the escalators from the C and D Gates in baggage. They'll take your bags for you to your room, sell you show tickets and provide an $8 shuttle to the hotel that can be charge to your room. This just struck me as ingenious.

And since most ingenious things in this town emanate from MGM Mirage, I'm baffled why the larger Vegas company only a similar kiosk for the MGM Grand. Their area is just paces from the Harrah's one and looked about as large. Could it be that MGM Mirage's computer system is not sophisticated enough to handle reservations and check-in for all of its properties in a single location? How did the MGM Grand end up as the only one with a primo space out of all their hotels? And why was it closed at 9:30 pm when the Harrah's one was still open?

Finally, I was amused that Zierke and Schmalz, whoever they may be, would stay at the Palace Station of all places (where rooms are $40 a night on a typical Wednesday) but spring for personalized limo service. And what sort of cars, pray tell, would that dump have in its fleet?

Just asking.


Dave Liifton said...

I've used the MGM Mirage check-in desk at McCarran several times. But for some reason, they will only check you in if you're staying at the Grand or Bellagio. The other properties are not on that system for some reason.

TheStripPodcast.Com said...

good to know. any idea when they first started it?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the MGM booth is from before the Mirage merger. I stayed there in Nov 02 and used it. There was no complimentary shuttle at the time, but we arrived there in the morning and were one of the first people to walk in for the day.

The Harrah's booth used to be owned by Park Place, and was only for Caesars customers.

David F. said...

AFAIK both booths have been there a while, I remember them being there on my first visit to LV in '99, back then it was For Just Cesars and the MGM Grand Respectively.

Reason I remember is because I had to wait so ******* long for my luggage (over an hour), but then I was on a Charter flight, the red-headed stepchildren of all airports....

Ray said...

Given how archaic many of the "backoffice" computer systems of seemingly modern hotels often are, I'm not too surprised that they don't have a more comprehensive check-in system. They'd have to have not just billing, but card-key integration among other things. I wouldn't be shocked if integration of those systems would run well into the millions of dollars. It's something they'll probably get to eventually, spreading those costs over time, but the economics probably don't work for a fast change.