Excalibur trims bell desk, valet parking staff, citing lower guest demand

Tom Donoghue/www.donoghuephotography.com

A view of the Excalibur on the Strip, June 2010.

The Excalibur has reduced bell desk and valet parking operations after the Strip resort determined it was overstaffed in those areas.

"At Excalibur, there is currently a lower guest demand for transporting luggage to hotel rooms and for valet parking. As a result, we did reduce bell services and the size of our valet parking lot and valet staff," owner MGM Resorts International said in a statement.

The company didn't disclose how many workers were affected by last week's changes.

It did say the bell desk change was limited to the 3,981-room Excalibur and that other MGM Resorts properties on the Strip haven't initiated limited bell desk services. MGM Resorts has nine wholly owned resorts on the Strip and owns half of the CityCenter complex, which includes three hotels.

Rooms sold for $72 on average in the second quarter at Excalibur, making it one of the more inexpensive MGM Resorts properties on the Strip.

One of the employees told VEGAS INC and the Las Vegas Sun that 18 people were affected.

Yvette Monet, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts, said the company's human resources department has offered to assist affected employees, including potentially placing some elsewhere.

She said just 4 percent of Excalibur guests used the luggage-handling service in which bags were taken to and from hotel rooms.

"We continue to provide luggage transport to disabled and VIP guests, and groups. We also continue to provide luggage-handling service at the main entrance, luggage storage and valet service for all guests. Some valet parking spaces near the resort have been converted to self-parking spaces for the convenience of our guests," the MGM Resorts statement said. ''This plan is designed to focus staff on the areas where hotel services are most needed.''

This isn't the first time valet parking services have been trimmed since the economic downturn began, with Binion's Gambling Hall downtown eliminating valet parking in 2010.

But the move by the Excalibur to limit bell desk services appears to be unusual for large resorts on the Strip, where MGM Resorts' chief Strip competitor, Caesars Entertainment Corp., has nine properties.

''Caesars Entertainment properties citywide have not cut back on any of our front services (luggage assistance/delivery, valet parking, etc.). Properties like Caesars Palace have actually increased the services available by augmenting the number of areas that offer full service valet and bell services," a Caesars Entertainment spokeswoman said. ''Our resorts are full-service hotels, which include complimentary valet parking and bell desk services, and these services will continue to be offered complimentary to all our guests.''

Officials at the Culinary Union, which represents Strip bellhops, and the Teamsters Union, which represents valet parkers, could not be reached for comment.

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