MGM Resorts Quietly Makes Its Vegas Hotels Non-Smoking

It’s a trend that’s flown largely under the radar, but MGM Resorts is quietly turning its Las Vegas resorts into non-smoking hotels. (For an update, skip to the bottom of this post.)

MGM Resorts operates what amounts to roughly half the major resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Unbeknownst to many travelers, the majority of hotels in MGM Resorts’ portfolio no longer offer smoking rooms as an option.

The MGM Resorts hotels in Las Vegas that no longer offer smoking rooms are: Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Aria and Circus-Circus. (Update: Luxor stopped offering smoking rooms as of Jan. 1, 2016.)

Surprised? Us, too, and we know everything.

Luxor

Phallic symbols, yes. Oral fixations, no. Luxor rooms will be smoke free starting Jan. 1, 2016.

Other Las Vegas resorts in the MGM Resorts family have virtually no smoking rooms offered.

Update (4/19/16): The Mirage is now non-smoking, as is MGM Grand. Excalibur is also now completely non-smoking. Bellagio has just one smoking-friendly floor remaining.

Excalibur Las Vegas

Excalibur is now a non-smoking hotel. Kids can be demanding, can’t they?

While we haven’t been able to get official confirmation, it’s reasonable to assume all these hotels plan to move toward having a fully non-smoking room inventory in the very near future. In fact, an operator at one resort told us that’s the case.

From what we understand, non-smoking rooms also prohibit electronic cigarettes, what the kids call “vapors.”

It should be noted we’re talking only about hotel rooms here. All the hotels mentioned allow smoking in their casinos, because casino management mistakenly believes banning smoking would cause everyone to immediately stop gambling (don’t get us started).

Aside from smoking in their casinos, guests at non-smoking hotels can also do their tumor-facilitating thing in designed smoking areas outside.

From what a company rep said, the non-smoking designation at MGM  Resorts hotels doesn’t necessarily apply to suites. For example, while Aria doesn’t offer smoking-permissible rooms, its Aria Sky Suites remain smoking optional.

Aria

Fun fact: Aria is a palindrome. Psst, don’t ruin it for the people who have no idea what a palindrome is.

In case you were curious, guests who don’t abide by the non-smoking room designation get dinged with a $300 cleaning fee. Ouch. Oh, and hotels are getting wise to the “I brought in the butts from my car” scam, so don’t even bother.

So, what are we to make of this new and historic resort evolution?

First, this doesn’t appear to be a marketing decision. MGM Resorts isn’t talking about this change publicly as far as we know. The changes aren’t being kept secret, either. Reps at all the MGM Resorts hotels we called were forthright when asked about this subject.

Second, sorry smokers, but this news is fairly awesome. Smoking is one of the most disgusting things a person can do, surpassed only by French kissing a urinal cake at an asparagus convention. Make smoking less convenient, maybe people smoke less. Everybody wins.

Smoking

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?

Non-smoking rooms have always been a bit of a sham, anyway. Smoke, along with its associated chemicals, has been shown to travel from smoking rooms to non-smoking.

While this Las Vegas blog is not a hospitality expert, we’re willing to wager there’s a serious cost-saving or revenue-generating reason behind MGM Resorts converting its Las Vegas hotels to non-smoking destinations.

One can only imagine the time and resources hotels spend dealing with the smoking/non-smoking issue. There’s surely a steady stream of guests who don’t get the room they reserved, or who insist upon a room reassignment because of residual odor. Repairing cigarette-burned furniture has to be a cottage industry all its own in a town like Las Vegas.

Other reasons involve safety and health, of course, but those don’t necessarily impact the bottom line, except when one considers the potential savings on fire insurance for a hotel that’s non-smoking.

Conspiracy theorists will no doubt attribute the sea change at MGM Resorts to the fact smokers who can’t smoke in their rooms will make their way to the casino. A definite benefit of the change, but not the reason for it.

Heart Attack Grill

Oh, Heart Attack Grill, you never fail to entertain us, mainly as a way to distract from the fact you’re giving us coronary artery disease.

It’s interesting this trend doesn’t appear to have been duplicated by MGM Resorts’ major competitor on The Strip, Caesars Entertainment. The random sample of Caesars Entertainment hotels we contacted say they still make smoking rooms available. This has the potential to be a product differentiator for these two companies, although it’s tricky figuring out to whose advantage it may work.

There are already a number of smoke-free hotels in Las Vegas, but until now few, if any, had casinos. Visit our friends at Vegas Solo for a solid list.

The overall trend of hotels banning smoking truly came into its own in 2015. Starwood’s chain of 77 Westin hotels jumped first, then Marriott and Hilton followed. Perhaps MGM Grand is just jumping on the “banwagon.” (We probably should’ve added a “sic” there, but we respect your intelligence too much.)

MGM Resorts Non-Smoking Hotels

Think of all the lungs trying to give this image a high five right now.

What does a shrinking pool of smoker-friendly hotels mean for Las Vegas?

The pool of smokers certainly hasn’t declined, with 19 percent of Americans and 29 percent of Europeans smoking. In China, whence come a hefty number of gamblers, it’s estimated 300 million people use tobacco. Will smokers go out of their way to find the few remaining smoking-friendly accommodations? Have they become accustomed to making their way outside to smoke at work and in restaurants, so it’s no big deal?

As with so many things in Las Vegas, once a ship has sailed, it’s rarely unsailed. MGM Resorts is making a dramatic statement by transitioning its Las Vegas hotels to non-smoking, and we suspect others will follow suit.

Thanks to our friends at Royal Flusher and Vegas Message Board for keeping us abreast of this topic, and for their unfiltered opinions about non-smoking hotels in Las Vegas.

Because we made it through this entire blog post without a smoking pun, so cut us a break, already.

Update (4/19/16): Since our original story, MGM Resorts resorts in Las Vegas have virtually all gone non-smoking in their rooms. We’ve confirmed Mirage is now completely non-smoking. Excalibur has also joined the ranks of resorts with all non-smoking rooms. As we wrote earlier, Luxor is also now completely non-smoking. MGM Grand is also now completely non-smoking in its hotel rooms. Bellagio has gone from seven smoking floors to one, and Mandalay Bay has just two floors of smoking-friendly rooms (the 10th and 61st).

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  • FYMYAWF

    This is great news. It’s always a shock, coming from California (where smoking inside is tantamount to 2nd degree murder) to walk into bars and casinos in Vegas and be overwhelmed by tobacco smoke. It is, truly, a disgusting habit that’s totally disrespectful of any humans within 20 feet of you.

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve walked away from slot machines (even ones I was up on) to get away from someone’s Virginia Slim at the next machine, or walked away from comfy bar stools for the same reason.

    I know this won’t change that in the short term, but maybe it’s step one on the road to an eventual all-out ban indoors in Nevada, as it is in California. People said it would NEVER happen here, and it did…smokers just learned to adapt (or quit).

    You asked the reasonable question in your post about whether this would increase or reduce business. I’ve been weaning myself away from an MGM resorts rut a bit lately, but this would bring me back. Knowing my room won’t smell like musty burnt ass is a HUGE perk.

    • Dean_Winchester

      I walk away from Black Jack tables at least once a day during my trips to Vegas due to someone lighting up a cigarette or cigar. I don’t necessarily need the whole casino to be smoke free, but I’d love to see some smoke free BJ tables.

    • SD Sun Devil

      Smoking in casinos is completely allowed in every casino I’ve been to in California. Most have non-smoking sections, and I think that’s where Vegas will go next.

      • Bouldersteve

        Since CA casino are located on Indian Reservation land they are except from the state smoking laws

        • SD Sun Devil

          True, but not my point. The point was that the casinos here have no smoking sections of the casinos and Vegas will likely go to this model sometime reasonably soon. It would be fairly easy to implement at the large properties like MGM and Caesars.

  • Bill B

    Whilst I agree that second hand smoke can & does offend others, the anti smoking lobby never seem to take into account that smoking is an addiction.
    All the “just quit” comments, show a complete lack of understanding &/or sympathy.
    What worries me is that this “ban” could be the thin end of the wedge.
    Obviously MGM resorts will save money as demonstrated in this article but where does it end?
    A weight limit? If visitors over say 280lb were banned, that would save on in room & casino furniture. Elevators wouldn’t need to be rated so high, more seats would be available at gaming & eating spots & so on. Think about some of the very very heavy couples you see in Vegas. How much must their bed be able to cope with? What does that sort of bed cost? Or are there special “oversize” visitors rooms?
    As for the “smoking is disgusting” comment above. What about folk who find the morbidly obese “disgusting” or the gamblers who are squashed at the tables, slots or plane, bus or train seats?
    Who campaigns for them? We all find certain actions unpleasant don’t we?
    Yes smoking is bad but let it fade away or complain about ALL nasty practises. OR campaign against all anti social habits.
    Oh yes. I’m a non smoker & I too find being smoked on, rude & unhealthy but no one chains me to the spot I can move!

    • Dean_Winchester

      That is a pretty ridiculous comparison. I can’t get cancer from sitting next to an Obese person.

      • FYMYAWF

        Exactly right.

        Yes, smoking and overeating are both choices, but being within 20 feet of an obese person won’t harm me (physically), smoking can and will. It’s easy to be libertarian about your own health, smokers don’t have the right to be libertarian about mine (cue someone saying “then don’t walk into a casino!”).

        • Phil – it – up

          Well if the obese are standing to close and have a heart attack, they might fall on top of you and suffocate you?

          • Thanks for your thoughts, and related: What are you talking about?

          • Phil – it – up

            It a joke.. Obese people can’t kill people by standing next to someone like second hand smoke. Wow

        • Justin Leinbach

          You have a greater chance to get lung cancer from Radon gas, BBQ smoke, car exhaust, and camp fires then you do from second had smoke. Statistically speaking you have a better chance of getting cancer from eating red meat then you do from actually being a smoker. You have zero chance of getting cancer from inhaling some second hand smoke the two times a year you visit Vegas.

          • Jim Nation

            You have proof for any of that? The facts say otherwise.

      • Bill B

        You missed the point I was making.
        Casinos will make money by stopping smoking rooms.
        They would also make money by stopping oversized visitors for the reasons I gave.
        Finally, I agree you cannot catch cancer from an obese person but you try sitting next to an oversized, obese man for 5 hours, next time you fly! Especially when they chew tobacco & spit it into a bottle during that flight. A vile practise that United allow.
        Situations don’t have to be a health hazard before they are very offensive.

      • SD Sun Devil

        You won’t get cancer from SH smoke either unless you’re in a confined space for extended periods. You breathe in more toxins commuting to work.

        I understand that smoking annoys people, but if it’s legal and allowed, then you need to deal with as it’s currently a ‘you problem’.

        As stated in another comment, I fully expect Vegas casinos to designate non-smoking sections in the immediate future. I’m actually surprised I haven’t seen many. This is a solution that satisfies the most people.

    • Clancy3434

      businesses actually CAN refuse service if someone’s personal hygiene is lacking and deemed offensive to those around him or her. soooo there goes that silly nilly argument.

    • Hundley Fan

      Smoking may be an addiction, but some people can “just quit.” My mother was one of them. She went from two packs a day to zero in a day. She just up and quit. I’m not sure how she handled the nicotine withdrawal. I was in h.s. at the time and didn’t think (or know) to ask.

      • Steveh552

        My dad did the same thing. He smoked five packs a day, he drove all day and it was one smoke after another. After his heart attack the doctor told him to quit or die, he never picked up another because his life and family was worth more than a smoke.

    • Bouldersteve

      I have no problem with the MGM decision about getting rid of smoking rooms. As long as its voluntary and dictated by the government.

    • Justin Leinbach

      I smoke because I choose to when I am in Vegas. No addiction just personal choice.

  • MikeJenkinson

    The headline made me unreasonably excited that I could walk through a casino floor and not develop tumours in my lungs from cigarette smoke, but, alas, it’s just the rooms, not the rest of the hotels.

  • Oliver

    1/1/2016: the year Nevada legalizes marijuana.. they’re gonna miss the massive “green tourists” Denver’s been getting away with without any real competition….

  • Steven Brown

    I have to concur about this possibly being part of their plans to generate more revenue. There is likely a lot of extra maintenance and cleaning that smoking rooms require that non-smoking rooms don’t. If they’re able to cut done on room maintenance and cleaning costs, they can potentially see savings in addition areas as a result.

    In the past, some hotels simply ignored the fact that they had non-smoking rooms and if a smoker was assigned a non-smoking room and wished to smoke, they could simply ask for an ashtray. Back in 2008, I was staying in a non-smoking room at Binion’s and in the closet there was an ashtray and several books of matches. In addition, there were cigarette burns on some of the furniture. The next trip, I stayed in a smoking room at the Golden Gate (it was the only room type available the evening I check in) and it didn’t even smell as though anyone had even smoked in the room. The Golden Nugget opened the Rush Tower as a completely non-smoking tower, and I’m sure there’s been quite a few people that have busted that in the six years since the tower opened.

  • Caesar’s Windsor is smoke free….both the rooms and the casino and it is AWESOME! Such a lovely environment!

    • AndreaNY

      Wish I had known at the Venetian and cannot walk through hotel lobby without wheezing from smoke , the smoke smell is even in our rooom though all rooms are suppose to be smoke free. We have seen stubbed out cigarettes in the elevators don’t think I can take another night

  • Steveh552

    I work in a non-smoking casino. Everyone said we would not make money not allowing smokers smoke on the floor, well we do well. We have out door smoking areas and even put slots in those areas. I want to move to Vegas but I think it would be hard to work in a smoking casino, having all that smoke blown in my face.

    • Bouldersteve

      Las Vegas used to have a couple of of non smoking casino..they did not last. In a few years it might work since the number of smokers is declining

      • Hundley Fan

        I remember when Fitzgeralds (now The D) made the second floor casino area smoke-free. It was so nice to play slots without cigarette smoke drifting into your face. It didn’t last long, though, and they later allowed smoking again.

  • Bouldersteve

    Even though I am a smoker I always get a non smoking room. The stench from the smoke is terrible. Since most rooms do not have windows that open the smoke cannot escape and seeps into the carpet and beeding. I only smoke when i drink i only do that in the casino. I remember when restaurants had smoking sections. I would ask for a table in the non smoking section…smoke ruins the taste of food. While second hand cigarette smoke does not bother me in the casino..most have good ventilation. Cigar smoke does..please ban those stinky cigars

  • Bouldersteve

    Hotels that have smoking rooms are almost always on the top floors. I guess that way its less likely to seep into other floors since smoke rises.

  • Julie M

    Just spoke to a reservation agent at MGM Grand is LV. She tells me they are going non-smoking as of the 1st of the year also, as well as Mirage. I have heard (but can’t verify) that Bellagio has already done it. So guessing ALL of MGM hotels will be non smoking very soon.

  • ZzjitterzZ

    About damn time. It really is only a matter of time until lighting a tobacco product on fire and inhaling the fumes is banned by the FDA. I have never understood how a known carcinogen is still allowed for sale in the United States. According to the CDC, only 16.8% of adults smoke. So, the other 83.2% are being tyrannized by a minority- smokers. And don’t cry to me about freedom- there is no right to make others suffer. It is my hope that within my lifetime smoking is banned. Believe me, you want that too.

    • Justin Leinbach

      You obviously have no idea the scope of things that are classified as carcinogens. You and every other control freak are no different then the first group in the modern age to attempt to ban smoking (NAZI party). If a business wants to ban smoking it has every right. We as consumers have every right not to patronage that business if we do not like their policies. A government, or a majority of a population has no right to take away the personal liberties of the individual or a business. If you don’t like smoking don’t go to a place or city that allows smoking. I go to Vegas 7-16 times per year and now I do not go to MGM properties because I don’t agree with many of their policies.

      • ZzjitterzZ

        Did you go fishing for comments to reply to from 5 months ago? And then throw in a Nazi reference? I am well aware of the scope of things labeled carcinogens, and inhaling the smoke from burning tobacco products should be one of them. Piss off.

        • Justin Leinbach

          lol

    • Joe Chemo

      Tyrannized is a good word for it. I breathe my neighbors’ toxic waste every day in my apartment and it really affects my breathing (asthma, bronchitis). Public housing, mind you, and can’t move for reasons that are complicated.

      Tobacco should only be accessible with a prescription or some kind of medical guidance, and not at the corner store 24/7. Ensure smokers get informed and get help quitting if they want it (which most do).

      • KaayC

        I voted your comment down but it registered as up lol smokers stink. Period.

        • Joe Chemo

          Agreed, but they’re still human. Well, kind of… My point is anyone can make a mistake when they’re young and get hooked. The problem is really the tobacco industry and the governments that fail to regulate its products appropriately.

          • KaayC

            Oops, sorry, I was actually trying to down vote Plop bop. I agree w. you! Doubt I will go back to Vegas much, though I like the shows and restaurants, I can’t take the smoke. This is all too little too late for me. Also had three family members w. Lung cancer, so you might say my views are biased, but I don’t care. Smoking Kills.

      • FinsUp

        You may have recourse, depending on the laws in your state, if smoking is banning in all federal/state buildings, the ACLU may be the attorneys to talk to.

  • JJ

    How is Aria a palindrome? I’m sure I must be missing the joke here!?

    • That one was for the people who don’t know what a palindrome is!

      • Bruce A. Douglas

        Scott, my definition of a palindrome is that the word has to spell out the same word forward or backwards. Aria backwards is Aira, not Aria. Close, but no cigar. Love you work nonetheless. Keep it up.

  • Vice

    Now if only the casinos were smoke free. I’m just afraid this will move all the smokers to CET Hotels where I like to roam. I am loyal to CET but if MGM would have smoke free Casinos I would switch in a heartbeat.

    • Cee Cee

      I smoke when I drink and I drink when I am in Vegas. I am definitely moving to a CET hotel but I usually stay with them anyway so I guess that doesn’t really make a difference.

  • Justin Leinbach

    WOW just stayed at the Aria and was pretty upset about not being informed of non smoking policy. Was just gonna book my next Vegas trip for June but wanted to call ahead to the Luxor to see if they still had smoking but they said no. So did a search and found this article. Guess I will not be playing or staying at MGM resorts any more.

    • BobbyBarker

      Yay! Thank you again!

  • Justin Leinbach

    Wow sad been calling around all day. Guess I will not be staying at MGM properties.

    • BobbyBarker

      Yay! Thank you!

    • Cindy Wilson

      yep…me too…………harrahs, south point, and treasure Island still want our money

  • Gert B Frobe

    An interesting experience would be to have totally smoking hotels with totally smoking rooms, as well as totally non smoking hotels and rooms. Just to see how it all shakes out.

    • It was that way long enough. “)

      • Gert B Frobe

        I have never seen that, a 100% smoking hotel and casino and restaurants. And a 100% non smoking casino restaurant and hotel? When and where were these found?

  • Jman82

    People actually smoke cigarettes in the smoking rooms? All I smell is weed. If you’re gonna kill your lungs, at least get some bang for your buck.

    Maybe the Vegas execs think weed keeps people in their rooms and they don’t wanna gamble, unlike alcohol? Will be interesting how this develops. Cannabis in LV is here to stay, just maybe not via smoking!

  • Mike Doe

    Gotta love the anti smoking crowd for their unending and persistent hypocritical a**holishness. You ride into the “city of sin” with jimmys college money in hand, drinking to excess, gambling, soliciting prostitution, and smoking marijuana, but GOD forbid someone damages your delicate sensibility by enjoying a cigarette. F-ing hate you PC libtards. Here’s a suggestion….if you’re so health conscious why go Vegas, go to freaking Disneyland.

    • Yeah, you tell them! Btw, nobody cares if you smoke, as long as you don’t do it anywhere near other people who are damaged by it. Seems like a good compromise, right? And Disneyland sounds fun. Don’t they have new “Star Wars” stuff?

    • Justin Leinbach

      I agree Vegas was one of the last places people actually had some freedom to choose what they ingest in their bodies. You know the authoritarian control freaks can never let that happen.

  • sickheadache

    If you stay at the Smoky..Oh I mean the Over Bearing Smoky Excalibur…while they may say non smoking in the Hotel Rooms…U can still smell that bullshit up in hallways and elevators at the Excalibur…BUT what is truly dumb ass move..OR dumb clucks are in charge at the Excalibur…IN ORDER TO CHECK IN, OR GO TO YOUR ROOM …U must go throw all that smoky garbage at the casino floor. No way around that bullshit. IF you stay at the Excalibur….The Vdara…sometimes…Red Neck Trash comes by and thinks they can smoke anywhere….same thing at the Aria..Some Drunk Red Neck Trailer Trash…forgets…All the floors are non smoking. IT would be neat..if the bone heads at Vdara who ran that lil dog and pony show…would ENFORCE where those Trailer Trash Red Neck people smoke at. Not infront of the doors…where I have to travel through…..GODS big mistakes are…Red Necks and Those Cigarettes they smoke. FUCKING FAILURES!

    • TheSameLames

      Tell us again how you feel about rednecks and “trailer trash.”

  • Andarilho

    This is bullshit! My room smells like the odor other casinos use to cover up the smell from sigarettes. Have complained to the front desk, twice, without any results. It’s terrible! At the casino they don’t even try to cover up the smell from sigarettes. I will never ever stay at amalgam again. Stayed at Mirage and Venetian before. Much better!!

  • Domi Stanić

    I smoke and I understand how non smokers are bothered because even when im not smoking im somewhat bothered by someone else lighting up next to me. But the statement it bothers me because ill get cancer from it and smokers shouldnt get to make non smokers uncomfortable in public. Im sorry but its legal. How would you feel if the green people driving Teslas, Nissan Leafs, Chevy bolts said “OMG cars that run on gas or diesel need to be banned because of the cancer causing emessions they produce. Im doing my part by not producing emissions but a majority of the people are still going around creating these cancer causing emissions while there are readily available clean options and its not fair that I have to breathe in their emissions!”

  • KaayC

    Big deal. Vegas is disgusting and behind the times on that issue. What about the casinos? They lose a lot of business on this and cant believe OSHA doesnt protect their workers. Smokers are disgusting. Really just gross.

  • Violet M Smith

    our goverment lets more toxic waste into you idiots systems with chemicals on all you eat and the air you breathe, some are probably still alive to day from second hand so called smoke saving them,, guess most of clientel here are just plain idiots i will spend my money elsewhere

    • Well, I can’t speak to who’s the idiot, however, this trend is prevalent in Las Vegas, and is to the benefit of guests and employees.