Monday, April 26, 2010

Dear MGM,

The following is a letter I drafted to the MGM. I think it pretty much speaks for itself...

To whom it may concern-

My name is (omitted) and I have been a cab driver in Las Vegas for 6 years. I had mentioned previously on my twitter page ( and on my blog ( that I was actively boycotting your property and a number of my readers inquired as to why that was. Upon this inquiry it occurred to me that in the interest of fairness perhaps I should inform you, the powers that be at The MGM Grand, of my issues as well so that you may have an opportunity to address them. That is the purpose of this letter.

As you can probably guess, my issue concerns the doormen at your property. It has been my experience that the group of individuals in charge of assisting your guests requesting taxi service are amongst the most unprofessional, disrespectful and dishonest individuals that I have ever worked with. …And I’m a cab driver.

It’s baffling that a major resort such as yours wouldn’t concern itself with its employees using guests as pawns in their side-money game. The number of acts that I continuously witnessed included-
-Counting money in plain view
-The unnecessary accosting, slander and disrespect of cab drivers
-Accepting tips from limousine drivers thus creating an incentive to illegally divert taxi seeking patrons into limos
-Purposely misleading guests in regards to the actual costs of a taxi
-Purposely slowing down long lines (show-break) of taxi seeking guests
-Allowing limo drivers to “work” the line of taxi seeking guests
-Questioning of every guests as to their destination only as a means of extracting taxi seeking guests wishing to be transported to gentlemen’s clubs and diverting them into limousines- culminating with the limo driver splitting the proceeds from the club referral fee with the doorman.

Most of the above exists strictly as a means to perpetuate the diversion of taxi seeking customers into limousines in exchange for money. These practices are as undesirable as they are illegal and without question not consistent with any form of genuine hospitality. It’s hard to believe that any guest of your hotel would feel welcomed and well served while being subjugated by your employees in this manner. Undoubtedly, this is the type of “customer service” one keeps in mind when choosing where to stay when visiting our City in the future.

I began my boycott almost 5 months ago and I have not picked up a passenger from your property since. On multiple occasions since then, I have been approached by a doorman on behalf of a guest at your hotel requesting my services as a cab and I refuse every time. Considering the past, it would be wrong for me to expect you to take any real action to remedy this problem. However in not doing so, it would be wrong for you to expect me to have anything positive to say about your property. Or to make any recommendation of it whatsoever.

When somebody asks me what my favorite property in town is you don‘t really think I‘m going to say The MGM Grand do you? When somebody asks me to recommend a hotel do you think I say The MGM? When somebody asks me where I like to stay do you think I say The MGM? When somebody asks me what the best show in town is do you think I tell them about one that plays at The MGM? When somebody asks me what the best restaurant in town is do you think I tell them about a place at The MGM? When somebody asks me what the best nightlife spot is do you think I tell them about a place at The MGM? When somebody asks me what’s the best casino to gamble at do you think I tell them The MGM? Of course I don’t.

Conversely, when someone asks me what my least favorite hotel is, I tell them The MGM Grand. When somebody asks me what’s the most overrated hotel in town, I tell them The MGM. When somebody asks me what casino has the worst odds and will take all of their money, I tell them The MGM.

Believe it or not a vast number of Las Vegas visitors, and for that matter my readers, depend on their cab driver for information and undoubtedly many follow our advice. If this is not a concern for you then by all means, continue doing what you’re doing.

Your reply is appreciated and will be posted in response to this inquiry.



In a related note, my boycott has already gotten media attention!

As luck would have it, after dropping off at the Monte Carlo one night a couple of weeks ago I decided to dead head over to THE Hotel. I think a concert or something was letting out. When I arrived, there were quite a few people waiting and no cabs. But for some reason I parked on the stand and got out. I think maybe I threw something away maybe. I don't know. But as I was getting back in my cab a dude walks up to me and introduces himself as Doug Elfman, who I knew to be a prominent local reporter for the RJ.

Doug asked me for an interview as he was doing a piece on how the IRS is going to start tracking club payouts. I allowed him to do his thing and I answered his questions and believe he was relieved by my willingness to articulate the cabbies point of view. Then I took it further and offered him some things he hadn't thought of which included my current bout with the MGM and how that connected to his story.

Mr. Elfman, being the quality reporter that he is, took my ideas and ran with them and turned out what I believe to be a completely awesome and factual piece.

You can read that here:IRS targets strip clubs, taxis over bonuses