NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - Visitors considering making a trip to the newly-opened MGM National Harbor casino and resort may want to stop by another time. Despite being open for less than 24 hours, MGM officials say their casino floor has again reached full capacity on Friday.
After opening its doors for the first time at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the casino also had to stop letting people inside after it reached capacity 45 minutes into the grand opening.
In a tweet Friday afternoon, MGM National Harbor says those with hotel and dinner reservations should arrive early to due heavy traffic in the area. But guests without a reservation this weekend are "encouraged to consider making plans to visit the new resort another time, after grand opening weekend."
"We've never seen anything like this," said MGM Resorts spokesperson Gordon Absher. "We've never seen a reaction like this. We build anticipation for new resorts. We build up to opening day and we did the same thing here. And the response, the welcome embrace of the community is so strong that we're getting hugged a little bit too tight, so we're asking folks to bear with us, let the newness wear off a little bit, come see us next week, the week after. We'll still be here. Everything will be just as gorgeous when you get here."
Since Thursday night's opening, more than 50,000 people have come through the casino, according to MGM.
Video taken by a person from inside the casino during Thursday night's grand opening and posted on social media showed a fight breaking out that involved several people.
Traffic has been an issue around National Harbor since the resort's opening as visitors have attempted to try to find a spot in MGM's 5,000-space parking facility. There has been an increase in vehicle traffic, but casino officials said the traffic control center and traffic plan that Prince George's County police has set up is working.
According to MGM officials, the $1.4 billion complex consists more than 125,000 square feet of casino space, 308 hotel rooms, several restaurants and shops and a 3,000-seat concert and entertainment venue.