After opening on December 8 to crowds so large it took less than an hour to reach full capacity, in its first week of operations the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor has managed to attract some 170,000 people.

On Thursday, at the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission’s monthly meeting, general counsel for the resort, Mike Pappas, said that the venue has been at capacity “almost nonstop, and that “Since Dec. 8, we have had — as of this morning when I left — over 170,000 through the doors,” according to The Baltimore Sun.

Pappas said that after the first two days of mostly just looking around the majority of the resort’s visitors were occupying all of the gaming tables and slot machines. He said, “We monitor the ins and out with people counters at the entrances and exits,” and, “We can hold approximately 9,800 or so folks in or out of the casino at any one time,” according to the news agency. The MGM official went on to say that crowds continued to fill the resort into the weekend and “Saturday night we had to close the garage, which is the only time we’ve actually had a problem where we were actually over-parked.”

The traffic flow on opening night at the sixth most expensive casino in Maryland was such that it closed its doors and only admitted new visitors as guests left. By 2am Friday morning the doors were opened again and the crowd had thinned a bit but the facility’s 5,000-space parking garage was still at capacity, with each of the spaces filled.

According to the report, the American Automobile Association’s Mid-Atlantic office says MGM National Harbor could result in the area seeing an additional 9 million visitors and near the 23-acre property, traffic on the Capital Beltway interchange could increase by 6.2 percent.

The MGM Resorts International Maryland development, which is situated less than one mile from the border with Washington, DC, features a 24-storey hotel tower with 308 rooms and 74 suites, nearly 50,000 square feet of conference facilities, a 3,000-seat theater, designer shopping, three celebrity-run restaurants, along with others; a spa and salon and many other unique features and amenities. The 135,000 square feet casino floor features close to 130 card tables, including 39 poker tables, and 3,300 slot machines.

In early January, revenue figures for the first several weeks for the new casino are expected to be available, according to the report.

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