When the MGM National Harbor opened on Thursday night, the amount of people visiting was so large it took only 45 minutes after the grand opening took place for the venue to reach full capacity. Many people who came to see MGM Resorts International’s latest venue were left outside waiting to be let in. The casino actually closed their doors and they were not reopened until 2 a.m. By early Friday morning, the crowd had thinned but the parking lot of the facility was still at capacity with a vehicle in each of the 5,000 parking spaces.
Traffic was an issue as the gaming venue opened for the first time with the National Harbor area being backed up for several miles. To try and remedy the problem, police decided to shut down several highways exits and relieve traffic via Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Officials of Prince George County recommend that drivers plan for extra time when driving in the area through the 18th of December.
According to officials, as many as 90,000 vehicles will travel into National Harbor in an average week. This number could double with the addition of casino traffic. As much as $10 million was spent on road improvements in the vicinity of the resort to be able to deal with traffic congestion. The MGM National Harbor is actually expected to attract 25,000 visitors a day which will amount to 9.1 million visitors a year.
To further deal with traffic issues, officials of National Harbor are suggesting that drivers take an alternate route particularly during peak business hours of the gaming venue which is from 7 p.m. until midnight beginning on Thursdays and continuing through Sunday.