Before MGM National Harbor, Prince George’s County’s entertainment resort, even opened its doors to the public this Wednesday, people were already crowding the elevators of the parking garage, waiting to get in before the official opening at 11 p.m. Despite having 5,000 parking spaces in the resort, the garage filled to capacity within the first hour of opening, according to NBC Washington.
ALERT: #MGMNationalHarbor hotel and casino parking garage is full.— Natl Harbor Travel (@NHTravelTips) December 9, 2016
NBC Washington further reported that “police shut down the Beltway Outer Loop exits 2A, 2B and 3B to National Harbor to relieve traffic on Woodrow Wilson Bridge.”
Once again, the next day, the garage filled to full capacity by roughly 2 p.m.
#MGMNationalHarbor is at FULL capacity. No additional guests are able to enter the resort at this time. Will update when access resumes— Natl Harbor Travel (@NHTravelTips) December 9, 2016
In order to prepare for the traffic that the opening would bring, National Harbor management initiated an enhanced traffic plan that completed by December 1. Washington Business Journal reported that this plan restructured and widened lanes, introduced electronic signage, added parking, and modified traffic signals.
John Townsend, AAA Mid-Atlantic's manager of public and government affairs, told DCist that motorists "can expect a 6.2 percent increase in traffic volumes on the interchange near the [site].” Because of this, drivers should take alternative routes during the resort’s peak business hours.
If less interested in driving to the casino and more interested in taking public transportation, there are a variety of options, which can be found on the MGM National Harbor website here.
• Jackpot! MGM National Harbor Filled to Capacity Within First Hour of Opening [NBC Washington]
• MGM National Harbor Casino Is Already Creating Massive Traffic Woes [DCist]
• National Harbor prepares for MGM opening with road improvement plan [Washington Business Journal]
• Transportation & Parking [MGM National Harbor]