Big crowds crash big party for DMV’s new casino

Oxon Hill, Md.—Community leaders along with casino managers were hoping to make a big splash in the DMV with Thursday night’s opening of the MGM National Harbor hotel and casino.

It appears too many people got the message.

Opening night traffic at MGM National Harbor.

Opening night traffic at MGM National Harbor.

Within about one hour of its opening safety leaders had to close the doors and keep cars from exiting nearby highways because the 125,000 sq. ft. casino was at capacity. Highway exits off I-295 were closed for about 20 minutes. Its not clear how long the doors to the casino and resort were closed due to being overcapacity.

Security workers outside the casino also told drivers that the parking garage was nearly full around the time the big party was getting started.

The night began with a VIP party for invited guests. Those guests included political figures, musicians and Miss World contestants. Sarah Jessica Parker, who opened her first boutique store inside the MGM National Harbor, was also at the pre-party.

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Then as the party wound down, casino leaders decided to start opening the doors to the public around 10:30 p.m. Most people who rushed through the doors said they waited for about 2 hours to be among the first inside for opening night.