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Booze control gets stricter in downtown Las Vegas

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 04:55 p.m. HST, Jun 19, 2014

LAS VEGAS » Las Vegas officials are banning people from drinking out of aluminum cans and glass bottles at the Fremont Street Experience, saying they want to cut down on the rowdy revelry that has led to fights and even a shooting that wounded two people last summer.

An ordinance passed Wednesday by the City Council aims to discourage people from getting drunk on cheap liquor from the souvenir stores along the pedestrian mall, and push them to buy more expensive drinks poured into cups at casinos and restaurants flanking the attraction.

The measure, which takes effect Sunday and carries fines up to $500, is an expansion of an existing, difficult-to-enforce rule that banned drinking packaged liquor within 1,000 feet of the store where it was purchased.

"This makes it a lot simpler," City Attorney Brad Jerbic said. "No one will have to guess if it's 1,000 feet or 99 feet."

But the souvenir stores are fighting back, saying the tightening rules are a violation of their rights. Attorney Bob Gronauer, representing the ABC souvenir store, said the measure would hurt his clients' bottom line and lead to further regulations.

"This is essentially death by a thousand cuts," he said, according to KTNV-TV. "The city is taking one slice at a time."

The Fremont Street Experience, which is bordered by some of the city's oldest casinos, is covered by a giant video canopy that features periodic light shows. Bands play free rock concerts on a stage sandwiched between casinos, and street performers and costumed characters flock to the corridor in hopes of hustling tips from the crowds.

But city officials fear that the abundant alcohol, the panhandling and the aggressive tactics of some of the performers are beginning to turn people away.

"We've heard from our visitors and residents loud and clear that they have concern about what they're finding as they visit," Mayor Carolyn Goodman said at a news conference earlier this month. "Some of these individuals are nearly nude, and others are very aggressive."

Goodman and Sheriff Doug Gillespie recently announced plans to ramp up the number of police officers on patrol, and enforce a rule that keeps performers from touching visitors and vice versa.

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zoomzoom65 wrote:
Downtown Vegas, at night on the Freemont experience walkway, all the freaks show up. nudies, panhandlers, drunks, etc. Not a safe environment for children.
on June 19,2014 | 04:58AM
jmarie wrote:
I totally agree, just got back from a vacation there and found Freemont street to be supper ghetto. What a dump of a place it has turned out to be. Not safe at all for children or adults. Don't waist your time Down Town.
on June 19,2014 | 07:25AM
Bdpapa wrote:
I like downtown. Just dont wander off Fremont at night.
on June 19,2014 | 07:38AM
HD36 wrote:
If you stay on the strip and then go downtown, it's like going to a third world country.
on June 19,2014 | 06:52PM
HD36 wrote:
The sign in the background says, God says please don't go to Hell!
on June 19,2014 | 06:44PM
nitpikker wrote:
downtowns okay. just avoid the side streets at nite. but agree, not for children. but they don't have kiddie attractions anyway. unlike the strip.
on June 19,2014 | 10:27AM
saveparadise wrote:
Not all drinkers are idiots but wherever there is drinking you will find idiots that ruin things for everyone.
on June 19,2014 | 10:42AM
HanabataDays wrote:
"Booze control gets stricter in downtown Las Vegas" In other news from the Onion, Afghanistan cracks down on opium poppies. This is Vegas' pedestrian version of speed cams. Moola-moola, moola-moola.
on June 19,2014 | 11:50AM
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