Tourists may not take gamble to visit Las Vegas
By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 8:12 p.m.
LAS VEGAS — Variously known as an adult playground and Disneyland for grown-ups, Las Vegas brands itself as a place where tourists can enjoy a sense of edginess with no real danger.
A series of high-profile episodes of violence amid throngs of tourists, however, is threatening Sin City's reputation as a padded room of a town where people can cut loose with no fear of consequences.
A car-to-car shooting and a resulting fiery crash killed two bystanders and an aspiring rapper on Thursday. The incident followed a bizarre elevator stabbing and a shooting in movie theater's parking lot.
Though crime has been falling on the glitzy stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that houses most of the city's major casinos, tourism officials worry that vacationers and convention planners could begin to steer clear of the city because of a perception of mayhem.
“We are concerned because it can create misperceptions about the safety of the city, the safety of the Strip,” said Gary Thompson, spokesman for Caesars Entertainment, which owns 10 resorts in the tourist zone, including Caesars Palace and Paris Las Vegas.
Casinos are worried about convention business, which helps fill rooms and gambling tables between weekends. Corporate planners can swing the market with a few decisions, said Gordon Absher, spokesman for MGM Resorts International.
“And that decision will bring thousands of people,” he said.
MGM operates several major casino-hotels, including CityCenter, where Thursday's convulsion of violence originated.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Hearing to determine fate of sergeant accused of killing 2 deaf Iraqi boys
- Images best of readied D-Day ships
- Precautions lack year since fatal blast at plant
- Mo. mayor steps down over anti-Semitic comments
- Ohio couple married for 70 years dies just 15 hours apart
- IRS, other agencies award contracts to license plate tracking company
- Senator pitches gasoline tax increase
- Obama surveys mudslide devastation
- Little toxicity data exists for tainted W.Va. water
- Supreme Court voids overall contribution limits to political candidates
- Shale oil, gas drilling boom wins favor with labor unions, thwarting environmentalists