On October 1, 2017, we witnessed “the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States.” It was during the Route 91 Harvest music festival held at the Mandalay Bay hotel that the shooting occurred, and where 546 were injured and 58 innocent lives were lost. The brutal attack began at 10:05pm lasted for 10-minutes–officers did not reach the scene until 10:17pm. The attacker was 64 year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock.
In response to the devastating loss, use of the famous phrase “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” has briefly come to a halt. Electronic billboards that regularly advertise various attractions on the Strip have also stopped showing such material and are now posting words of encouragement and appreciation for those who helped with the aftermath of the massacre. One of the billboards read, “We’ve been there for you during the good times. Thank you for being there for us now.” Rossi Ralenkotter, the city’s top tourism official commented that, “There’s going to be a time when we go back to promoting Las Vegas as the greatest destination in the world, but that’s not now. We need to take care of this, we need to take care of our community itself, and that’s what we will be doing.”
It has been discussed to prevent any event similar to this from happening again that “casinos and police may have to impose new security measures.” In the following days after the attack the security was extremely heightened, but has since been reduced. There is conflict on the presence of security according to Michael McCall, a Michigan State University professor. McCall inferred that “many casinos and hotels will tread lightly when it comes to airport-style security in a city where people want to let loose.” Perhaps the security will increase and improve, but will be not as noticeable to ensure that the visitors are enjoying themselves and are safe. Safety is the number one priority.
Analysts have compared other terrorist attacks–such as the misfortune at the Pulse night club– and the effects they have had on “‘revenue per available room’, a key gauge or lodging company’s performance, across different markets to measure the shooting’s potential impact.” This event has affected thousands, if not millions, of people and it is expected that Las Vegas casinos will see a minor decline in visitors; however, thus far the destination is still receiving thousands of travelers. The Las Vegas stock prices have already had a small decrease after the incident.
In 2016, Las Vegas “welcomed over 42.9 million visitors and hosted almost 22,000 conventions.” There are 149,339 rooms available, and an average of 95% of them were booked during weekends. Not surprisingly, Clark County recorded a hefty gambling revenue of $9.7 billion. As of August, 2017, the visitor volume for the year was 28,541,867 YTD. It is too early to research how much of an impact the shooting has had on the number of visitors.
It is imperative to still live your life to the fullest and not be afraid. As a society we all need to come together and help those affected. The tragedy that took place on the first of October was heartbreaking, the lives lost will never be forgotten.