Tighter security measures have been instituted at the Fremont Street Experience, and Las Vegas city officials are considering a curfew for those under age 21 in the downtown area, in the wake of recent violence in the district.
The moves come, in part, because of two shootings at the tourist attraction in the past couple of months. A 16-year-old was arrested in the fatal shooting of a man and the wounding of a bystander during a fight on June 19. Another shooting on July 4 injured one person; no one has been arrested in that incident.
Visitors to the Fremont Street Experience are now required to go through metal detectors and bag checks at some entrances and are subject to new age requirements. A curfew for unaccompanied minors and for 18- to 20-year-olds will be in place on parts of the Fremont Street Experience from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Fridays through Sundays. There will also be an increased law enforcement presence on weekends.
"The safety and security of our guests, employees and tenants has been and will always be our top priority. Everything else is secondary," Andrew Simon, Fremont Street Experience president and CEO, said in a statement to Travel Weekly.
• Related: Simon ready to take the helm at Fremont Street Experience
"We are always adapting and implementing additional crime deterrent strategies and have seen a dramatic increase in presence of Las Vegas Metro Police Department, Las Vegas city marshals and our security team at all hours of the day," Simon said. "We established additional security protocols for the special events and believe the new curfew proposal will be integral to our efforts moving forward."
The proposed stricter curfew would prohibit entry by those under 21 years old from 9 p.m. to 5 a m. on public streets, sidewalks or parking lots in an area bounded by Ogden Avenue on the north, Eighth Street on the east, Carson Avenue on the south and Main Street on the west, an area that includes the Fremont Street Experience. Some exceptions will be considered for special events, minors with a parent or legal guardian and persons going to or from places of employment.
Under the proposed plan, Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman said youths who are observed out late but being supervised by their parents would not get ticketed. She said officers would use their discretion. Goodman also said she is working on getting more police officers in uniforms and marked cars in the area.
There is already a curfew in place in Las Vegas city limits for those under 18; it's 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends. The Fremont Street Experience fully supports an expansion of the curfew to include people between the ages of 18 to 20, Simon said.
Vote scheduled on new curfew
The Las Vegas Council was scheduled to discuss the ordinance in a public hearing on Aug. 1 and vote on the matter Aug. 3.
The Fremont Street Experience, which draws an estimated 24 million people annually, has more than 70 security employees. They are equipped with HD cameras and patrol with Las Vegas Metro officers and city marshals, Simon said.
More than 300 surveillance video cameras cover the outdoor pedestrian mall. The attraction also installed a multimillion-dollar Shotpoint system, a gunshot detection system, under the canopy in 2020.
"Our investment in world-class surveillance operations is essential, as is the city's commitment to prosecuting criminal offenders at the Fremont Street Experience to the full extent of the law," Simon said. "Every dollar earned at [the Fremont Street Experience] goes into providing new security solutions and unrivaled free entertainment to our destination."
Simon said the attraction's "security protocols have been extremely effective" and "the vibe has never been better," noting that the Fremont Street Experience will provide more free live entertainment than ever in 2022 with the Downtown Rocks concert series, nightly performances and upcoming new VivaVision shows.