UPDATE: 13 Action News has an update to the story that is making everyone's skin crawl. 24 hours after confirmed reports of bed bugs in Silver Nugget Casino's restaurant booths, the Hometown Kitchen is back open to the public.
"They clearly have acknowledged that they have bed bugs," said Barbi Stenstrom, who says she was bitten by the bed bugs Sunday morning while eating breakfast in the restaurant. "They're acknowledging that there was an infestation."
Stenstrom is livid the Southern Nevada Health District allowed Hometown Kitchen to open back up just 24 hours after closing due to bed bugs. She, and many others, don't understand how the problem could be solved so quickly.
"It would be different if it were roaches or something cause I mean yeah that's gross, yeah you can manage that and get that under control, but these feed on your family," she said.
Stenstrom's Facebook post about the bed bugs in Silver Nugget Casino was shared nearly 35,000 times. More than a dozen people have come forward after the Facebook post saying they were bitten too.
"I don't want people to lose their jobs. I don't want a company to lose their business. I just want them to really put people's best interest ... to honestly do it right."
Silver Nugget Casino released a statement regarding their reopening.
"Our chef has over 30+ years experience and is meticulous in keeping our restaurant up to code. Silver Nugget Casino made the decision yesterday to close Hometown Kitchen while we investigated the alleged presence of pests. Upon further inspection, the Southern Nevada Health District has approved the reopen of Hometown Kitchen as of 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, stating we have complied with all their requests and can see no reason for the restaurant to remain closed. Western Exterminator conducted another visual check of the entire property this morning at 5 a.m. and no instances of bugs were found either in the casino or Hometown Kitchen.
"... Our staff inspects all food & beverage areas daily. If any signs of pests are noticed, Western Exterminator comes out to treat that area immediately. Western Exterminator also conducts routine pest control treatment on a monthly basis and bi-weekly during the summer season as a preventative measure to keep our property safe for both guests and employees. Our staff followed this protocol yesterday upon receiving this initial complaint. Only three unidentified bugs were discovered after a thorough investigation of both the casino and restaurant by our employees, Western Exterminators and the Southern Nevada Health District."
The Southern Nevada Health District completed their report and did find a few bed bugs in the restaurant but said they found none in the kitchen. They also sent us a statement.
"The Southern Nevada Health District can confirm that bed bugs were found at the restaurant. The Southern Nevada Health District re-inspected the facility at the Silver Nugget today and the restaurant allowed it to reopen. As part of the reinspection, the Health District has advised the facility that an integrated pest management plan is required. The Health District is working with the facility to develop such a plan, which will include bed bugs."
NORTH LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- *Hometown Kitchen at Silver Nugget has no affiliation with Hometown Eats located at 5715 South Pecos Road.
People across the valley say they are getting more than what they paid for at Silver Nugget Casino's restaurant. They say bed bugs are eating them as they try to eat their dinner.
Barbi Stenstrom took her kids to Hometown Kitchen, inside Silver Nugget Casino, to have some lunch Sunday afternoon. She was beside herself when she realized bed bugs were beside her.
"This is the ledge where my legs were sitting so when I took a picture I was like oh my God, that's where my legs were and that is just caked!"
Stenstrom says she tried not to cause a scene when she noticed the tiny bloodsuckers were attacking her legs. She quickly called over a manager.
"Like you're not understanding the gravity of this situation," said Stenstrom. "These things are crazy. They will multiply like you have no idea."
She says the staff acted like they did not care and that they just tried to compensate the meals.
"I'm not just trying to get free food," Stenstrom said. "I'm trying to tell you that this is serious and there's a lot of these under here!"
Stenstrom took to Facebook with her concern. She posted pictures of the bed bugs including pictures of the bites on her legs. The post has already been shared nearly 27,000 times. It is also prompting a large number of people to come forward saying they were bitten by the bed bugs too.
"Those things are stacked on top of each other," said another victim Alice Armstrong. "They make me itch just to look at them. I think they need to take the whole thing and tear it down and start over!"
Armstrong says she would not have known what her bites were if she did not see Stenstrom's Facebook post. Armstrong also ate at Hometown Kitchen Sunday morning. She started to itch and notice the pain immediately after.
13 Action News tried to speak with a manager in person at the casino but had no luck. We were stopped at the front door.
They did, however, release a statement to us.
"The health and safety of both our guests and employees is of the utmost importance to us, and we take this concern very seriously. We’ve closed the restaurant, and the health department and an outside company have examined the area thoroughly several times to identify the source. While they did find evidence of a few unidentified bugs, they have not found an infestation. Our entire premises are sprayed by a reputable pest-control company on a weekly basis, and we have never had any reports like this before. We are continuing our investigation of this situation and are taking every measure to ensure the safety and health of our guests and employees."