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Concerns brew over Fremont Street Experience's plan for NYE

Posted at 8:38 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 08:22:18-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Calls for action were made during Tuesday’s COVID-19 Task Force Meeting amid major concerns that the Fremont Street Experience could turn into a COVID-19 hot spot on New Year’s Eve.

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“I hate to put you on the spot but it’s been a long morning,” said Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Clark County Commissioner. “I’m going to ask that there will be no light show so that people don’t come and I’m going to ask that the 14,000 be cut in half.”

The Fremont Street Experience says face masks and social distancing are required on New Year’s Eve.

There will also be a $25 "security fee" required to enter under the canopy.

“That’s in order to offset the cost of the extra officers that are going to be there,” says Wesley Harper, Nevada League of Cities.

The Fremont Street Experience’s website also does not say what the capacity limits are that night.

“Frankly, it’s just not a good idea to gather that many people in that confined of a space for that period of time,” says Terry Reynolds, Nevada Department of Business and Industry.

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The City of Las Vegas says that there is a lot of misunderstanding about the Near Year's Eve plans on Fremont Street.

They reiterate that no “event” is planned, as there will be no special performances.

They added that the Fremont Street Experience is a public mall, and the public will have access as they do on any night, but just with a fee for New Year’s Eve.

“The city has worked very hard in order to skirt the spirit and the letter of the directives as they are written in order to protect us,” says Caleb Cage, Nevada’s COVID-19 Response Director.

While no live entertainment will happen on Fremont Street that night, the nearby Plaza Hotel and Casino will be holding a fireworks show that will likely bring folks to the downtown area.

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“They’re looking at something that will attract thousands of people down there and we are quite concerned about that,” says Reynolds.

Cage says the task force will revisit the issue in a future meeting as it was not an agenda item for Tuesday’s meeting.