Local NewsCoronavirus


Las Vegas small business owner leaves mask decision to customers

Owner: No longer having to enforce policy a 'relief'
Posted at 6:43 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 21:50:21-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Inside Griff's on Decatur Boulevard near Twain Avenue are remnants of a requirement now lifted.

"We'll probably in a couple of days take them down," said owner Mark Griffin of the COVID-19 safety signage throughout the billiards hall and bar.

"We're still playing it by ear," he said, "but it's our customers' preference."

RELATED: LIST | Who does and does not require masks after new guidance issued

Griffin says since the pandemic began he has invested between $10,000 and $15,000 into COVID-19 safety and compliance measures -- signs, hand sanitizer, temperature readers and high-tech air filters. Much of it will stay, but he says no longer being required by the state to require masks is a relief.

"We're 11,000 square feet," he said. "You can tell them and they might turn around and take it off. What are you going to do? Throw them out?"

Enforcing the original policy was a challenge. Griffin said he will not ask customers to verify their vaccination status.

"I can't go to my customers and say, 'Let me see your vaccine certificate.' I'm not the Nazi. I just wouldn't do it that way."

RELATED: MASK OR NO MASK | Las Vegas casinos, popular venues relax restrictions

Griffin is among many small business owners who are choosing to ease the policy without requiring proof of vaccination, but attorney Richard Dreitzer says legally business owners could if they wanted to.

"If you're a private business, and you obviously have a legal obligation to protect your patrons and employees, and you believe the way to do that is to go above what the CDC says and insist on proof of vaccination, I think you're within your rights to do that," Dreitzer said.

Griffin said most customers have gotten used to wearing masks but he expects that habit to be an easy one to break.

"Come back in a week or two and I don't think you'll be wearing a mask anywhere in this town," he predicted.