If Las Vegas approves a pending ordinance that is on its way to the City Council, there will be no Hula-Hooping allowed at the Fremont Street Experience.
That's one of the provisions in the proposed new law intended to regulate activities such as street entertainment and solicitation, or people seeking money.
What it might actually do, though, is once again land the city in court over free speech issues.
The ordinance, which was forwarded out of a council subcommittee Tuesday, would establish two "free expression zones" on the Third Street Promenade, which abuts the downtown pedestrian mall.
Street entertainers and anyone who is soliciting would be confined to those zones.
There also would be bans on using an amplifier or megaphone, shooting projectiles into the air and, yes, Hula-Hoops.
Activity at the Fremont Street Experience has been largely unregulated since a little over a year ago, when a federal court struck down the city's last set of regulations as unconstitutional.
That has led to a host of problems, said City Attorney Brad Jerbic and Fremont Street Experience President Jeff Victor.
They said demonstrators have blocked portions of the mall with displays and people holding signs, then drove patrons away by shouting over megaphones.
And street performers unaffiliated with the Fremont Street Experience have blocked off areas for their shows, which draw crowds that impede the flow of pedestrian traffic.
Jerbic also referenced a YouTube video in which a man dressed as KISS frontman Gene Simmons uses some kind of a stun device on a visitor, although the footage -- set to Michael Jackson' "Thriller" -- isn't clear on why the dispute started.
The Hula-Hoop ban was included because someone started renting them to visitors at the Fremont Street Experience. Some of the Hula-Hoops were large, and people using them created obstacles for other visitors, Jerbic said.
Visitors and retailers, particularly those who operate the 38 kiosks scattered about the mall, are complaining, said Victor, who is worried that visitation will suffer if rules aren't implemented.
That matters to the city because a special room tax helps pay back the bonds for the Fremont Street Experience's construction, Jerbic said.
If people stop coming or if rates drop because of low visitation, those costs eventually will be borne by the city, he said.
"This wasn't built to be a soapbox," he said of the pedestrian mall. "This was built as a place for people to come see the light show every night," as well as see concerts, eat, drink, shop and visit casinos.
"These are all disrupted and hampered without regulation on the mall," Jerbic said.
If the city passes the ordinance, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada most likely will sue on constitutional grounds, said Maggie McLetchie, an ACLU staff attorney.
Blocking traffic and aggressive soliciting already are illegal, she said.
Furthermore, the city would be discriminating between types of speech, since entertainers hired by the Fremont Street Experience would be allowed in the mall, while all others would be shunted to zones next to it. She said those zones are so small that "this is almost a total ban."
As proposed, the zones are 12 feet wide by 100 feet long.
"I disagree with the underlying idea that you can't comply with the Constitution and make money," McLetchie said.
Arguing that speech interferes with commerce "does not justify unconstitutional restrictions," she said.
McLetchie urged Councilmen Stavros Anthony and Ricki Barlow to delay any action on the bill, noting that previous ordinances have been litigated for years and that the ACLU has collected more than $250,000 in attorney's fees.
The Fremont Street Experience, not the city, has picked up that tab.
"This case, in some iteration, has been litigated for a decade and a half," McLetchie said. "We've been around the block so many times."
The ordinance leaves some areas alone. Leafleting, for example, was originally going to be placed in the expression zones, but Jerbic said he couldn't make a strong enough case that passing out fliers or cards created problems.
Someone simply holding up a sign also would not be affected by the ordinance, unless the person blocked pedestrians or otherwise was interfering.
Anthony said it was clear to him that some rules are needed.
"If you don't regulate that, it's going to be mass chaos down there," he said.
Contact reporter Alan Choate at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-229-6435.