Gusts of wind almost flattened the more than 20 tents Tuesday afternoon at the occupation site near the Thomas & Mack Center.
Occupy Las Vegas organizers weighed down the flopping nylon with water-filled jugs and anything else heavy they could find to keep their shelters from blowing away.
Clark County officials granted the group the space last week as long as members follow the rules listed in their agreement.
Occupiers are filling almost all of the requirements, which include providing portable toilets and trash bins. Group members submitted a traffic control and parking plan to county management Monday detailing marked parking on site, areas for entertainment and outreach, a medical emergency area and access paths for emergency vehicles, a county spokesman said.
The group is even negotiating with the county to give back some of the land to be used by local businesses to host events and handle overflow parking.
The local chapter of the national Occupy Wall Street movement has settled in at the site between Paradise Road and Swenson Street -- where group members will protest corporate greed and influence in politics until Nov. 21. About 25 people are on site daily, and about 60 to 70 total attend general assembly meetings each night.
Other Occupy groups nationwide are experiencing backlash from law enforcement.
In Oakland, Calif., police fired rounds of tear gas and beanbags at protesters early Tuesday to clear out an encampment after a group of demonstrators pelted officers with rocks and bottles near the camp's kitchen area, police said.
About 170 protesters were at that site, but no one was injured. Scattered across the area were overturned tents, pillows, sleeping bags, yoga mats, tarps, backpacks, food wrappers and water bottles. Signs decrying corporations and police still hung from lampposts or lay on the ground.
That scenario isn't likely in Las Vegas, group members said, where organizers are working with county officials and police.
Organizer Sebring Frehner said the group is pursuing general liability insurance, mandated by the county agreement, to cover the monthlong event. The $177 policy is expected to come through today and will include $1 million in liability and $2 million in incidental coverage.
"We're not the dope-smoking hippies everyone is making us out to be," Frehner said. "Everyone is being safe and careful."
County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said he visited the site last week and was "impressed they were so well-behaved."
"They've kept their word about being peaceful," Sisolak said. "They're polite. There weren't as many people as I thought there'd be, but I'm withholding judgment until they've been there a while ."
THE COMFORTS OF HOME
Group members, some of whom have been braving the elements since the occupation began six days ago, swept away broken glass and painted over graffiti-covered walls on the 2-acre site.
"We'll probably leave it in better shape than it was in," said organizer Collin Williams, 21.
The comforts of home seem readily available.
Two dozen tents are organized into a small neighborhood complete with chalk street signs.
The "People's Library," a tiny tent full of books occupiers can read at their leisure, is located on the corner where Freedom Way intersects Education Avenue. There is Harry Potter for those who want to get lost in the world of magic and theoretical physics for those who want to learn.
News outlets that inaccurately reported the group had a copy of "The Communist Manifesto" will not be allowed back in to the campsite, Frehner added.
"We have a copy of Karl Marx's early works written by a different writer as a review of Marx's work," Frehner said. "It was donated by a sociology professor."
In another area of the occupation site, community tents are available for those who are curious about the movement and want to drop in.
Another tent is equipped with supplies, including toilet paper and extra blankets for those who might come unprepared.
EAT WHAT YOU WANT, WHEN YOU WANT
A makeshift pantry full of beans, rice, cereal, chips and other packaged goods rests against a warehouse wall. Eggs, fruit, water and juice drinks are kept in coolers. And there is more than one coffee maker. Over the weekend, a food delivery man dropped off free pizzas. An anonymous donor paid for the pies online. Boxes of cookware are kept to prepare homemade meals on site.
Eat what you want, when you want, occupiers said. Eat when the group is cooking, as long as you like what they're cooking. There is always plenty of bacon. Don't worry, there are vegan options, too, Williams added.
Technologically advanced occupiers came equipped with wireless resources for Internet access.
Kadee Schlosser paid $125 for a large blue tent she found on Craigslist -- just to participate in the occupation. She has been camping since Saturday with her 1-year-old pet rat, Ginxi, and hasn't showered, yet.
"I'll shower when I get sweaty," she said. "I ran home real quick for clothing and some toothpaste."
She sat on an air bed while chatting about fighting class warfare. The 18-year-old acknowledged that at her age she hadn't felt the economic strain that other occupiers might be feeling in their pocketbooks but wanted to still show her support.
"I'm here for everyone else," Schlosser said, the wind whipping around her tent. "A lot of people in the 99 percent work way harder than the 1 percent and get no respect for it."
The group's mission statement refers to "the 99 percent of Americans who have not benefitted from various financial bailouts, tax breaks and other subsidies that the dominant 1 percent of the population has gained over the past several years."
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact reporter Kristi Jourdan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-455-4519.