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Strip, downtown properties quiet on potential civil unrest following election

Businesses across the U.S. — including a handful in Las Vegas — are boarding up storefronts to prepare for any civil unrest following Tuesday’s election results.

Some businesses in the tourist corridor were boarded up on Election Day, including a retail shop on the Strip and a downtown restaurant.

But as some businesses prepare for the worst, Bryan Wachter, spokesman for the Retail Association of Nevada, said the organization is not expecting unrest in Nevada.

“I have not been contacted by any of our members that are worried or anxious,” he said.

Businesses across the country prepare

Plywood has become a staple for a number of businesses across the country this week.

In New York City, Macy’s flagship store and high-end shops in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood were hidden behind boards. On the west coast, Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive closed on Monday, with businesses like Nordstrom, Tiffany and Saks Fifth Avenue boarded up.

In Las Vegas, one reporter spotted a Sunglass Hut located inside the Grand Bazaar Shops boarded up Tuesday. Another staff member saw windows covered at the EZ Pawn at 212 Las Vegas Boulevard South, the Foley Federal Building at 300 Las Vegas Boulevard South and the Eureka! restaurant at 520 East Fremont St.

Downtown business Grrrl Clothing,1118 S. Main St., boarded up windows on Saturday, and the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse was barricaded on Election Day.

For some U.S. businesses, the unrest during the summer’s racial-justice protests is still fresh.

Those protests were mostly peaceful, but some demonstrations turned violent. In early June, the city of Minneapolis said the looting and property damage that following the May death of George Floyd in police custody had caused at least $55 million in destruction.

There was some property damage in Las Vegas. A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police car was set on fire during a June protest and windows at a downtown building were smashed in May.

Metro said it is prepared for any public safety threat that could unfold on Election Day in the Las Vegas Valley, and will open a Deployment Operations Center at its headquarters on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard for real-time monitoring of potential safety threats.

“Patrol officers will be available throughout the valley to deploy to the 125 designated voting locations if calls for service are generated by county volunteers or citizens,” police said in a Monday statement.

Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Cara Clarke said most of the chamber’s businesses feel safe, and Election Day in Clark County seemed to be running “smooth and peaceful.”

“We haven’t seen any civil unrest coming from that,” she said. “If (the election) were to spur some protests, we have faith in Metro and the Sheriff to monitor that and protect our businesses.”

Business as usual for casinos

Wynn Resorts Ltd. spokesman Michael Weaver said the company is not making any significant changes for Election Day.

“Although our normal security operation includes protocols to handle sudden security challenges, we do not anticipate any,” he said. “Instead, we are focused on encouraging our employees to vote if they have not yet done so.”

Operations at MGM Resorts International’s properties are also proceeding normally, according to spokeswoman Callie Driehorst.

“As always, we remain in close contact with our partners in law enforcement and are continually evaluating and updating our security procedures to keep guests and employees safe,” she said.

Spokespeople for the Strat, Las Vegas Sands Corp., the Plaza and the D Las Vegas, Circa and Golden Gate declined to comment. Representatives for Caesars Entertainment Inc., Golden Nugget, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Station Casinos and Boyd Gaming Corp. did not return requests for comment.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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