61°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Many Las Vegas travelers undeterred after mass shooting

Updated October 13, 2017 - 8:39 pm

Chandler Levalley had second thoughts about visiting Las Vegas nearly two weeks after 58 people were fatally shot and more than 500 wounded.

Levalley and her friends from Kansas City, Missouri, had already reserved a hotel room, booked a flight on Southwest and purchased tickets to watch The Weeknd at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.

“We thought maybe it wasn’t a good environment to be in,” Levalley said shortly after her plane landed Friday morning at McCarran International Airport.

“It will probably be a different trip than we were expecting, and not as wild and crazy as we thought, but I think we’re safe,” Levalley said. “We feel like it might actually be safer because the security will be bumped up.”

An air of confidence appeared to prevail Friday among airline passengers headed to Las Vegas this weekend, all showing respect but undeterred by the violence during the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1.

Barbara Kittrell said the shooting didn’t force her to change her plans to have a good time gambling in Las Vegas. However, the Davenport, Iowa, resident made an addition to her itinerary: a visit to the 58 white crosses honoring the shooting victims near the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

“I think it was really tragic with what happened,” Kittrell said. “But we’re not afraid of it here. We love Las Vegas.”

It was unclear what impact, if any, the shooting had on air travel into Las Vegas.

Passenger counts unknown

Passenger traffic counts for the first two weeks of October were unavailable. Those figures aren’t typically reported by the airlines until the end of the month, said Christine Crews, a spokeswoman at McCarran International Airport.

Still, travelers arriving at the Las Vegas airport on Friday said their flights were full.

“I think bad things happen everywhere, and you can’t live your life in fear,” said Sandra Chabez, who traveled from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to watch Rascal Flatts in concert this weekend at The Venetian.

“One crazy person is not going to change the way I live my life,” Chabez said. “It’s just unfortunate that this happened.”

Keith McCann echoed those sentiments after a Delta flight from Minneapolis, saying that he still planned to take his wife and two children to the Monster Energy Cup Supercross race scheduled for Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.

“I don’t feel that our safety is in jeopardy,” McCann said. “It’s heightened our awareness to be more observant of what’s going on around us and maybe stick together a little more than we normally would.”

Some travelers rescheduled their trips in the days immediately following Oct. 1. Or, in Moises Beltran Rodriguez’s case, the decision was made for him by the audio company he works for in Denver.

Rodriguez’s employer let a plane ticket lapse for a flight scheduled two days after the shooting, forcing him to delay a meeting in Las Vegas until Monday. And, he won’t be staying at his regular hotel, Mandalay Bay.

“I’ll have a sad feeling going there,” Rodriguez said. “It’s Vegas. You’re there to party. But now, you get bad vibes.”

Annual fall trip

James Archer and his buddies have planned an annual fall trip to Las Vegas for more than 40 years and had no intention of breaking the tradition. Knowing that the lone gunman is dead alleviated Archer’s concerns about the trip, but he predicted heightened security at Las Vegas hotels and entertainment venues for the next several months.

“I think we’re pretty safe because this was a one-off thing,” Archer said after arriving from Chicago. “If other people were involved and weren’t captured, then we would have probably canceled.”

Ebony Paul said she felt nervous about watching The Weeknd’s concert so soon after the shooting at a country music festival, but she felt better that she was headed to an indoor venue, which will “probably have beefed-up security.”

The Greenville, South Carolina, woman said that people shouldn’t stop doing what they enjoy when tragedy strikes.

“It happens at church and everything now, so why put our lives on hold?” Paul said, referring to a mass shooting that killed nine people attending a prayer service two years ago at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“It can happen anywhere at home,” Paul said. “You just try to live and not fear everything and everywhere.”

Review-Journal writer Wade Tyler Millward contributed to this report. Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
How much do Las Vegas casino CEOs make?
Las Vegas gaming CEOs made anywhere between $1 million and $24 million last year, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ((Las Vegas Review-Journal)
30-year-old Rio needs a little TLC
Nearly 30 years after the Rio opened, the red and blue jewel that helped catapult Las Vegas to a new level with its buffet and nightclub has lost its status along with its shine.
The latest on the Drew Las Vegas - VIDEO
Eli Segall recounts his tour of the Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south Strip
Operators of the Pinball Hall of Fame have been approved to build a new, larger arcade near the south edge of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard near Russel Road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
National Hardware Show underway Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Caesars for sale?
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been swept up in takeover speculation since the company’s share price tumbled last year amid disappointing earnings and concerns over a recession. Amid the decline, hedge funds scooped up shares. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn began buying shares of Caesars as early as January. Icahn acquired nearly 18 percent by mid-March. In February Icahn called on the Caesars board to study a sale as a way to boost shareholder value.
Las Vegas home prices
Las Vegas home prices grew fastest among major markets in February for the ninth straight month. But amid affordability concerns, the growth rate has slowed down. Southern Nevada prices in February were up 9.7% from a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The last time Las Vegas' price growth fell below 10% was in September 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported.
Free Parking Coming To Wynn
Free parking will come to the Wynn and Encore resorts on May 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Founding Venetian employees talk about 20 years at the Strip resort
The Venetian, which opened May 3, 1999, is celebrating 20 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Seven original employees talk about opening the luxury resort and working there for two decades. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Circa aiming for December 2020 opening
The 1.25-million-square-foot property will have 44-stories and 777-rooms. It will also have a separate nine-story, 1,201-space parking garage.
Boxabl official explains the building concept
Boxabl business development manager Galiano Tiramani shows off a room built by his company. (Blake Apgar/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TI/Mirage Tram reopens
The tram that shuttles guests between TI and Mirage reopened this week after being closed for much of 2018.
Las Vegas Convention Center expansion taking shape
Renderings and actual footage show how the Las Vegas Convention Center is evolving.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Las Vegas convention
Former Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz spoke at the Epicor Insights user conference at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Drew Las Vegas to open in the second quarter of 2022
The 67-story Drew Las Vegas is slated to open in the second quarter of 2022 at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NAB Day 1 (Time Lapse)
NAB kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
National Association of Broadcasters Show shows 1mm thick 8K TV with 22.2 channel digital sound
Japan’s NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories booth featured a 1mm thick 8K TV system used in conjunction with a 22.2 channel digital sound system at the National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada shoppers react to Smith’s no longer accepting Visa credit cards
On March 1, Smith’s announced that it would no longer be accepting Visa credit cards at any of its 142 supermarkets, including the 45 in Nevada.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission asks how long Wynn executives knew about misconduct
Business reporter Rick Velotta gives an update on the adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license in Massachusetts.
Henderson app developer part of Startup in Residence
Henderson based developers of the app On Point Barricade are taking part in Startup in Residence, a North America program dedicated to pairing tech companies with governments. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sam's Town employees and customers talk of their love for the iconic casino
Longtime Sam's Town employees and customers love each other and love their casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas apartments rents
Las Vegas’ apartment market has accelerated in recent years. Developers are packing the suburbs with projects, landlords are on a buying spree, and tenants have filled buildings.
William Boyd talks about the birth of Sam's Town
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Sam's Town, William Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming and son of hotel namesake Sam Boyd, talks about how the casino became one of the first local properties in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
High Roller observation wheel turns five
The world’s tallest observation wheel celebrates it’s fifth year on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Escape Room Industry Growing In Las Vegas
Escapology employees discuss the growing escape room industry in the U.S. and Las Vegas. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
 
Plenty of work remains on Drew Las Vegas

The former Fontainebleau — the blue-tinted tower that has blighted the Strip for a decade — is slated to open as the Drew in the second quarter of 2022.