The Strip is famous for allowing what often isn’t allowed elsewhere — strolling with a glass drink in hand among them.
It’s the one piece of real estate where oversized margarita drinks don’t raise eyebrows among pedestrians. But one indulgence might disappear from the Strip’s sidewalks in the name of public safety: drinks in glass containers.
Clark County commissioners are considering a proposal to ban glass containers from Strip sidewalks. Drinkers need not fret, though, as alcohol could still be carried on sidewalks in a paper or plastic cup.
The proposal would affect all glass containers, regardless of whether they hold hard liquor or mineral water.
Under the proposal, tourists could still buy drinks in glass containers from stores and carry them to their hotel rooms. They would just need to keep them in a stapled bag, with the receipt showing.
Commissioners say the proposal would cut back on litter and safety issues, including smashed bottles on sidewalks that can hurt tourists, especially those wearing sandals.
Commissioners will introduce the ordinance Tuesday, with a public hearing and vote on Sept. 16.
Officials say the Strip’s uniqueness won’t lose its luster with the disappearance of glass containers on sidewalks.
“It’s still Vegas, and you don’t want to lose the effect,” Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said.
Glass bottles already are banned from the Strip during its New Year’s Eve celebration.
The no-glass recommendation came from the county’s resort corridor workgroup in 2012, which looked at issues along the Strip, which stretches along Las Vegas Boulevard from Sahara Avenue to Russell Road.
The Nevada Resort Association supported the proposed change in a letter to the county. The effects on business, such as changing beverage containers, are negligible and can be incorporated into business practices, the organization said in its letter.
Barry Yost, who runs a a 7-Eleven convenience store on the north edge of the Strip, objected to the change in a letter to the county. Yost said it would have a severe economic impact on small businesses with retail wine and beer licenses, possibly leading to business closures and affecting the tourist experience.
“To me, it’s more of a safety issue and cosmetic issue,” Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said. “It’s one thing when you drop a plastic cup or an aluminum can. You can pick it up and throw it in the trash.”
Those oversized margarita drinks are plastic — not glass, and they won’t disappear anytime soon.
Ditto for the plastic bottles of water, also a surefire way to avoid the dehydration that comes from drinking only booze under the blistering Las Vegas sun.
And the drinks will still flow from bottles and glasses inside hotel-casinos and restaurants on the Strip.
Tourists carrying bottles of beer around the Strip on Friday said they enjoy the freedom but could see how glass containers could be a potential problem.
“I do enjoy being able to walk around with a drink in my hand,” said Brenna Morrison, 21, of Grand Forks, N.D.
Contact Ben Botkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-405-9781. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1.