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Rodents caused hourslong Paris Las Vegas power outage

Updated October 24, 2020 - 9:40 am

Rodents caused an hourslong power outage at the Paris Las Vegas late Thursday that forced guests to evacuate, NV Energy confirmed Friday.

The damage occurred off-property but affected a transfer switch that serves the Strip resort, an official said.

Several guests Friday expressed frustration over a lack of communication about the outage, including Jessica Benn and her husband, Jesse, of Colorado. The two had been watching the final presidential debate in their 16th-floor room when Jessica Benn said, suddenly, “everything went off.”

Jesse Benn had just gone downstairs to pick up a food delivery and could not get back to his room or his wife.

“They wouldn’t let me go up the stairs,” he said.

Jessica Benn eventually came downstairs to meet her husband. Together, they waited outside the property for about four hours.

“There was no explanation for what happened,” she said Friday morning, calling it “very strange.”

Outage caused by rodents

Several guests early Friday echoed the couple’s frustration over lack of information. Caesars Entertainment issued a statement Friday on the power outage at the resort, located at 3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South, but did not mention the cause.

“Last night, Paris Las Vegas experienced a power outage that has since been restored,” the statement said. “The health and safety of our guests and team members is a top priority, and we thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Clark County Fire Department and NV Energy for their assistance in the matter.”

Transfer switches synchronize the frequency of multiple power inputs to serve high-voltage needs. In an email, an NV Energy spokeswoman said the affected transfer switch was located off-property but near the Paris. The initial outage impacted 16 customers, including the resort.

The Fire Department said late Thursday that the entire property’s power went out at 7:08 p.m. and that fire crews and Las Vegas police assisted with evacuating guests. Guests already in their hotel rooms were allowed to stay put.

Fire Chief John Steinbeck in an email said multiple guests were rescued from six elevators, and all other elevators were checked to make sure they were clear.

“None of the guests from the elevators required any medical attention,” Steinbeck wrote.

One evacuated individual was taken to a hospital with breathing difficulties. Power was restored at 9:50 p.m.

Second outage in four years

Thursday’s outage was not the first time the property lost power. In November 2016, a similar outage that lasted more than 12 hours was attributed to a catastrophic construction error. A construction crew had accidentally drilled through the resort’s high-voltage main power line, as well as that of a back-up generator, Caesars Entertainment said at the time.

Some guests Friday said they were thankful for a food and beverage credit offered to them. Kimberly Jefferson, of Cleveland, said the power outage made for a miserable evening.

“It was horrible,” Jefferson said. “We didn’t get into our room until close to midnight.”

Kevin Romero of Sacramento, California, said he and a large group of friends arrived at the Paris about 7 p.m. Thursday. They were checking at the front desk when the lights went out.

“We don’t know why the power was out. They never told us why,” he said. “I’m hoping to get a refund for that first night.”

They quickly evacuated, then tried to make the best of a difficult situation.

“We started drinking,” Romero said. “Hauling our luggage around everywhere, drinking until we were able to get to our rooms.”

Tourist Dawit Tesfaye, of Maryland, said he arrived at the hotel sometime after 7 p.m. to find volumes of people standing outside. As they walked up, police locking the doors said there had been a power outage.

“So we just sat down and waited,” he said.

Rat calls increasing

Exterminators across the valley are reporting a rise in rat-related calls, especially as the coronavirus pandemic hit Las Vegas and the nation in mid-March. The pandemic-related shutdowns have forced rats into neighborhoods in search of food, absent their usual dumpster buffets.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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