Las Vegas was stunned by a mass shooting at an outdoor event in front of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Spa on Sunday night. According to police, a lone gunman fired a fully automatic rifle through the window of his 32nd floor Mandalay Bay hotel room killing at least 58 people at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival taking place below. More than 500 concertgoers were reportedly injured.
Two major events booked into the city in the coming weeks are moving forward despite the tragedy. The American Gaming Association released a statement Monday morning confirming that Global Gaming Expo (G2E) will go ahead as planned. Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with those that were affected, and with the people of Las Vegas and Nevada.” He went on to say, “G2E annually welcomes 26,000 visitors and is scheduled to open, as planned, today with the G2E conference program, while exhibitor move-in continues for the show to open tomorrow. The AGA and Reed Exhibitions will be in constant contact with local and national law enforcement and our host, Las Vegas Sands. We will closely monitor the situation and safety remains our priority.”
IMEX Group CEO, Carina Bauer, has also confirmed that IMEX America, a major trade show for the meeting and convention industry, will go ahead as planned from October 10-12. Bauer said, “Both IMEX America and the Sands have very strong security in place, with both visible and plain clothes security teams in the venue and at the trade show. Over the coming days we will be working closely with the Sands, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and the Las Vegas authorities to assess any additional security measures that are needed at this time. We will take their full advice in ensuring the best possible security and safety of our guests.”
Mandalay Bay is one of 13 properties owned by MGM Resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. On Monday, MGM Resorts and Mandalay Bay used Twitter to release information when about when guests could return to their hotel rooms after the police action, and to ask for qualified trauma counselors.
The Las Vegas Sheriff’s office has set up a phone number for people to find out about friends or loved ones (866-535-5654). MGM Resorts has set up phone numbers for guests and employees who need to speak to trauma counselors (702-836-6655 and 877-967-7711) and counselors are also available at Bayside A.
In addition to local hospitals, blood donations are being accepted in the area by United Blood Services (6930 West Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, and 701 Whitney Ranch Drive, Henderson) and the American Red Cross (SpringHill Suites Las Vegas Convention Center, 2989 Paradise Road, and Ernest May Elementary School, 6350 West Washburn Road).
On Monday, as investigators searched for a motive for the mass murders, Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, released a statement. “The thoughts and prayers of all of Las Vegas go out to the victims and their families. This was a horrific, yet isolated, incident. At this time, it is important to allow the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police to conclude their investigation into the incident and to attend to the needs of the victims and their families. Las Vegas is a strong community that will work through this tragic incident. We are grateful beyond words to our incomparable law enforcement, first responders and everyone who continues to help victims and their families.”