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Glass containers banned from Las Vegas Strip sidewalks

17 September 2014

Clark County commissioners unanimously approved a ban of glass containers and bottles on the Strip sidewalks.

The decision came after hearing opposition from some small-business owners, but support from the Nevada Resort Association.

Officials said the move is necessary to improve safety and cut back on litter from broken glass on the Strip sidewalks.

The county will do a review in six months to gauge the impact of the ordinance on businesses.

Glass bottles and glasses are still allowed inside hotel-casinos and restaurants on the Strip — just not on the public sidewalks.

Drinks of any variety — alcoholic or otherwise — are still allowed on Strip sidewalks, as long they are in a container of plastic, paper or aluminum.

Bryan Wachter, director of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada, said the intent is good, but criminalizing glass containers to curb littering isn’t the answer.

“We think that this particular ordinance does miss the point of the goal,” he said.

He noted that ban on glass containers on sidewalks applies to all beverages, not just alcohol beverages.

Las Vegas Police Deputy Chief Todd Fasulo said the ordinance would give police another tool for dealing with glass misuse on the Strip. Fasulo said crimes with glass bottles and injuries can also have the impact of shutting down a section of the Strip while police process a crime scene.

The ordinance affects all glass containers, regardless of the type of beverage. However, convenience stores on the Strip can still sell drinks in glass containers, provided the customers carry them in a sealed bag or container while on the public sidewalks.

“I don’t see how taking glass off the Las Vegas Strip is going to harm a business model,” Commissioner Larry Brown, noting that the ordinance still allows tourists to make purchases of drinks in glass containers.

Vandana Chima-Bhalla, who owns a 7-Eleven on the Strip, voiced concerns about the change impacting her business, but she welcomed the county’s move to review the issue in six months.

“Everything happens for a reason,” she said. “I’m going to make the best of it.”

The ordinance will go into effect in two weeks.

The recommendation originally came from the county’s resort corridor work group in 2012, which looked at issues along the Strip, which stretches along Las Vegas Boulevard from Sahara Avenue to Russell Road.

Glass bottles already are banned from the Strip during its New Year’s Eve celebration.

Violators of what would be a misdemeanor offense could face up to a $1,000 fine or up to six months of jail.

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