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September 4, 2015

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Fairgrounds on Las Vegas Strip will accommodate 64,000 for special events

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Richard Brian

Fans enjoy the sounds of Seether during the second day of the Rockstar 48 Hours Festival at the Luxor Festival Grounds on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011.

Fairgrounds

The 48 Hours Festival: Day 2

Taking Dawn performs during the second day of the Rockstar 48 Hours Festival at the Luxor Festival Grounds on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. Launch slideshow »

An overflow parking lot across from the Luxor will be converted into a fairgrounds for music festivals and other special events, after the plan was approved by the Clark County Commission today.

The issue: Circus Circus Enterprises Inc., a subsidiary of MGM Resorts International, sought use permits and approval for the fairgrounds complex from the zoning commission.

The vote: Approved unanimously.

What it means: Despite some logistical challenges, plans for a fairgrounds on the south end of the Strip are a go.

The parking lot, between Reno Avenue and Mandalay Bay Road on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard, has hosted several large outdoor events, including the Red Bull Soundclash and the Rockstar Energy Drink 48-Hour Festival.

Wednesday’s approval gives MGM the ability to use the site without having to obtain a temporary license from the county for each event there.

No permanent structures will be built on the fairgrounds, which will host concerts, music and food festivals, carnivals and sports events that could draw crowds ranging from 14,000 to 64,000.

The prospect of tens of thousands of pedestrians swarming the south end of the Strip initially gave county commissioners pause.

Although some of the lot will be available for parking during smaller events, for the largest festivals, attendees will have to park across the street at garages at the Luxor, Excalibur or Mandalay Bay and walk or take a shuttle bus to the fairgrounds.

After several months of study and discussion with MGM, Commissioner Mary Beth Scow said, she was comfortable with plans to handle traffic at the site, which isn’t as congested as parts of the Strip farther north.

“All of the areas of concern are to the north,” she said. “They own most of the resorts surrounding this piece of property...so they feel like they’ll be able to handle the parking.”

Another concern was the impact of noise and crowds on the nearby Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer church, adjacent to the fairgrounds.

As part of the conditions for the approval, MGM agreed to lower maximum sound levels coming from the fairgrounds on Saturday afternoons and from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sundays.

An MGM spokeswoman said the timeline for opening the fairgrounds is pending.

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