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October 31, 2014

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‘Eyesore’ news racks along Strip to be replaced by county-owned, uniform racks

Image

Steve Marcus / FILE

A man checks out a newsrack on the Strip near Spring Mountain Road containing magazines advertising female entertainers who will travel to homes and hotel rooms.

Updated Tuesday, May 20, 2014 | 3:22 p.m.

Clark County Commissioners voted unanimously today to replace privately owned news racks on the Las Vegas Strip with new county-owned structures.

The decision affects 288 news rack locations on the Strip. Commissioners have called the racks eyesores that clog sidewalks. Many of the current racks display adult-themed publications that feature scantily clad models and advertise escort and other adult services.

The commission attempted to ban the news racks outright last year but stopped after threats of a lawsuit.

The plan approved today isn’t expected to face a legal challenge.

The county will replace the various news racks currently on the Strip with racks with a uniform appearance. County staff also will be able remove racks from congested areas, something they couldn’t do previously.

Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said the change will improve the aesthetics and accessibility of the Strip.

“There’s going to be uniform news racks moving forward. ... It will be more appealing,” he said.

The switch to county-owned boxes is expected to cost $300,000 and be completed by the end of the year. It will be paid for using hotel room tax funds.

The county plans to spend $2.3 million on pedestrian improvements along the Strip this year. That includes moving obstructions, such fire hydrants, utility boxes and light poles, and improving wheelchair access.

Current private owners will get to keep their news racks; they just won’t be able to place their racks on the Strip. Those owners will receive permits allowing them to distribute publications through the county-owned racks.

The Strip is situated outside the city limits of Las Vegas in an unincorporated portion of the county, which gives the county commission jurisdiction over the tourist mecca.

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